What is Backflow Testing?

What is Backflow Testing?

Larger properties – like retail stores, schools, hospitals, office buildings, etc. – see a pretty large number of people every day, and just about everyone is using water in that structure at one point or another each day. All of this water use can be a real strain on a building’s pipes and valves, as well as the entire system as a whole. In the best case scenario if something goes wrong, you might see some leaky pipes straining to keep up with the high demand; in one the worst case scenarios, there could be backflow.

What is Backflow & Why Is It Bad?

Backflow occurs when water in one system or pipe does not reach its intended destination, usually because it actually flows backwards. This backwards flow of water can be caused by damaged parts and equipment, or by too much pressure in one portion of the pipework system. This might not seem like a huge deal at first but it can quickly become a serious health issue if contaminated water flows into the wrong systems, like used raw sewage pumping into drinking or bathing water. Sometimes the backflow is minor, causing enough contamination to be dangerous but not enough to be immediately noticeable.

How Does Backflow Testing Work?

Backflow testing, put simply, is an examination of a building’s or system’s water intake pressure to determine if it is flowing in the right direction and only in the right direction. The larger the building, the more complicated it can become to complete a backflow test. There may need to be multiple points inspected to determine if water sources remain clean or unobstructed.

While many commercial buildings are required by law to finish a backflow test once every five years, residential homeowners are free to test as often as they want. Does this mean they should never test their backflow? Absolutely not. Homes can be just as susceptible to backflow issues, especially if they have large sprinkler systems, pools, and multiple kitchens or bathrooms.

If you have not had your property backflow tested this year, you should consider having it done to protect yourself and your family. Contact Plumbing Solutions, LLC and our plumbers in Columbia for backflow testing and certification services. We can work on structures of all sizes!