Backflow in a water system is a term that is given to reference contaminated water moving back through a water-delivery system. In order to keep public drinking water safe, it's important that residential property owners do their part to achieve backflow prevention. At times, testing may be required to determine if there is a problem. Here is a look at some of the most common questions.
When is a backflow prevention test required?
If there is a possibility that something in your water setup is contaminating local drinking water supplies, you will need to have your system tested to ensure this is not happening. There are several scenarios that can generate problems with backflow, such as:
- If you have a pool that is being filled by your main water line
- If your drinking water system is tied in with your property irrigation system
- If your household utilizes an excessive amount of water and old lines allow backflow
If you're ever unsure of whether or not your system needs to be tested, it's best to talk to a plumber. Backflow is strictly governed by local health departments in most states, and if you are found to be causing an issue, you could face fines and penalties in addition to mandated testing.
How much does backflow prevention testing cost?
To have the test performed, you will need to bring in the help of a professional plumber, and all plumbers can charge a different rate for their testing services for backflow prevention. Likewise, prices can range according to where you live. For example, in the state of Texas, costs for backflow prevention testing can be anywhere between $65 and $100. If the tests are done because you have been notified that you must have one and do not comply, the city may do one and charge you more for the services than what you would normally pay a professional.
Can you install a backflow preventer yourself?
If the plumber determines that you do need a backflow preventer, they will offer to install a device for you that will prevent backflow most of the time. It's always a better decision to allow the professional to take care of installation because installing these devices must be done in a precise way to prevent the problem from persisting. One of the biggest reasons residential customers continue to have backflow problems is due to a device that is improperly installed.