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Backflow Testing: What Is It and Why Do I Need It?

backflow testing: what is it and why do I need it?

Ever stop to think what would happen if the pressure in your plumbing stopped working?

While it’s a very out-of-sight, out-of-mind thing, your plumbing system is a very necessary part of your household, and we always expect that it will work every time.

So when something unfortunate happens out of your sight, like a pipe bursting or freezing, you’re likely to have a new defect and lose pressure in your plumbing system. This can allow contaminated water from the surrounding earth to seep into your water supply.

Drinking contaminated water is bad.

Like really bad.

That’s why backflow testing is so important.

What Is Backflow Testing?

Backflow testing is a process that tests the backflow devices in your plumbing system in your home to ensure that your drinking water is not being contaminated. It makes sure that all of the water in your home is flowing in the correct direction, and that none of the water flowing is dirty or tainted.

Unclean water can enter from the ground, pools, septic tanks, or other water storage areas through a defective or damaged pipe. This will leave you and your loved ones exposed to a dangerous assortment of natural and chemical toxins being introduced into your drinking water.

Because it’s such a health risk, many countries have made backflow devices a mandatory part of any building. The type of backflow preventer you need will depend on your home, plumbing setup, and local building codes.

Types of Backflow Devices

An air gap is one of the simplest types of backflow prevention. An air gap is a specialized pipe that creates a gap in a vertical section of your drainage pipes. A funnel is added on the receiving end for water to flow through and out. This allows any backflow water to flow up and out of the funnel, spilling into another reservoir to drain, rather than back into the pipes and out of your sinks or tub.

There are several kinds of backflow preventers that are commonly used.

  • PVB (Pressure vacuum breaker assemblies)
  • AG (Air gaps)
  • AVB (Atmospheric vacuum breakers)
  • DCVA (Double check valve assemblies)
  • RPBA (Reduced pressure backflow assemblies)

Why Backflow Prevention and Backflow Testing Is Important

Backflow prevention devices, while effective, can fail. Having your water tested annually for any backflow is vitally important for your own health and safety. You’ll be glad to have the peace of mind, knowing that your plumbing system is working the way it’s supposed to.

Most districts are required to have a backflow prevention plan and program in place, as well as several available backflow prevention devices. Most of these counties in the United States are required to submit to yearly tests for each water district by a certified backflow testing provider.

Need to schedule your test? We offer backflow preventer testing in many cities throughout Contra Costa County. Learn more about our backflow testing services or schedule yours today.