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Understanding Backflow Testing and Why It Is Necessary

The system in your building uses specific pipes to bring water inside for occupants to use. Many municipal codes require regular testing of specific buildings, including multi-unit residential complexes, restaurants, and other commercial enterprises, to ensure that their water systems are operating properly.

What Is Backflow?

To understand why backflow testing is important, you need to understand what backflow is. Backflow occurs when used water reverses its flow out of a building and contaminates clean water lines. It can happen where there is a cross-connection between clean and used water lines. A burst pipe during a cold Lincoln, NE winter can also lead to this issue. In addition, backflow is common if your building has a fire protection system. It can occur due to several common conditions, including:

  • Heavy water usage from a public source
  • Damage to water supply lines
  • Pump failures

Backflow is dangerous because it can contain various contaminants like fecal matter, pesticides, or chemicals, all of which can pose serious health concerns.

What If You Have a Backflow Preventer?

Backflow preventers are check valve units installed on pipes to keep water flowing in one direction away from a building. These mechanical devices open and close valves automatically to eliminate wastewater from entering the drinking water system. You may think that’s enough to protect your building and its occupants, but it is not. Backflow preventers require periodic testing to ensure that they are working properly.

What Happens During a Backflow Test?

A certified company like Select Plumbing needs to conduct backflow testing. Testing requires temporarily disconnecting your water supply. Our personnel will do this for you. During backflow preventer testing, one of our technicians will test the device by opening and closing its valves.

At the same time, we will take pressure measurements and look for any pressure changes and then ensure that your system activates properly. We will also make sure that your system has no code violations. If no repairs are needed, the test takes about 30 minutes. If needed, we may recommend replacement. When we have completed the test, Select Plumbing will reinitiate your water service.

Avoid Unnecessary Damage and Problems With a Backflow Test

Failing to undergo regular backflow testing can have serious consequences. You may be in danger of having your water shut off permanently. Beyond putting the health of everyone in your building at risk, a faulty backflow preventer can also cause damage to your building, which can cost thousands of dollars. Like any other mechanical device, backflow preventers will eventually wear out.

Let the experienced team at Select Plumbing perform your annual backflow testing. We’ll ensure that your entire water system is operating properly.