What Is Backflow?
Backflow refers to wastewater that has made its way back into your potable water supply. Often caused by an unexpected change in water pressure, the flow of used, nonpotable water reverses and creates what is known as a cross connection (where potable and nonpotable water meet). Backflow is often contaminated with waste materials, bacteria, chemical residue or other pollutants.
These substances can pose a serious risk to your health and safety, which explains why backflow testing and prevention devices are so important. Whether you’re protecting your family or the public, professional backflow tests from Expert plumbers help to keep you safe.
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Frequently Asked Questions
There’s often a simpler solution to your comfort problem. Maybe you can find the answer you’re looking for in our FAQ below!
Where can backflow happen?
Backflow and the subsequent cross connection can happen wherever your non-potable plumbing system meets the water lines. As such, many different types of fixtures and appliances are at risk, including:
- Washing machines
- Kitchen and bathroom faucets
- Bathtubs and showers
- And more
For commercial properties like industrial facilities, equipment such as boilers, chemical mixing tanks and laboratory equipment are vulnerable to backflow, etc.
What is a backflow prevention device?
Backflow preventers stop contaminants from entering the public water supply and posing a health risk to the community. Backflow prevention is vital because it helps to ensure that the municipal water supply remains safe and free of contaminants.
Are there any different types of backflow preventers? Which one is suitable for my needs?
There are several types of backflow preventers, including:
- Reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valves
- Double check valves
- Pressure vacuum breaker valves
The type of backflow preventer you may need depends on your building’s plumbing system and also the most common contaminants the plumbing is susceptible to. Quality backflow prevention services should always help determine the most appropriate make and model for your needs.
What is backflow RPZ testing?
Your home may have an RPZ or Reduced Pressure Zone. The zone’s consistent pressure serves as a backflow prevention device to prevent contaminants from flowing backward. At Air Engineers Service Experts, our certified testers focus on:
- Annual backflow RPZ testing
- RPZ inspections
- Backflow prevention device installation and maintenance
Since preventing trouble is always easier than repairing it, you should try to have your RPZ valve inspected each year as recommended.
How often do backflow preventers have to be tested and maintained?
Backflow preventers commonly need to be tested annually to ensure that they are functioning correctly, although the ultimate maintenance needs depend on the type of backflow preventer you have and its current condition.
Can I install a backflow preventer on by myself, or should I hire a professional?
Backflow preventers are complicated technical devices, meaning installation is best left to a professional with the right tools and experience. Our backflow prevention specialists will ensure that the device is installed correctly and meets all local regulations and standards.
What are the expenses involved in installing and maintaining a backflow prevention system?
Costs depend on many factors. You should consider the type of backflow preventer you need and the complexity of your property’s plumbing system as well as the cost of any needed parts and labor. Give us a call at 904-450-5672 for a free quote.
How can I tell if my backflow preventer is not working right?
There are a few signs that may indicate that your backflow preventer is not working correctly including:
- A large, sudden change in water pressure.
- Unusual sounds coming from the prevention device.
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to contact a professional backflow prevention service provider as soon as possible.
What are the risks of ignoring backflow prevention installation?
Without a backflow prevention device, the backflow may contaminate your supply of potable water. This contamination could also enter the public water supply, posing a risk toward entire community. This may leave you open to health or legal consequences depending on the significance of the situation.
Are there legal requirements or codes requiring backflow prevention systems in Jacksonville?
The regulations and codes that require backflow prevention systems vary by jurisdiction. In some areas, they are required by law for certain types of plumbing systems or for plumbing designed to handle specific contaminants. A professional backflow prevention service provider can help assess any applicable regulations for your plumbing system.
When Does My Backflow Device Need Testing?
- Air Gaps (AG) shall be inspected at intervals not exceeding one (1) year to ensure that they continue to meet the requirements.
- Double Check Valve Backflow Prevention Assembly (DC) shall be tested at intervals not exceeding one (1) year to ensure that both check valves hold pressure at 2.0 or greater under all pressure differentials.
- Double Check Detector Backflow Prevention Assembly (DCDA) shall be tested at intervals not exceeding one (1) year to ensure that both check valves hold pressure and do not leak under all pressure differentials.
- Pressure Vacuum Breakers (PVB) shall be tested at intervals not to exceed six (6) months (annually, if installed on an irrigation system) to verify that the air inlet opens fully when water pressure and the check valve holds closed under pressure.
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