What Is Backflow and Do I Need RPZ Testing?

Friday, 01 April 2022 09:40
What Is Backflow and Do I Need RPZ Testing?

We are of the age of some of the best regulated and safest home building practices in the history of humanity. While that may sometimes be frustrating, having little to worry about when it comes to the safety of your friends, family, patrons, renters, or whoever else is in your circle is worth the extra steps.


All About RPZ Testing and Backflow

In plumbing, there is quite a bit of regulation around backflow, its testing, and prevention, and in this article, we will break down the hard truths about why it is essential to have proper backflow prevention and RPZ testing.

Backflow - The Basics

Backflow is the unwanted flow in the reverse direction in the most simple of terms. It is a massive problem for your plumbing as it could pose serious health risks due to contaminated water entering your potable water supply. Backflow can be caused by one of two reasons. 

  • Back Pressure
  • Back Siphonage

These issues can be easily prevented, but we will get to that later.

Back Pressure

Back Pressure occurs when an external system that cross-connects with potable water has higher pressure than the main water line. This forces potentially contaminated water back into the main water line. This could be caused by unvented heating systems or higher pressure fire protection systems.

Back Siphonage

Back siphonage is when the primary water line pressure experiences a pressure drop, allowing water from outside the system to pull contaminated water back into the system. This can be caused by anything from a break in the water main to firefighters pulling too much water from a hydrant at one time.

Backflow Risks

When contaminated water mingles with main water lines, massive problems can begin. Backflow can damage your home by promoting corrosion, creating leaks and breaches. More importantly, it can contain human waste and toxic chemicals, exposing the people in your circle to many serious health risks.

  • Animal waste
  • Salmonella
  • Typhoid
  • Giardia
  • Campylobacter
  • Shigella
  • E.Coli
  • Norovirus
  • Heavy metals - Due to the nature of water and what it does to metals, when backflow occurs, it could bring heavy metals such as copper, lead, arsenic, etc.,  back into your drinking water supply. 
  • Chemicals: - Harmful chemicals found in pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers can find their way into your drinking water if backflow is not prevented. 

Backflow Prevention

The only way to properly prevent backflow is to have the appropriate backflow assembly put in place to ensure that backflow does not happen. Most cities around the country, including Statesville, NC, require backflow prevention assemblies to help protect drinking water from any back pressure or back-siphonage backflow. 

How Does RPZ Backflow Assembly Work?

Backflow prevention assemblies work by allowing water to flow through them in the intended direction while preventing it from flowing backward. This safeguards the water supply from contaminants. RPZ backflow assemblies are made up of two separate check valves.

 They function similarly to a double-check (DC) backflow preventer by closing two redundant check valves when downstream pressure exceeds main line pressure, but they also have an intermediate relief valve that opens to the atmosphere if both check valves fail. 

RPZ Testing - Do I Need It?

Because of the high risks associated with backflow and the potential for failure in an RPZ backflow assembly, it is often a requirement by the city, township, or state that your RPZ Backflow Assembly is to be tested annually. These assemblies are mechanical, and to ensure the safety of your friends and family, as well as to meet regulations RPZ testing is a must.

Action Service Company - Certified RPZ Backflow Testing.

Not anyone can just pull out a gauge and test your RPZ backflow assembly. It must be performed by plumbers or contractors with the proper certifications. Action Service Company LLC can make your next RPZ backflow testing a quick process with our team of experienced, certified backflow testing plumbers. 

If you need RPZ backflow testing in Iredell County, and could benefit from a qualified and insured plumbing firm with decades of experience, the plumbers at Action Service Company, LLC are here to make sure your plumbing needs are taken care of. We have been serving as Iredell County’s trusted plumbing professionals for over thirty years. 

Our team is ready to take on any plumbing challenge that you throw at us, including yearly RPZ testing!. Contact the professional plumbers at Action Service Company, LLC today for more information or to book an RPZ test! We are the Iredell County area’s experts on RPZ testing, backflow, and an array of plumbing information.