What is Backflow?

Pressurized water pipes bring drinking water from the source to the tap in your property.  The water should only flow in one direction, but it can flow in the opposite direction or “backflow” backflow device 21 under certain conditions such as a water main break or high demand at a fire hydrant.

Backflow occurs when water runs backward through the water system. The water flowing backward often is non-potable (non-potable water is not treated to drinking water standards and is not meant for human consumption) and may contaminate the supply of drinking water. 

What is Backflow Testing?
Most backflow assemblies include a check valve or valves, a set of springs, and occasionally a relief valve. These components must be tested annually and maintained. A backflow test pressurizes the assembly the  and then each part is isolated and tested see that it is operating as it should.  The standards to pass inspection are that the check valves must hold a minimum pressure and the relief valves must open before a certain pressure differential is reached.  

What is a Cross Connection?
A cross connection is any connection between piping that carries drinking water and piping that carries non-potable water.  A backflow device is required so that the water’s taste or odor is not affected and harmful chemicals or pollutants do not enter the drinking water.

Pools, irrigation systems, hot tubs, fire suppression systems, radiant heating systems, boilers, soda fountain machines, and auxiliary water systems (wells) are examples of cross connections. 

Does Ohio Require Testing?
The Ohio EPA requires inspection and testing of all testable backflow preventers every 12 months (also part of plumbing code requirement) and the repair or replacement of inoperable devices. 

These backflow devices are required to keep the water that passes through them and into the plumbing system from coming back into the water supply while protecting the quality and safety of the drinking water system.

Backflow prevention devices have parts that can fail and annual backflow tests can help to ensure the drinking water supplied to your property remains safe. 

Backflow prevention is a joint responsibility of the regulatory authorities, the local plumbing inspection officials, the water supplier, and the consumer. Each has a role in eliminating the possibility of backflow.

As a water consumer, you have the dual responsibility of protecting the water users within your backflow testing premises and of protecting the public water system from contamination originating from conditions on those premises. This responsibility begins at the service connection and includes the entire distribution system.

If you are in need of a backflow test or have equipment that needs to be repaired or replaced, call Ohio Plumbing & Boiler at 614-863-6666 We can take care of all your backflow needs.

  • Annual Backflow Testing Services
  • Backflow Repairs on Failed Assemblies
  • Replacement of Old Assemblies
  • New Installations

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Topics: backflow testing, backflow devices