In my line of work I have heard more than one home or business owner complain about their annual backflow device testing. When I hear them explaining their feelings and annoyances I normally take the time to explain why it is so important to have the backflow devices tested and why it is essential that the devices are working correctly.
Backflow devices protect a water source from being contaminated by whatever the backflow device is connected to. This can be important for obvious reasons, especially when the water source is connected to hazardous equipment.
Backflow prevention is put in place to ensure that there are no problems with contamination of our drinking water or the water line. Our water systems are normally needed for the general health and welfare of the public, so having a device that prevents water from flowing back into the water mains is very important.
There are different types of devices which can be installed, depending on the water system or potential hazard that can occur. A simple device can be installed on your outside faucets for under $5, while a more complext device can be installed on your water connection for over $300.
It is understandable for owners of these devices to become frustrated by the constant testing that occurs. Since many of these devices are tested annually they mostly don’t worry about the consequences that may happen if it weren’t working correctly. It is important to realize that there are still over 10,000 reported cases of backflow contamination each year.
Backflow devices can fail to work properly. The reasons behind these failings range from the equipment to the conditions of the piping and divices.
The law requires backflow devices to be installed in accordance with building and plumbing codes. The law requires that these devices also be tested to make certain that they are installed and operating correctly.
It’s important to replace a backflow device that fails to operate correctly. A good tester will be able to tell you why your device is not working correctly. Digitial equipment can now aid in the testers diagnosis.