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What Is Backflow Testing and Why Is It Important?

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Answering Questions About Backflow Testing

For those wondering what backflow testing is, it's ok. Most people don’t know. Backflow testing and certification is a practice that is necessary for many businesses, but most homeowners won’t ever require it, with the exception that some irrigation systems have backflow preventers.

For business owners, backflow testing is required on a scheduled basis to ensure that business practices won’t contaminate clean water. Read on to get a better understanding of backflow testing and certification from licensed backflow specialists.

What Causes Backflow?

Under normal circumstances, fresh water in plumbing flows only in one direction, straight to the point of use. The reason for this is to keep treated water constantly flowing through pipes, so that clean water stays clean and isn’t contaminated. Backflow occurs when water flows in the wrong direction through piping. Usually, the cause of this is due to siphoning from a drop in pressure in the waterline. This can occur during a major water line breakage or when demand is so high that it robs pressure from a smaller branch line. These situations can happen in residential plumbing, but mainly these problems occur on the municipal side of water lines.

When backflow occurs, contaminated water can be pulled into sterile freshwater lines. This can contaminate all of the water in the line and lead to dangers for anyone that uses the water. To prevent backflow, plumbing codes call for certain practices and devices to be installed in homes and in city water infrastructure.

Around the home, backflow is handled by the use of air gaps that prevent contaminated water from being siphoned back into water lines. On the municipal side of things, special devices called “backflow preventers” are installed.

What Is the Certification Process?backflow testing

The certification process occurs every time the backflow preventer is tested, and anytime a backflow incident occurs. The certification process ensures that clean water stays clean and that contaminated water is properly flushed from the system before anyone can be harmed by it.

During a backflow preventer certification, a technician will use special procedures and tools to ensure that a backflow preventer will do its job if a backflow incident occurs.

professional plumberWho Performs Backflow Testing and Certification?

Homeowners and businesses should always use professional tradesmen to get work done, especially when it comes to plumbing. However, not every plumber is certified to work on backflow prevention devices. When shopping around for a plumber that specializes in backflow testing and certification, always check to see that they have the credential to be able to check and certify backflow prevention devices.

To obtain the training to test backflow preventers, plumbers must take extra classes and pass technical tests. Once they are certified, they must recertify every two years to ensure they are still competent to test backflow preventers. The fact that backflow preventers required such stringent governance is a clear indicator of how important they are to freshwater infrastructure. People who own properties with backflow preventers should be diligent about getting them tested on a regular basis.

About Green Hills Plumbing

Green Hills Plumbing has been solving plumbing problems for over 50 years. They offer complete service for residential and commercial customers. Call Green Hills Plumbing today for regular or emergency plumbing service in Nashville, TN today.