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.