Backflow is the phenomenon wherein used and unclean water inside a plumbing system travels towards the opposite direction. This becomes especially unsafe when the contaminated water from the toilet, dishwasher, or sink flows back into the pipelines, onto homes to be used once again in various household chores. To prevent this incidence, there is a safety precaution known as backflow testing.
An expert plumber knows beforehand the areas where there will be possible backflows that can occur in the plumbing system so during construction, plumbing backflow valves also known as Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) valves are installed to prevent the backflow of contaminated water. Installation of proper backflow prevention device is one of the requirements of a healthy plumbing system.
Backflow Testing Defined
RPZ valves work by snapping shut two mechanically linked equipment once the flow reverses direction. This ensures that the contaminated water will not flow back to be used again. Usually conducted by a certified technician, the test can be defined as the procedure where backflow prevention devices or the RPZ valves installed in the plumb lines are tested to ensure that they are working properly.
There are different ways of how this process works. First, visual inspection can be done when the RPZ valves are easily accessible from the surface. Another method is by using more precisely calibrated equipment. The testing technician attaches a kit to the test ports on all the backflow prevention devices available in the area. Through this, it can be revealed whether the valves are functioning properly.
Importance of Backflow Testing
No matter how good a plumbing system is, it will deteriorate overtime. Backflow prevention valves will fail due to clogging, debris accumulation and serious damage. In order to detect whether it’s time to clean, repair, or change the RPZ valves in the plumbing line, testing is done. For dirty and clogged RPZ valves, the solution is fairly straightforward. The device is disassembled and cleaned thoroughly, then installed back into the line. For devices that have minor damage, repair can be an easy and inexpensive fix. But for valves with large cracks or shattered components, replacing of a part or the whole device is required. When having your backflow prevention assembly replaced, make sure to obtain necessary permits and hire professionals to do the job. Call them here.
Backflow testing also ensures the safety and cleanliness of water being delivered through homes via the plumb lines. When not detected early on, backflow issues can cause a lot of health and home maintenance problems later on.
Backflow prevention devices are required to be tested and certified upon installation. Thereafter, it is highly recommended to have these devices tested and inspected at least once annually by a licensed and certified tester. Ensuring proper maintenance checks periodically can prolong the lifespan of these devices.