What is a backflow?

Backflow is a water condition that you want to avoid at any cost. Simply put, backflow occurs any time the flow in your water system reverses.
For example, occasionally a car will strike a fire hydrant on a street. Water will gush out of the hydrant at full water pressure, causing a huge drop of water pressure at all buildings on the block. With this drop of pressure, the direction of water flowing through pipes can actually reverse. Whenever flow reverses, there is a strong likelihood of fresh water contamination.

With this in mind, you clearly want to avoid mixing fresh water with non-potable water. This is what a backflow valve is designed to prevent.


What is the purpose of a backflow prevention valve?

Anytime you use water for industrial purposes you’re in need of a backflow prevention valve.

Imagine, for example, that you own a car wash. One day, the water pressure supplied to your property may drop unexpectedly. When this happens, the water flow to the soap water tank could reverse. When water pressure is restored, the local city water can be contaminated by the soapy water from the tank. Every building on your street could then have soapy water flowing out of their taps.

Obviously, in industry things could get even more extreme. Facilities that process acids, toxic chemicals, or sewage need to prevent a reversal of water flow at any cost.

This is where a backflow valve comes in. During a time of water pressure fluctuation, the valve will prevent your facility’s materials from flowing into the water supply.


How do I know if I need to install a backflow valve?

If you need a backflow valve, you will usually be notified by the city or county’s water or health department. Most commercial businesses will need backflow protection. Even homes may need backflow devices installed, particularly when they are located in hilly areas or areas with volatile water pressure conditions.


Who can install a backflow valve?

The building owner can do it himself or herself providing all laws and regulations are followed. Or, the owner can hire a licensed backflow installer with a plumbing certification license. For the job to be done legally, the person doing the installation must be a licensed plumber and posses certification in backflow installation


How much does a backflow valve cost?

Backflow valves range is size from ¾ of an inch (for homes) to 10 inches (for large facilities). Valve prices vary according to size.


What maintenance and inspection if required?

In most cases, backflow valves must be tested and certified annually or more often, as determined by your city, county of state’s regulation. Most valves can be tested in an hour or less.

After completion of test, the owner of the backflow valve is given a certified test report. Most valves pass inspection. But if the valve fails, there is a legally enforced time limit in which the valve must be repaired or replaced (often around 30 days).


How can WC Davis, Inc. respond to my backflow needs?

We are licensed in all the areas of backflow installation, certification, and maintenance.

We hope that you will contact us for your needs. But regardless of whether we get your business, we want to strongly recommend that whoever handles your backflow requirements is a licensed plumber with backflow certification. Many people who work in the backflow business do not have an adequate understanding of plumbing issues. Oftentimes, these people cannot respond effectively to problems that may arise when backflow valves are installed or worked on.