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Why Does My Backflow Preventer Need to Be Inspected Every Year?

Why does your backflow preventer need to be inspected every year? It’s a question we hear often from frustrated businesses and homeowners. It may seem like a huge waste of time and money to have your backflow prevent device inspected annually, but there is a good reason.

What Is A Backflow Preventer?

Backflow preventers are water supply system components that ensure that your water only flows in one direction through your pipes. Without a backflow preventer, a sudden increase in pressure in your plumbing system or a sudden pressure drop in the water supply line could cause your water to flow backwards into the public water supply.

What Would Happen If I Didn’t Have A Backflow Preventer?

It’s easy to forget that your home is full of several fixtures and appliances that don’t just immediately blast water out. Your washing machine, dishwasher, water heater, and toilet all store or use water for a while before draining. Without a backflow preventer, all of that water would have the potential to enter the public drinking supply. And so would everything in it.

Dishwashing liquid and washing detergent obviously aren’t safe to drink in any quantity. Water heaters have the potential to collect calcium deposits from water over time and deposit rust and heavy metals from the storage tank into your hot water supply. Toilets can accumulate waste particles that can cause serious infections and sepsis in large enough quantities. All this and more could cause serious health implications if introduced to the potable water supply at scale.

Commercial properties could introduce even more harmful chemicals, at larger scale, to the water supply. Imagine what would happen if the runoff from a car wash, oil well, or hospital entered the water supply. Then imagine what would happen if the water supply experienced a wide scale pressure drop, such as if an earthquake damaged a major pipeline, and every commercial property in Orange County experienced some backflow. The long term health effects could be catastrophic.

But Why Are Annual Backflow Preventer Inspections Necessary?

The truth is that there are many cheap, low quality backflow preventers in circulation that can break down in only a couple of years. By mandating annual inspections for all backflow preventers, the law helps catch the worst backflow preventers better than any production standards ever could. It might still seem like an unnecessary measure, especially if you hired a legitimate plumbing company to install a high-quality backflow preventer, but it’s a price worth paying for safe, clean water.

If it’s time for your inspection, give us a call or read more to learn why you should call us for your backflow prevention in Orange County.