Backflow Prevention, Assembly and Testing by Air and Water Factor Cooling Heating and Plumbing!

Air and Water Factor Cooling Heating and Plumbing is proud to announce that we are now Certified for Backflow Prevention Assembly Testing!

Did you know? After installing or replacing a Backflow Prevention Assembly, it is required that the assembly be tested by a different company than the one who did the installation. This is to ensure quality and safety in the Backflow Prevention Assembly.

What is a backflow prevention assembly?

A backflow prevention device is used to protect potable water supplies from contamination or pollution due to backflow.

What is backflow?

In water supply systems, water is normally maintained at a significant pressure to enable water to flow from the tap, shower, or other fixture. Water pressure may fail or be reduced when a water main bursts, pipes freeze, or there is unexpectedly high demand on the water system. Reduced pressure in the pipe may allow contaminated water from the soil, from storage, or from other sources to be drawn up into the system.

Backflow means the undesirable reversal of flow of a liquid, gas, or suspended solid into the potable water supply; a backflow preventer is designed to keep this from happening. Points at which a potable water system connects with a non-potable water system are called cross connections. 

There are basically two types of backflow: Back-siphonage and Back-pressure.

Back-siphonage occurs when higher pressure fluids, gases, or suspended solids move to an area of lower pressure fluids. 

Back-pressure occurs when air is blown through the system and bubbles begin to erupt at the submerged end, just like when you blow through a straw into a soda pop. Let’s say that, if instead of air, natural gas had been forced into a potable water tank, the gas in turn could be carried to a kitchen faucet. This is an example of a direct cross-connection, with undesirable material being pushed into the system.

Back pressure can force an undesirable contaminant to enter potable water piping. Sources of back pressure may be boilers, heat exchanging equipment, power washing equipment, fire sprinklers, or pumps in the water distribution system. To reduce the risk of contamination, a backflow preventer can be fitted. A backflow preventer is also important when potentially toxic chemicals are used, for instance for commercial/industrial descaling of boilers, or when chemical bleaches are used for residential power washing.

For more information on Backflow and Backflow Assembly Testing, click here to visit the website of the American Backflow Prevention Association.