The Basics of Backflow Installation
Backflow preventers prevent water from flowing back into city lines, carrying contaminants like human waste and chemicals. It’s a requirement for certain buildings, and failing to comply can result in fines and the disconnection of water service.
The plumbers at Tidal Plumbing & Heating who is certified in backflow testing, can offer their clients this extra peace of mind. It also adds to their services and gives them a steady stream of income.
The first step in backflow installation is determining which type of device works best for your property. Several options exist, including check valves, pressure vacuum breakers, and air gaps. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right one for your home or business. Once you’ve made your selection, it’s time to hire a professional to install the device in your plumbing system.
When installing a backflow preventer, it is essential that you ensure there is sufficient space around the unit for inspection, testing, and maintenance. This will help prevent any problems, such as corrosion or blockages, from occurring. In addition, the installation must comply with all local piping codes to minimize risk.
Most states require that all backflow assemblies be installed in a vault, chamber, or other enclosure to protect them from tampering and environmental conditions. It is also necessary to keep in mind that backflow preventers are designed to be serviced regularly and should be kept in good working condition at all times.
Depending on the type of backflow preventer you have, you may need to install it as a service protection assembly or an internal protection assembly. Service protection assemblies are installed at the point of service to the water user; they must be regulated by state administrative code. Internal protection assemblies, on the other hand, are installed in commercial or industrial facilities to protect the water supply from contaminants. They are regulated by the city’s adopted plumbing code.
A backflow preventer must be properly installed in order to protect the public water supply from contamination. If you fail to comply with the requirements, the city may shut off your water supply. In addition to a potential loss of water, you’ll be facing fines that can cost thousands of dollars.
If you’re not sure whether your residence or business is required to have a backflow prevention device, call the experts at Kew Forest Plumbing today. We’ll answer your questions and guide you through the process of getting your backflow prevention device installed.
If you have a backflow prevention device installed on your water line, you will need annual testing. Our licensed backflow testers can test your devices and file the reports with the city for you. These devices are required in homes with sprinkler systems, live/work units, and irrigation systems.
Backflow testing is done to make sure that your backflow device is protecting you and the city’s water supply from contaminated water. This happens when there are cross-connections (points where your potable water and sewage systems connect). If the backflow device isn’t working properly, it can allow bacteria and waste to flow into the city water system. This can cause serious health problems for the public.
During a backflow test, our licensed backflow testers will shut off the downstream water valve and connect the test kit hoses to each assembly. The assembly will then be pressurized, and the check valves and relief valves will be checked to see if they hold a minimum pressure or if they open at any time during the test. The assembly will also be checked to ensure it is located in an area that is safe to enter and service, especially if the backflow preventer is installed in a vault below finished grade or above. Some hose bib assemblies, such as the DCVA or PVBA, are installed in areas that are considered confined spaces and require special entry procedures for the backflow tester to follow to avoid a dangerous lack of oxygen or other hazardous situations.
Once the backflow test has been completed, your backflow preventer will be marked with a tag indicating when it was tested and the results. These tags will be sent to the Backflow Program for filing, and your backflow report will be available online within 30 days of the date the test was conducted. If the backflow report isn’t filed by a certified tester, your backflow device will be placed on a list of non-certified devices, and you may not receive your city water bill.
Licensed backflow technicians are required to be certified through a nationally recognized tester certification program, such as the ASSE Series 5000 certification standard. The City of Raleigh maintains a list of testers who have been approved to work on backflow devices in the city’s water system. These testers must pass background checks, attend annual training, and maintain a valid certification to perform backflow tests.
Backflow prevention devices work to ensure your drinking water is always clean and free of chemicals and human waste. Having these devices installed at your business or home is essential to keeping the city’s main water supply from becoming contaminated. But in order for these devices to remain effective, they need regular maintenance and service. The best way to do this is through yearly inspections and field tests.
An annual inspection isn’t just a recommendation; it’s a requirement in most areas. It’s during this process that a backflow prevention technician can identify issues with the device and repair them as needed. Before the inspection begins, the backflow preventer will be depressurized by closing all downstream valves. Then, the tester will start by checking all related parts of the device to make sure they are working properly. This will include looking for any signs of wear and tear as well as flushing the system to remove sediment and debris.
If your backflow device is a double check valve assembly (DCVA), a pressure vacuum breaker assembly (PVBA), or a passive purge system, it will need to be rebuilt or replaced every five years. These systems are considered “non-testable” and require only maintenance in the form of rebuilding or replacement. These devices will also be tagged with their installation date and expiration date to let you know when they need to be serviced or replaced.
A backflow preventer may need to be repaired or rebuilt due to wear and tear, pressure fluctuations, hydraulic shock, or a defective component. If your backflow preventer is damaged, it’s important to call a professional as soon as possible to avoid any potential contamination. A backflow prevention specialist will be able to help you determine which type of repair is needed, such as replacing rubber discs or o’rings or replacing hardware parts like seats or stems.
It’s important that your backflow preventer is easily accessible for testing, inspection, and maintenance. It should be located somewhere that is not too difficult to reach, and there should be ample space around it so a technician can move about the device without having to strain or risk damage. It’s also important that your backflow device has a clear path of travel and is not blocked or restricted in any way. This is particularly important when the unit is installed in an area that is a confined space or requires special entry and exit procedures to be entered and/or worked on.
Backflow prevention devices are designed to last for decades. However, regional conditions such as water quality, temperature, or turbidity can cause the backflow assembly to need repair on a regular basis. The repair process is done by a professional backflow technician who knows how to disassemble and reassemble the backflow assembly while using only original factory replacement parts. After the backflow assembly is repaired, it must be retested to ensure that it meets the original factory specifications.
Before the repair begins, the backflow technician must shut down the water supply. This is so that the backflow assembly can be disassembled without releasing spring tension that could damage the components. It also allows the technician to work in a safe environment.
The repair process usually involves removing all the rubber parts from the backflow prevention assembly and replacing them with new rubber parts from the factory. This will help keep the backflow assembly in optimum working condition for years to come. During the process of replacing the rubber parts, the technician will use a food-grade lubricant to help guide the new rubber parts onto their respective parts. The lubricant is used to make sure that the rubber parts don’t become damaged by friction. Too much lubricant, however, can make the backflow prevention assembly wear out sooner by attracting dirt and debris that will restrict the movement of the parts.
Once the new rubber parts are on the backflow prevention assembly, the technician must reassemble it in the proper order. The re-assembly process usually requires the technician to use special tools to accomplish the task. These special tools are often not available commercially but can be fabricated or purchased from the backflow prevention assembly manufacturer.
The backflow preventer protects the city’s drinking water by preventing the backflow of human waste or chemicals into the municipal water line. The device is necessary because water pressure changes in pipes can cause wastewater from a residential or business plumbing system to flow backwards into the city’s drinking water line. This can contaminate the city’s clean drinking water with sewage, waste, or chemicals.