Backflow Testing: What’s the big deal?

Backflow testing is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t only call a plumber when something is leaking, backed up, or not working. Preventative maintenance and testing can prevent problems long before they affect your family, friends, customers, or neighbors. That being said, let’s start with the basics.

Why hire JBG Plumbing vs. any backflow company?

  • Unlike backflow testing only companies, JBG has the ability to identify, diagnose, and then fix any backflow issues you may have! Why pay one company to test and another to come to do repairs when you can work with the same amazing team from start to finish?
  • Another huge advantage to using JBG Plumbing over a company that only performs testing is that: JBG doesn’t charge again for the return trip for a second passed inspection after the backflow device has been repaired.
  • Don’t pay double for the same service as you would with other backflow testing companies. When it comes to backflow testing, prevention, and remediation, JBG has extensive experience. We are familiar with local and state requirements and can make sure you don’t get a 30-day termination notice for an untested backflow device!

What is backflow?

When a water distribution system is being designed it is built with the intention of water flowing in a single direction; for example, from the city water supply to your home or business. To accomplish this a backflow device is installed within the system to make it difficult/impossible for water to flow in reverse; potentially allowing unsanitary or polluted water to travel towards the primary water supply and be distributed. If the system experiences significant changes to pressure caused by decreased supply, increased demand, freezing/bursting, or other anomalies; then the door is open for water to move backward through the system and potentially pass contaminated water back into distribution.

What causes backflow?

Cross connections are the most likely culprits when looking at causes of backflow as they have the biggest probability of allowing contaminants into the primary water distribution. Any time the pressure in a tank, water trough, or similar dips below the pressure within the system the door is open for back siphonage to occur. Back siphonage is the process by which dirty water is pulled back towards the clean water supply.

On the opposite side of this coin is backpressure. Backpressure is created by abnormally high pressure within a system such as a recirculated water heater system. This increase in pressure can actively force potentially unsanitary water backward and into primary distribution (your drinking water).

How do I know if I may have an issue with backflow?

Spotting a backflow problem can be easy as a broken line or difficult as a water valve left open and unmonitored. If you are having issues with poor drainage, or you are even seeing water flowing in the wrong direction, then you have a backflow problem. These problems not only run the risk of ruining clean drinking water but also encourage the growth of bacteria and create noxious odors.

Act early if you notice any of these signs before the problem has a chance to get out of control.

What is backflow testing and how does it help

Backflow testing is a proactive measure taken to make sure that drinking water does not become polluted or contaminated. This quick and simple process makes sure that dirty water never gets the chance to infiltrate the water supply and keeps drinking water clean and safe for everybody!

JBG plumbers will examine cross-connections, check the pressure within the system and make sure that water is flowing only in the direction it was designed to. This process can identify not only current backflow problems but also make note of potential future issues and address them before backflow occurs. This could prevent the introduction of polluted water into your drinking water as well as costly damages that often result from persistent backflow.

Who needs backflow testing & protection?

Backflow testing and prevention is something everybody with plumbing should invest in, but in many cases, it is actually mandatory.

The state of Texas annual backflow testing is required for restaurants, dentists, soda fountains, all buildings over 3 stories tall, and in many cases, counties require it for residential/commercial lawn irrigation (Navasota being an example that is close to home).

What are the consequences of failing to pass these tests?

In College Station, it is an automatic 30-day termination notice from the city! When you consider the costs associated with shutting down for 30 days the investment in backflow testing and prevention is actually a money-saver.

Be sure to check your local guidelines and be informed about your community guidelines. As an example, see the link below for the College Station ordinance around backflow testing:

JBG handles these sorts of emergencies every day. We know the signs and the best way to remedy problems. There are a variety of ways to solve these problems and we will quickly recommend the best approach given the unique requirements of your home or commercial space.

A backflow issue should not be ignored. Avoid significant damage by giving JBG a call when you first notice a problem on your property.