Backflow Preventer and Why You Need One

A “backflow preventer” does exactly as its name suggests: allows the flow of water in one direction only—making it a critically important component to maintaining the safety of drinking water systems.

How a backflow preventer works

A backflow preventer responds to changes in pressure. When water flows in the proper direction, pressure pushes the valve open—allowing water to move freely. When pressure builds up in the opposite direction (backflow), pressure pushes the valve closed—eliminating risk to public health by preventing potentially contaminated water from making its way back into the supply system.

Sprinkler systems are among the places where water can become contaminated—necessitating the installation and ongoing testing of each backflow prevention device attached to such a system.

Backflow prevention testing

Plumbing cross-connections, defined as actual or potential connections between a potable (drinkable) and non-potable (non-drinkable) water supplies, are regulated by OSHA and environmental and public health agencies. Backflow prevention devices fall under this classification.

Backflow preventers normally require very little maintenance once in position and don’t need an external power supply in order to function. That said, a backflow preventer still is a mechanical device, meaning it has the potential to fail.

Every backflow preventer attached to a sprinkler system must be inspected annually by a fire inspection company and licensed plumber to ensure it is working as it should.

Each backflow device has test ports built into it to allow for testing. A backflow prevention testing technician will connect a test kit to the device and verify that it is operating properly. (Water to the device must be temporarily shut off to perform the test.)

Why choose Getz for backflow prevention testing

Getz Fire Equipment Co. backflow technicians are the best-trained and most-educated in the testing field throughout Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. We provide our technicians with training and continuing education beyond state requirements.

Getz Fire Equipment Co.’s complete system of backflow prevention testing is designed to protect you, the owner and your facility. Call us today at 1-800-747-3473 to schedule your backflow prevention test.