A backflow prevention device is necessary to keep the water coming into your commercial property safe and drinkable by preventing contaminants from flowing backward into the pipes and fresh water supply.Making sure your property’s backflow prevention device is in working condition is not only good business practice – it’s the law.

What is backflow?

To put it very simply, backflow happens when water from an unwanted source flows back the wrong way into your pipes (for a more technical definition, check out The American Backflow Prevention Association’s page). There are two types of backflow:

  • Backpressure. Can be caused by an increase of downstream pressure in the public water supply system, a drop in your building’s potable water supply system, or a combination of both. Temperature increases in boilers are a common cause of backpressure.
  • Back-Siphonage. Can occur when pressure is reduced (think of the vacuum that is created when you’re drinking water through a straw). This can happen when a water main breaks or if there is a high demand on the water system, as when fire-fighting is taking place nearby.

If your backflow prevention device is not functioning properly, there exists the potential for sewage, pesticides, industrial descalers and other harmful pollutants to be forced back into your property’s clean water system. Should this occur, the risk to human health can be serious.

When should I have my backflow prevention device tested?

By law, commercial properties must have all backflow prevention devices tested when they are installed, and annually after that. You also need to schedule testing if you relocate the device or if you have it repaired.

Why not just go with a Backflow Testing Only service?

Unlike “Backflow Testing Only” companies, a full-service commercial plumbing contractor like Andersen Commercial Plumbing can:

  • Provide all testing as required by law. Andersen’s licensed Backflow Testers are fully qualified to test both domestic water and fire system backflow prevention devices, and we can submit all required forms to the Water Department on your behalf.
  • Perform any repairs your backflow device may need to pass required tests. In the event your backflow prevention device is in need of repair or replacement, we can also provide up-front estimates so you’ll know what your costs will be before we ever start any work.

Have questions about backflow prevention device requirements for your commercial property? Andersen’s staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today to with questions or schedule an onsite consultation.