Backflow Prevention Device Testing And Repair

Why is Backflow Prevention so Important?

If backflow happens in your water system, it can contaminate your water source, making water consumption unsafe for you and your family. To prevent backflow, install a backflow prevention device.

Backflow is the reversed flow of water, from its intended direction. There are two main causes of backflow; back siphonage and back pressure.

BlueJay Backflow

Testing And Repair

We are certified backflow prevention device testers by the Ontario Water Works Association (OWWA). The City requires your backflow prevention device be tested annually. Some mechanical backflow preventers have internal seats, springs and moving parts which can be subject to wear and tear or fatigue. These devices and air gaps can also be by-passed. Therefore, they should be tested to ensure proper functionality and to ensure that the air gaps are still in place.

Backflow Devices

A backflow device is installed inline from your irrigation water supply line, and is required to be tested once per year. At Blue Jay Irrigation, several members of our team are Ontario Water Works Association (OWWA) certified. We are also part of the American Water Works Association. Making it convenient and easy for you to ensure your family is consuming safe water, we can perform the necessary tests on your backflow prevention device.

To prevent backflow and back siphonage from occurring, there are several types of these mechanical plumbing devices available to ensure safe water consumption. As an irrigation contractor, we are well versed in the following backflow prevention units: DCVA (Double Check Valve Assembly), PVB (Pressure Vacuum Breaker), and RP/RPP (Reduced Pressure).  

DCVA — Double Check Valve Assembly

This device consists of two internally loaded check valves. It includes two shut-off valves and four test cocks. With the two check valves in series, a DCVA prevents backflow even if one check valve fails to close tightly. It can be used to prevent backflow due to back-pressure and back-siphonage.

PVB — Pressure Vacuum Breaker Backflow

A single body, single loaded check valve with two shut-off valves, fitted with test cocks for testing the device.  

RP/RPP — Reduced Pressure Backflow

Two single independently operating check valves with an operating pressure differential relief valve keeping pressure between the valves lower than the supply pressure. This unit also has two shut-off valves, one upstream and one downstream, with test cocks for field testing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Back-siphonage is caused by negative, or reduced pressure in the supply piping. This reversal in water flow is not unlike drinking through a straw, and can contaminate your water supply. Back-siphonage can occur for a variety of reasons like: supply line breaks, increased demands (like fire-fighting), and undersized piping. It is vital to utilize a backflow prevention device on your irrigation system in order to maintain safe water consumption.

Backpressure is the pressure that is greater than that of the municipal water system. It can occur when a non-potable supply is connected and operating at a higher pressure than the water distribution system. What creates these increases in pressure? Booster pumps, increases in boiler temperature, interconnections with systems operating at higher pressures, and piping elevated above grade can all be causes for increases in pressure. 

A backflow device is installed inline from your irrigation water supply line, and is required to be tested once per year. The test must be completed by a certified tester. At Blue Jay, we have several Ontario Water Works Association testers on staff.

No. At start-up, we perform a visual check on your backflow, checking for any obvious leaks and/or damage over the winter months, however, a backflow test is a separate test that must be completed with a special testing device measuring the performance of your device. Specific measurement are noted and tracked from year to year and test results are submitted with a pass/fail to the City.

Annually. It is your responsibility as the homeowner to have your device tested annually. Failure to do so, can result in your water being turned off, and/or a fine. This procedure is mandated Ontario-wide, and adhered to in every municipality.

Once your test has been completed, we send a copy of your results to you by email, and forward an additional copy to the City for their files.

No. As long as the water is turned on to your irrigation system, we can test the device. See below for more information about the devices we test.

Pressure vacuum breaker (PVB) – typically outside Double-check valve assembly (DCVA) - the customer much be home as this device is located in the basement.

Reduced pressure assembly (RP) – this device is usually on commercial sites and the customer must be available to provide us with access to it. Dual Checks – these are not a testable device.

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