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Why Does My Commercial Property Need Backflow Testing?

Wondering why is backflow testing a crucial part of the plumbing setup on your commercial property? Then read our guide to know it all.

If you own a commercial property, you will agree that much maintenance is required to preserve (and increase) its value.

Plumbing is one such aspect that needs special attention, as even the most minor leaks and clogs can cause severe damage if not fixed in time. Thankfully, there are some preventative measures that you can take to prevent such unfortunate occurrences.

And today, we will quickly walk you through one of them, i.e., backflow testing.

Commercial Property Backflow Testing

Backflow Testing For Commercial Properties

What Is Backflow After All?

As the term may have already suggested, backflow refers to the flowing back of used or dirty water into the clean water supply of a public water distribution system or drinking water system. Hence, commercial properties and buildings start receiving contaminated water flow in their main water lines.

It generally occurs where potable water supply and non-potable water pipes meet (cross-sections or cross-connection).

Since the back-flowing water may contain anything from chemicals to pesticides and even human waste, contaminating the clean water supply can pose a serious health hazard. Although there are several tools and plumbing techniques to keep backflow from potable water pipes, backflow occurs due to the following two reasons (besides faulty plumbing):

Backsiphonage

Back siphonage is caused due to a sudden drop of water pressure in a particular section of the pipes, which pulls up contaminated water. This can result from a broken main water line, failure in the water pump, or water loss from the firewater sprinkler system.

Backpressure

Backflow can also result from reverse or increased pressure from non-potable water sources like coolers, boilers, heaters, waste disposal systems, etc.

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Why Is Backflow Testing Necessary?

Backflow testing helps commercial property owners detect the causes (both present and potential) of backflow and nip them in the bud. Even if you have a backflow prevention system or have installed backflow prevention devices, it’s crucial to get it checked regularly and fix issues like malfunctions or leaks before they wreak havoc on your property.

Regular backflow testing by a licensed plumber is a legal regulation, and failure to comply may result in hefty fines. On that note, here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t delay commercial backflow testing:

1. Backflow Can’t Be Visually Detected

In most cases, the contaminated water supply has no visible colour change, mainly if it contains harmful microorganisms, chemicals or small debris particles. Moreover, detecting foul odour or taste in the water supply may take weeks or months.

Hence, people may continue consuming the contaminated water for prolonged periods, leading to serious health conditions.

For example, potable water sources contaminated with bacteria like Legionella, Shigella, Salmonella, E.Coli, and similar harmful organic compounds can cause a burning sensation in the mouth. Besides, you may experience nausea, diarrhoea, fever, poisoning, fatigue, gas, bloating or similar gastrointestinal diseases.

And long-term consumption can cause life-threatening conditions like liver failure, kidney damage and even cancer.

2. Backflow Can Threaten The Community Health And Water System

It may not be long before the contaminated water problem escapes your commercial property and extends to the entire public water distribution system. This can cause widespread illness in the community and irreversible structural damage to the physical supply system.

Even if the system can be repaired, it will likely cost a lot, depending on the size of the area it covers.

When Is The Right Time To Get Your Backflow Prevention System Checked?

As a rule of thumb, you should get the backflow prevention system, backflow devices, or backflow preventer checked at least once a year. However, we’d suggest speaking with a professional to understand the right time or annual inspection according to the water consumption needs on your commercial property.

Aside from that, you should call for professionals when you observe any signs of the system or your backflow device malfunctioning. For instance, you may spot leaks or muddy discharge caused by corrosion, debris accumulation, internal negative pressure, thermal expansion, etc.

Another thing to watch out for is water contamination and the discharge of dirty or discoloured water from faucets and water fixtures (both potable and non-potable). Avoid using the water and contact a professional immediately; the contaminated water may also harm the skin.

Why Should You Go With Professional Plumbers?

Professional and licensed plumbers are your best bet for solving any issues with your backflow prevention system. They can detect the exact cause behind the problem and have the right tools and solutions for any required repairs or installations.

Plus, they follow all the necessary plumbing guidelines or regulations in your area and get the job done with minimum disruptions to regular activities in commercial buildings.

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Protect Your Commercial Property from Backflow

There’s never a better time to check your backflow system or install a backflow prevention device, so contact the best plumbing service in your vicinity today.

And here’s a pro tip: choose a plumbing service that offers regular maintenance packages and attends emergency calls. Additionally, ensure that the plumbers clean the water distribution system in your property to prevent backflows.

Here at Fixed Today, our backflow services include backflow testing and backflow prevention containment device installation. For a crucial plumbing problem like a backflow, contact our licensed plumbers at Fixed Today to ensure your drinking water system is safe for you and your family.

See you again!

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