How Often Should I Test My Backflow Preventer

As a homeowner, you are required by law to have your backflow preventer device tested typically once a year. This important piece of equipment enhances your home’s plumbing system and can cause serious health concerns if damaged. For this reason, it must be well maintained, much like any other useful piece of equipment. 

Responsible and proactive homeownership means knowing how to take care of your plumbing’s backflow preventer. This is key to keeping it working properly for as long as possible. 

At Economy Plumbing Services, we pride ourselves on being among the best plumbers serving Austin, TX, and the surrounding communities. Our expert technicians can perform the necessary tests and maintenance to ensure your backflow preventer is functioning as expected.

Why is the backflow preventer so important?

Backflow difficulties can quickly get out of hand. Imagine a scenario where the pressure down-system becomes stronger than the outflow system in your home. This would push the sewage back up the pipes, causing it to flow up the drains. 

Once this backflow sewage is in your plumbing, it presents a host of health risks for you and your family. You can no longer use the water for anything. You’ll also have to deal with the general unpleasantness of having sewage coming out the drains and pouring from the faucets. On a larger scale, backflow can contaminate the water supply system of the community. 

The backflow preventer system prevents this from happening. That’s why it needs to be in perfect working condition year-round. 

An impaired backflow assembly can also cause the fire safety system in a building to not function properly. When there are backflow issues, the system will not have enough water to pump out in the event of a fire. This is why the NFPA 25 Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems requires periodic backflow system testing. 

What causes backflow preventers to fail?

There are a number of reasons why a backflow preventer device may fail. The most common is the accumulation of dirt, rust, and sediment in the system. Even a small pebble or tiny piece of debris can compromise the backflow assembly. 

In some instances, the device is old and worn out, so the rubber valve seats and springs compress responsible for preventing the backflow of water can no longer function as intended. 

Severe weather conditions can also cause the assembly to fail. Backflow systems are made using soft brass. During extremely cold weather, the water in the pipes can freeze, causing the brass to expand. Over time, this expansion and contraction can cause the device to warp and eventually fail. 

When should backflow tests be performed?

Generally, the backflow preventer should be tested annually. However, some systems may require a bit more maintenance, so be sure to speak to your local professional plumber about it. If there was a recent windstorm in your area, you might want to have the system inspected to ensure that there is no buildup of sediments and debris in the assembly. 

Your local water company may also have requirements that must be met every year, or in some cases, multiple times per year. 


Economy Plumbing Services is here to handle the backflow system testing, inspections, and maintenance for your home. We’ll need to shut off the water supply to your building to perform the test. Depending on the type of device installed, the inspection process can take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. 

Rest assured that our trained technicians will work quickly and efficiently to ensure that your water supply is up and running in the shortest time possible. 

Contact the best plumbers in Austin, TX today

For all your plumbing needs, Economy Plumbing Services is the expert to call. When the time comes to inspect your backflow preventer, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are based in Austin, Texas, but we serve homeowners and commercial facilities in the neighboring communities as well, including Marble Falls. 

Call us now at (512) 649-2811 or reach us through our contact form to schedule your plumbing appointment.

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