Backflow testing, inspection and certification
Having consistently clean water flowing through your building’s commercial plumbing system is sometimes taken for granted. Luckily, your system was designed to protect your water from pollutants and contaminants. And organizations, such as the EPA, exist to protect building occupants from unforeseen emergencies.
The EPA requires backflow prevention devices to be installed on all domestic water supplies, fire protection water supplies, lawn irrigation system lines, etc., and those backflow assemblies must be tested every year to ensure they are working as designed. The design is simple, it allows water to flow in one direction but never in the opposite direction and its sole job is to prevent drinking water from becoming contaminated. Backflow prevention, simply put, prevents contaminated water from flowing back into your building’s clean water supply and the city’s clean water supply.
Backflows are referred to as backflow preventers, backflow assemblies, backflow devices, backflow valves, RPZ’s, etc, all of which are used to describe this vital mechanical device.
Cross-connection control and backflow prevention
Drinking water piping is run throughout your building and when it connects to various plumbing fixtures, a cross-connection exists. Drinking water contamination occurs if and when a contaminant is introduced to one of those plumbing fixtures and it flows back (backflow) into your clean water system. But if your domestic water system is fitted with backflow prevention devices, they will protect the integrity of your system and your drinking water.
Cross-connections can occur in a number of common places like a faucet, washroom, garden hose or dishwasher. If a faucet, for example, is situated lower than the top of a bathtub or laundry tub, and the tub is filled with water containing cleaning chemicals, the clean water supply would immediately be contaminated. There are dozens of contaminants like bacteria, waste, pesticides, metals, toxins, etc., that can be introduced into a system. The solution in this case would be to raise the faucet higher so that it’s situated above the tub, which creates an air gap between the faucet and contaminated liquid.
Another example of cross-contamination would be the end of a garden hose being placed into a pail of dirty water, allowing the dirty water to flow back into the clean water supply. Backflow preventers like vacuum breakers are placed on the hose bibs to prevent this type of contamination from occurring.
Backflow also occurs when the pressure in the water delivery main is lower than it is supposed to be. Should there be a ruptured main, back-siphonage can occur, which is also a form of backflow.
Finally, backflow can occur when a water pump gets cross connected with the internal plumbing system. Since the EPA requires annual backflow device certification by a CCCDI-licenced plumber, your building and its occupants will always be in good hands. Backflow preventers, when installed correctly and well maintained, can keep that consistent, clean flow of water going in the right direction.
Backflow prevention on fire protection systems
Because there are cross-connections on fire protection systems, they must be properly protected, which is why backflow prevention, even on sprinkler systems, must be installed, inspected and maintained.
Ensuring you have backflow protection your commercial plumbing system
Only certified backflow inspectors are qualified to ensure that your commercial property has the protections necessary to prevent backflow contamination. They know what to look for, they know when action needs to be taken and they can give commercial property owners the assurances they need to remain confident that their water will remain uncontaminated, regardless of what’s gone wrong with the plumbing system, inside or in the main lines from the municipality.
For backflow testing, inspection and certification, contact Valley Fire Protection. Our certified, licensed professionals can inspect your entire plumbing system.
Backflow prevention services for commercial irrigation systems
Because many commercial irrigation systems are tied to potable water lines, reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valves need to be installed to protect against back siphonage.
Conducting annual RPZ backflow testing
To ensure that your commercial irrigation system is up to code, a certified contractor must conduct an annual RPZ backflow test. For businesses in Illinois, the state requires that the RPZ test be administered annually.
Valley Fire plumbers have years of experience inspecting RPZ valves, which means they know exactly what to look for as they go over your commercial irrigation system’s RPZ protections.
Certification is mandatory, but Valley Fire handles the paperwork for the client and ensures that the local municipality gets the documentation they need, keeping the client up to code.
Backflow preventer installation
Our services make it easy and pain free for our clients, and this includes installation of backflow prevention solutions.
Backflow preventer repair and replacement
Like any mechanical device, the mechanical parts wear down over time, so after several years a backflow prevention devices may require minor repairs or replacement. Valley’s plumbing vehicles and shop are equipped with various replacement parts from various manufacturers, so repairs are done quickly and with little to no disruption to your business operations.
Our references from existing clients are a testament to our approach to what we do, whether it’s performing an annual RPZ inspection or installation, maintaining, repairing or replacing any portion of a commercial plumbing system. Our customer-centric approach is second to none.
RPZ backflow preventer testing services
Backflow testing is a requirement in Illinois, which means your commercial property needs to be on a schedule that keeps your RPZ valves and your plumbing system up to code. Furthermore, this isn’t something that you can do yourself – you need to bring in a certified RPZ inspector to test your system for you. Valley Fire’s backflow preventer testing will ensure that your RPZ assemblies are in working order and ready to respond when needed. Our advanced backflow testing services go above and beyond what other contractors offer, making Valley Fire the go-to source for backflow prevention services.
Backflow preventer inspections to protect your business
The only way to know if you’re fully protected is through a thorough inspection of your backflow assemblies. In fact, without maintenance and inspections on a regular basis, it’s possible that your backflow assemblies will fail. Whether it’s on your fire protection system, irrigation system or your internal plumbing system, Valley Fire has the experience and expertise necessary to thoroughly inspect all your RPZ assemblies.
Our inspection and maintenance team specializes in fire sprinkler systems for commercial buildings such as warehouses, offices and hotels, as well as residential properties like single-family homes, condos, apartment buildings and townhouses.
RPZ backflow certification
Building owners are forced to pay for dozens of property upgrades and upkeep services every year, but this particular service involves the health and safety of every tenant so it may just conceivably be the most important expense.
Annual RPZ backflow certification is a necessary hoop to jump through because it protects your employees and clients from coming into contact with contaminated water. It’s so important that Illinois requires that your RPZ backflow assemblies be certified, which is a service we provide at Valley Fire Protection. By some estimates, roughly five percent of backflow prevention devices are currently experiencing issues that could lead to failure, which is a good reason to keep our number handy and to keep your system in check with regular testing.
Our clients can attest to the fact that Valley is a customer-centric organization offering industry-leading solutions to ensure backflow issues are dealt with quickly, effectively and efficiently.
Valley Fire’s CCCDI-licensed plumbers are backflow preventer specialists who provide inspection, installation, repair and certification of a wide range of backflow devices.
Our licensed cross-connection control device inspectors evaluate all testable backflow devices.
After testing, the documentation for each backflow device is updated with the most recent test date and results.
Copies of the backflow test results are provided to the proper governmental agency and stored electronically in Valley Fire’s office.
We offer a single point of contact for all compliance issues.
Reduced pressure (RPZ) backflow preventer installation and repair
Unfortunately, installation and repair of an RPZ backflow preventer isn’t something you can leave up to your building’s maintenance crew. This is a highly specialized and important aspect of the plumbing system that must be carried out by a professional plumber who is certified to install and repair RPZ units.
Backflow preventer installation is required in any building that has a lawn irrigation system, fire suppression system, domestic water system, large boiler, etc. A licensed plumber will have the skill set and requirements needed to expertly install and/or repair your RPZ units.
At Valley Fire Protection, we make the process of testing and inspecting, retrofitting, installing and/or repairing existing or new devices, pain free for our clients. Here’s what we offer:
Installation of RPZs and backflow prevention devices
Testing and certification of new and existing backflow devices
Submission of all required testing reports to the appropriate municipality on your behalf
Annual reminders of your next test date
Full compliance with State of Illinois, local and EPA laws
Avoid the hassle and let our specialists take care of the reporting process. Our professionals are skilled in the maintenance and repair of backflow prevention devices. Keep your business safe with Valley Fire Protection experts. Give us a call at (844) 771-3168.
Backflow preventer installation requirements for commercial customers
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Rules and Regulation Title 35 covers guidelines that commercial properties must follow in regard to potable water. The Illinois Plumbing Code has specific rules laid out covering exactly what must be protected with a backflow preventer. For example, if a fire safety system contains additives such as antifreeze, fire retardant or other chemicals, it must be outfitted with a backflow preventer.
The following is a list of types of businesses that must have backflow prevention installed:
- Dry cleaners
- Medical offices
- Funeral homes
- Beauty and nail salons
- Car washes
- Multi-tenant retail space
- Any commercial building three stories or taller
- Any commercial space with a dedicated fire service line / sprinkler system
- Churches with baptismal pools
Fortunately, Valley Fire Protection has worked with organizations in many industries, and we’re ready to assist you in getting your facility up to code and keep your plumbing system’s backflow preventers in compliance.
Valley Fire Protection’s staff works directly with both architects and professional technicians to produce the designs. Our collaboration allows us to configure systems that meet the specific requirements of your job, no matter how large or small.
We understand the importance of following schedules, which is why our project managers work closely with the design-build staff, material suppliers and installers. Our experts will ensure the process runs smoothly, finishes both on-time and within budget.
Whether it is a pre-quoted and pre-scheduled service or an emergency repair, we offer peace of mind to our customers.
We are on call 24/7/365. Valley Fire Protection has a highly trained team of 30 service technicians with fully equipped vehicles positioned throughout Chicagoland and Indiana.
Types of backflow preventers
Backflow preventers come in many different shapes and sizes and are built to protect against very specific situations. Some are only installed in systems where the hazard threat is considered low, while others are only used in high hazard situations. The following is a list of some of the most common preventers in use in commercial properties today.
Reduced pressure zone (RPZ)
One of the most reliable and effective backflow preventers, often placed in food and beverage processing plants, chemical refineries and other facilities where backflow could lead to contact with highly toxic material.
Pressure vacuum breaker (PVB)
Most often associated with irrigation and sprinkler systems – it’s a very common unit, almost always installed right after the isolation valve.
Double check valve assembly (DCA)
Steam generators, heating equipment and swimming pools are mostly considered “medium hazard situations,” requiring the installation of a DCA.
Double check detector assembly (DCDA)
The DCDA is used in continuous and non-continuous pressure applications. It is installed on low hazard situations, such as fire sprinkler systems and to the system supply main to detect leaks and unauthorized use of water.
Atmospheric vacuum breaker (AVB)
Lab sinks, commercial laundry and lawn sprinklers are often the go-to systems for AVB. However, they aren’t designed to protect against back pressure or continuous pressure, but they are used in low and high hazard situations.
Spill resistant vacuum breaker (SVB)
Almost always used in indoor installations, the SVB is similar to a pressure vacuum breaker, but it is less apt to discharge upon filling. It’s designed to be used for applications where there is constant pressure.
Reduced pressure principle assembly (RP)
An RP has two independently acting approved check valves that are hydraulically operated. It’s for continuous and non-continuous pressure applications and prevents backsiphonage and back pressure conditions.
Reduced pressure principle detector assembly (RPDA)
This is a line-sized approved backflow assembly that has a bypass water meter and a reduced pressure principle backflow prevention assembly. It provides back-siphonage and back pressure protection and can be used in low and high hazard situations.
Commercial properties might be equipped with a variety of different types of backflow preventers and each requires the expertise of a certified and licensed plumber to install, repair or certify. Fortunately, the plumbing professionals at Valley Fire Protection have experience with all types of backflow preventers.
Get certified backflow testing and services from our experts
When the safety of your employees and clients is at stake, don’t leave anything to chance. At Valley Fire Protection, we’ve got the experience necessary to install, repair, test and certify all types of backflow preventers. Contact us today and let’s start your annual certification process. We’ll handle all the paperwork and get it to the proper authority so you can concentrate on running your business.