Backflow Installation and Testing

back flowBackflow occurs when contaminated water reverses flow and enters clean water lines. This poses a serious health risk and can corrode pipes.

Backflow prevention devices prevent dangerous bacteria and other contaminants from entering your water supply. They are required by most municipal codes and can be tested to ensure proper operation. For professional help, contact the experts at Plumber Tampa.

Backflow preventers are designed to protect a property’s water supply from contaminants by making sure that the water can only flow one way. In the event that pressure changes cause a water line to backflow, the backflow preventer will stop the water from leaking out of the piping system and into the municipal water supply. Backflow preventers are installed in apartments, condominium units, commercial buildings, and even single-family homes to help preserve sanitary drinking water.

A double check valve assembly (DCVA) and a pressure vacuum breaker assembly (PVBA) are the most common types of backflow preventers. While a DCVA is more likely to be found in a home plumbing system, PVBAs are most often installed in irrigation systems and hose bibs. Both can be purchased at hardware and plumbing stores, but only a licensed backflow testing company can tell you which one is right for your home.

All backflow preventers must be readily accessible for testing (if testable), maintenance, and repair. They should not be located in pits or vaults below ground level, and they should not be placed in areas where they can be submerged. Outdoor installations are exposed to weather conditions including soil corrosion, freezing temperatures, and vandalism, so some type of enclosure may be required.

The backflow prevention assemblies should be sized hydraulically, taking into account the flow requirements of the system and the head loss of the device. They must also be able to handle fluctuating pressure, so it is recommended that a soft-seated check valve be installed ahead of the RPZ to prevent nuisance dripping and potential fouling of the assembly.

All backflow preventers should be protected from freezing temperatures, and the use of non-compatible materials should be avoided. For example, brass fittings are not compatible with copper tubing and should not be used in a backflow prevention assembly. In addition, a strainer should be placed on all fire lines to filter out any foreign matter that could enter the lines and potentially compromise the safety of those in the building. It is recommended that all assemblies be insulated to protect them from freezing temperatures.


If your backflow preventer is installed correctly, it can ensure that contaminated water never enters your clean water supply. However, these devices can be difficult to install and must be tested often to keep them in working order. A failed test can result in fines and even the loss of your water supply, so it’s important to get this service done on a regular basis.

The first step in installing a backflow device is to determine which type of system will work best for your needs. Options range from simple check valves to more sophisticated air gaps and vacuum breaker systems. It’s essential to hire an experienced professional to handle the installation process, as incorrectly installed devices can lead to costly problems down the road.

A backflow prevention device is a vital piece of equipment for many properties and facilities, including apartment complexes and restaurants. It can help protect the health of people who use the facilities and prevent water contamination that could affect the quality of the city’s public water supply. This is why municipal codes often require that these devices be tested annually, and the failure of any backflow prevention device to pass testing can result in hefty fines or even a loss of water service.

Backflow prevention devices are usually installed downstream of the water meter on your property. Some devices may be installed in a vault below the water meter, while others may be mounted on a wall or in a building. In most cases, these devices will be protected with a durable protective enclosure to help prevent tampering and other environmental factors that could impact their function.

Depending on the backflow prevention assembly type and location, some types of devices will need to be tested at different intervals. For example, some residential irrigation backflow assemblies need to be tested annually, while other devices require testing on a tri-annual basis. It is the responsibility of the owner to hire a qualified backflow tester to inspect and test the assembly in accordance with local regulations.

While a backflow preventer might seem like an expensive addition to your home plumbing system, it is actually quite inexpensive compared to other plumbing work. In fact, the cost of a backflow prevention device can be less than $100, and installing one can save you money in the long run. Plus, it’s much better to be safe than sorry, as backflow can cause serious issues for your family and business.


Backflow testing is an important part of keeping your property’s water supply safe and up to code. This service checks that your backflow preventer device is working correctly by assessing its pressure levels. Dirty or contaminated water is prevented from back-siphoning into your clean drinking water by these devices. They’re mandated by municipal codes to be tested annually and kept in good condition. Failure to do so may result in fines or even having your water service disconnected.

Testing begins with shutting off the main water valve to the backflow preventer device. Then, a certified backflow plumber will hook up test kit hoses to the assembly and pressurize it to see how it holds up. The test also evaluates if the relief valve opens when the set pressure is reached. Licensed backflow plumbers will make sure everything passes before turning off the water valve and allowing water to flow freely again.

Depending on the type of backflow prevention device, different test equipment is needed to analyze it. This includes a calibrated test gauge and an observation room where the technician can safely watch all the parts of the backflow preventer assembly work. The test procedure is also regulated to ensure safety, and only certified technicians perform it. This is especially important for installations or replacements of backflow assemblies in confined spaces where entry and exit are restricted by tight spaces and require special entry and evacuation protocols.

The type of backflow preventer needed for each water line differs according to the contamination risks associated with that water. The most common types are double check valve assemblies (DCVA) and pressure vacuum breaker assemblies (PVBA). DCVAs are usually installed in the ground and PVBAs on a building’s exterior. However, some specialized water lines require single-check valves or other more complex devices that are difficult to install and test.

A commercial backflow preventer must be tested annually by a certified backflow tester to keep your business in compliance with municipal code and protect the public’s water supply. If you don’t have a backflow prevention device installed, it’s not too late to do so. Contact a licensed backflow plumber today to have your backflow device installed or tested on your commercial property.


Backflow preventers must be inspected and tested to ensure that they are working properly. In most areas, these inspections are required by law. They allow a professional to discover any issues that may be occurring and resolve them before they turn into major problems that could impact the quality of your water supply. The inspector will first evaluate the system to make sure that all parts are functioning correctly and have not been damaged or worn over time. They will also check to see that the proper piping is attached and that braces, brackets, and mounting pads are properly installed. These are important factors because the weight of the assembly and the forces of moving water can be substantial. It is also necessary to check that all piping connections are made with the correct type of pipe.

When a backflow preventer is not properly maintained, it can result in the spread of disease-causing microorganisms. These pathogens can include Shigella, a strain of bacteria that causes diarrhea and gastroenteritis. Other diseases that can be spread through cross-connections include hepatitis A, hepatitis C, salmonella, and E. coli.

A backflow preventer should be placed in a location where it is easy to access for maintenance and testing. This includes making sure that there is enough clearance for testing and maintenance, that the test cocks are easily accessible, and that there is sufficient space around the device to clean it effectively.

It is also important to ensure that the right tools are available for repairs when needed. Typically, standard hand tools will work fine for most models of backflow prevention assemblies. However, some backflow prevention devices require special tools that are specifically designed for a particular model. If the wrong tool is used, it can cause damage that will require a more costly repair.

Another consideration when deciding where to place your backflow preventer is whether it should be mounted vertically or horizontally. A horizontal installation is preferred because it can help prevent the closure of the check valves in the event of a backflow incident. A vertical installation, on the other hand, can cause a significant amount of pressure to be applied to the check valves during this event. This can lead to the failure of these valves, which could then cause backflow.