Part of your plumbing maintenance should be backflow testing. However, most homeowners don’t think the testing is necessary or don’t understand why it’s important. Find out why you need backflow testing and what it is from licensed plumbers in Chicago.

Understanding the Intricacies of a Backflow System

A backflow system is an assembly that keeps the water in your supply from siphoning. If you have siphoning, your water could become contaminated and make its way into your drinking water. 

Backflow testing is a way to check your plumbing for a dangerous issue. Typically, backflow occurs when a plumbing system loses its pressure. The water and sewage stops flowing in the right direction and ends up in your water. When you have a backflow assembly, water is unable to flow backward. The pressure drop won’t lead to water contamination, and you can rest easy. 

A backflow test is something that happens during a typical plumbing inspection. If you work with a reputable plumber, they’ll take measures to make sure you don’t get dirty water in your drinking supply lines. Your regular maintenance won’t be in vain.

Why Backflow Problems Occur

So, you now know that backflow can happen when the pressure in a system drops. But what causes your plumbing to lose pressure in the first place? There are more reasons for this to happen than you might imagine. 

For instance, a pump could fail, or a system modification may affect the pressure. Line breaks and system maintenance could also be to blame. For whatever reason the drop in pressure happens, you can be certain that you need backflow protection to keep you safe. 

Who Needs Backflow Testing the Most?

Because anyone can experience a drop in system pressure, backflow testing is more than just a suggestion. It’s often a requirement. Regardless of where you live and the size of your home, backflow testing matters. 

Rules regarding backflow testing aren’t in place to protect you. In fact, they protect the public drinking water. It’s neither a plot to make money nor an attempt to control your home. By making sure residents do backflow testing, government officials protect the public water. 

As a homeowner, you probably don’t need to worry about backflow. But, if you own a certain business, you could be extremely vulnerable. Medical buildings, restaurants, and industrial complexes are particularly at risk for backflow issues. 

How Frequently Should You Get Backflow Testing?

People often wonder about the frequency of backflow testing. If you had backflow testing done years ago, there’s no guarantee it will protect you now. Over time, your backflow prevention could fail you. In theory, the assemblies should last for decades. But this isn’t always the case. Issues like excess pressure, extreme temperatures, and hard water can ruin the assembly. 

Unfortunately, you won’t know your backflow assembly stops working until you need it. By then, you could have contaminated water. Although rules vary by location, most locations require backflow testing to occur every year. 

Of course, you don’t need to take our word for it. If you have concerns about your backflow testing or don’t know how frequently to test it, you should speak with an experienced plumber. 

The Rules in Chicago 

In the state of Illinois, all commercial properties and some residential properties need to have backflow devices. The devices must be properly installed, tested every year, and certified by a licensed plumber. 

You can’t just have any local plumber test your backflow assembly. For the state to recognize the testing, you must have a plumber who is certified in backflow testing. Before you schedule an appointment, make sure your plumber has the appropriate certifications.

Who to Call for Backflow Testing and How It Works

If you’re now convinced that you need backflow testing, you’re probably wondering who you should call for help. Fortunately, this is an easy question to answer. You should call an experienced plumber who does sewer drain cleaning and backflow prevention. 

Before you pick a plumber, make sure they are licensed and bonded. If anything goes wrong, the license and insurance protect you from being on the hook for expenses. Furthermore, it’s an indication that the company is professional and reputable.

You should also make sure the plumber has a long history of satisfied clients. Because backflow prevention is such a serious issue, you don’t want a plumber who cuts corners. You need the peace of mind of knowing that the plumber was thorough in their inspection.

How the Testing Works

From a distance, the backflow testing process is simple. But in reality, it’s not something a home or business owner should attempt on their own. There’s too much on the line for you to try and yourself, and you also need a plumber to submit the proper paperwork for the inspection.

Generally, the testing process takes about 30 minutes. It could take much longer if the assembly doesn’t work and the plumber needs to make a repair. Depending on the repair, the whole process could take a few hours.

When testing the assembly, a plumber opens and closes valves. They look for irregularities and then fill out the necessary paperwork. Unless you have a trained eye, you probably can’t tell when there’s an irregularity with the assembly. 

Reach Out to Our Licensed Plumbers in Chicago

To learn more about backflow testing or to schedule an appointment for our testing, you should give us a call. We do more than backflow testing – we also give your home’s plumbing a detailed inspection. As we perform an inspection, we look for the smallest of flaws in your system. 

Your plumbing needs maintenance and regular testing. To make sure you don’t drink contaminated water or have a major plumbing leak, you should work with our team. Not only will we keep you safe from contaminated water, but we’ll also reduce your need for plumbing repairs. 

If you’re ready to get backflow testing, give us a call at J. Blanton Plumbing. Our licensed plumbers in Chicago are ready to help.