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What You Should Know about Owning a Backflow Preventer

backflow-prevention-largeA backflow preventer is a mechanical device that protects the health and safety of the people in your neighborhood. Regulations vary from state to state and city to city, but in general, most commercial properties and any home with an irrigation system should have a backflow preventer on site.

If you have a backflow preventer on your property, there are some things you should know about how to care for it properly. Keep the potable water supply safe by doing your part and scheduling regular backflow testing. Read on for more information and call our team for professional backflow testing in Twin Falls, ID.

Most Areas Require Annual Backflow Testing

Testing requirements vary from city to city, by type of property and plumbing system, and based on the type of backflow prevention assembly on site. Regardless, most parts of the country require you to get your backflow device tested once a year, no matter what. In Twin Falls, the city requires backflow devices for all homes with irrigation systems attached to the potable water supply, and you must have these devices tested each year.

If backflow testing regulations in your area are relaxed, we recommend that you still schedule backflow testing each year before spring. If your backflow assembly were to fail, potentially polluted water could move back up through the pipes and contaminate the city’s supply.

Even the Smallest Issue Can Damage the Backflow Assembly

A backflow assembly contains a series of mechanical valves. Like any other mechanical system in your home, these valves can fail, leaving the potable water supply more vulnerable to pollution.

A backflow device is designed to make it so that water can only move in one direction. And the water entering through the backflow assembly may contain enough debris to damage the valves. Even just a small amount of calcification or debris can keep the entire system from functioning properly.

Only Certified Backflow Testers Should Run Your Annual Test

In most parts of the US, backflow testers require certification if you want the test to hold up. If you have to report back to the city to verify you have met testing requirements, the plumber that performed the test must be within their databases. Make sure you work with a certified backflow tester for your annual service.

You Should Schedule Backflow Testing Even If You Don’t Plan to Use Irrigation

Not planning to run your irrigation system this year? That’s no reason to ignore backflow testing requirements. The rules still apply, and it is still possible for contaminated sources to enter the water supply even if you are not using your irrigation system.

One of the ways this happens is through a process called back-siphonage, when pressure drops on the supply side. If, for example, emergency services were to use a fire hydrant on your street, it could create a sort of vacuum that sucks in contaminated water pooled around an outdoor fixture or sprinkler head, allowing the contamination to get sucked back in. Annual testing prevents such a scenario, even if your irrigation system is mostly out of use.

Contact Evans Plumbing Inc to speak with a certified backflow tester in Twin Falls, ID.

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