Categories Commercial Plumbing, Residential Plumbing

How does a backflow testing & repair benefit my home or business?

So what is the backflow prevention devices purpose? 

backflow slide

The backflow prevention device is a plumbing product installed on the water line that runs to your home or business. It’s primary purpose is to protect the cities water supply if a reversal of water occurs. In better terms, if the water starts moving backwards or away from your home or business, the backflow device will open and dump that water out. Thus protecting the cities water supply. So if the backflows purpose is to protect the cities water, why do I have to pay for backflow testing and repairs? Most contaminants that may get into the city main usually come from a home or business that has a direct or indirect cross connection. Cross connections are a pathway for non potable water like sewer water to mix with potable drinking water. You can avoid most cross connections by hiring a licensed Fort Myers or Naples plumber.  

The backflow prevention device installed outside your Fort Myers, Naples home or business does not directly benefit your home or business. In truth, the most common backflow device here in southwest Florida (Wilkins-Zurn 975xl) will actually lower the incoming pressure to your home or business by 7 psi. You may be asking yourself why these backflow prevention devices are so important or why the city requires you to test your backflow? Here in Southwest Florida, the backflow prevention device is installed just after the city meter as close as possible to the water line it is protecting. You are required to maintain and test a backflow assembly that is meant to protect the the cities water supply. So you can benefit from regular backflow testing and repairs but only if everyone else is doing the same.  The water supply is only as strong as it’s weakest link. If your neighbor is not testing their backflow or performing regular backflow repairs, you could end up getting the contaminants from their home.

How can a backflow condition occur?

There are many ways a backflow condition can occur.  In most cases the water pressure in your home must exceed the incoming water pressure from the city or a sudden loss or drop in pressure from a city water main break can cause the potable water to quickly move in the other direction. During a condition like this, a simple garden hose running  submerged in a pool would start back siphoning the pool water back into the city water main. Other conditions could be caused by poor plumbing work performed by an unlicensed plumber.

How do we test Backflow prevention devices ?

We test Backflow devices using the Watts TK9A test kit. It tests your backflows outlet shut off valve, and spring check valves, it also tests for proper operation of the relief valve on RPPD (Reduced Pressure Principal Devices). After your backflow testing, the backflow is tagged with a company certificate to identify it as a maintained backflow and registered with the proper agencies in your area.

Can I connect  a garden hose to my backflow or use the shut off valves on it to shut off my homes water?

We have come across many backflow prevention devices that are being used by local pressure washing companies for their water source. You cannot connect a garden hose to the test cocks installed on your backflow or use the shut off valves as your homes water shut off. The test cocks and water shut off valves are there for the purpose of testing.

If you are in need of backflow testing or repair in Fort Myers or Naples Florida. Do not hesitate to call us for a free estimate. We carry many of the common repair kits and have a 24 hour emergency plumber certified  for backflow testing & repair. We are also a certified plumbing contractor in  Naples, Fort Myers to install new backflow prevention assemblies.

Categories Commercial Plumbing, Residential Plumbing

Drain cleaning equipment the professionals use to unclog a drain

Below is a list of equipment we use and prefer. An important thing to consider is what your needs are and the amount of money you would like to spend. For example, we rarely run into a need to clear any drain larger than 6 inch in diameter. Most of the machines listed below work well for us and suit our customers, mostly residential and light commercial, industrial. Rental apartment property managers seem to like the Ridgid K50 for it’s versatility. In my opinion this machine lacks the power to cut roots at long distances so was not considered when buying drain cleaning machines. With that said, the K50 suits others very well so take our view on things to be what works best for us and our type of sewer service call.

Ridgid k60
The ridgid k60-sp drain cleaning machine is an excellent tree root cutting snake. It’s 600 rpm’s and a 3″ cutter head quickly devour any roots in your mainline sewer.

The Ridgid K-60sp drain cleaner. A sectional machine we use for 3″ through 8″ clogged lines. We use the 7/8 inch cables but it can also run the 5/8 inch sectional cables. I have not had any problems getting the 7/8 inch cable through a 3″ p-trap. Each 7/8 inch cable length is 15 feet long and very strong. The sp machine comes with several different heads like the shark tooth cutter, funnel auger and grease spade. I have found this machine to be very durable and easy to use. Most drum style drain cleaning machines spin at 300 rpm’s. This k60 spins at 600 rpm’s and devours large tree root clogs.  What I don’t like about it is the manual feed. When I first bought this machine I pushed the handle down expecting it to quickly feed out, not the case. I have 105 feet of 7/8 inch cable and have found it some what difficult to pull that much cable back without the aid of a auto feed. This drain cleaning machine doesn’t take up much room in your truck and easily transports to roof jobs.

The Ridgid k3800 is a versatile drain cleaning machine, durable and tough on clogged drains.
The Ridgid k3800 is a versatile drain cleaning machine, durable and tough on clogged drains.

The Ridgid k3800 has many great features that make it a must for any plumbing service company.  The drums of this drain cleaning machine can be removed and quickly changed out to another size cable. We carry drums containing 50 feet of 5/16 inch cable, 75 feet of 3/8 inch cable and 90 feet of 1/2 inch cable. Having three drums loaded with different size snakes is like having three different drain cleaning machines on your truck. We use the 5/16″ cable for tubs, the 3/8″ cable for kitchen sinks and the 1/2″ cable for laterals. The drum of this drain cleaner pivots to adjust for different height drains, has an optional wheeled cart that easily fits through door ways and a gear reduction motor. When this drain cleaner encounters a tough clog, it gears down for extra torque.  You can pivot the front part up and use it as a handle to carry it on to roofs, remove the drum if to heavy and carry it up in sections.

Sewer Camera inspections in Naples and Fort Myers, FL
Sewer Camera inspections in Naples and Fort Myers, FL

The Ridgid Seesnake sewer camera system easily diagnosis any problems with your sewer or drain. With so many different heads and size cables to choose from, it can be difficult to know if your drain cleaning machine did a good job of permanently fixing that sewer or drain problem. Some drains have broken or cracked pipes that a traditional drain cleaning machine just can’t fix. We recommend a sewer video camera inspection for any line 3″ and larger. From my experience here in Florida, 2″ and smaller lines usually have grease or hair clogs, not broken or cracked pipes. Problems with 3″ or larger lines usually have something worth viewing. In many cases it is tree roots entering a cracked pipe, the sewer camera inspection tells me I need to run a large cutter head. I then re- camera the line until the camera shows you it’s all out. A sewer video camera is a drain cleaning tool you will find difficult to work without. Why guess?

Great snake to clear blocked or clogged toilets
Great snake to clear blocked or clogged toilets

The Ridgid toilet auger. 6 feet in length, just long enough to go through the trap way of a toilet. It has a rubberized bottom that will prevent you from scratching the toilet.  I can’t tell you how many scratched up toilets I have encountered from people running normal hand driven snakes trying to clear their clogged toilet.  This is hand driven but you realy don’t need a powered snake to clear a clogged toilet.

The Ridgid  sewer and pipe locator. when the sewer camera finds a problem, this locates the area to dig.
The Ridgid sewer and pipe locator. when the sewer camera finds a problem, this locates the area to dig.

The Ridgid locator is excellent for tracing sewer or other lines that are buried. Our Sewer video camera has a built in 512hz sonde capable of sending a signal to this machine. We simply push are sewer camera to any area to be located and turn on the sonde, This locator then picks up that signal to tell us where to dig. We also have the ability to energize metal lines like your copper pipes beneath your slab. This helps us trace out where a line is when listening for a leak with our slab leak detector.