How To Test And Repair Backflow

by Raul Garcia on July 30, 2011

Orlando Plumber | Backflow

Orlando Plumbing BackFlowBackflow testing & repair is a necessary component of maintaining the health and safety of public water supplies. The backflow is a specific device or valve that is used to prevent water that has entered into a homeowners’ pipeline to return to the main water feed lines. Backflow testing & repair is something that many municipalities require homeowners to have done periodically. Many cities and towns require the homeowner to have certified professionals validate the effectiveness of their backflow. 

Testing your backflow is not that difficult. The first step is to shut off the main water valve. This is to neutralize the pressure in the pipes. Once the backflow valve is located, determine the flow direction of the water. Bleed the test cocks to clear them of debris then insert the differential low pressure gauge hose into the cock. The insertion should be done as close to the water supply as possible.

The high pressure hose from the gauge gets inserted into the downstream test cock. Air and pressure needs to be removed from both hoses. This is done through bleeding the hoses. When this is done, note the pressure between the two hoses. There should be a psid of at least 1. If there is a 1 psid, then your backflow is working properly. If not, then repairs need to be made.

If the task of repairing the backflow is something the homeowner desires to tackle themselves, a couple of tools will be needed. These are a screwdriver, a wrench, and a water pressure gauge. Keep in mind that some cities and towns require a certified professional to perform backflow testing & repair of valves. Check with your area code to ensure you are permitted to fix the valves.

The pressure test done, now test the relief valve. Turn the water on and allow water to drip through the test valve. The water should go back through the system. This allows for making sure the relief valve is not leaking and does not allow the water to flow backwards back into the water system. take a pressure reading again. if the pressure is rising despite a lack of water in the system, you need a new valve.

If the problem goes past these things, a professional will be required. The problem could entail a number of components and a professional will be able to ascertain what the exact problem is. Backflow testing & repair can get complicated and if not done right it can be expensive.

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