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The Precision-made Backflow Preventer Inspection Checklist You Need

Robyn Neath
by Robyn Neath | July 01, 2022 | Reading time: 3 minutes

A precision-made backflow inspection checklist is a systematic and almost automated approach to preventing unexpected costs during each inspection.

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What Is a Backflow Preventer Inspection Checklist?


A backflow preventer inspection checklist will help you execute your backflow inspections for your client’s home faster and safer. It’s your best tool to make sure that you can help your client’s home avoid backpressure, backsiphonage and other forms of backflows that allow unwanted contaminants into your client’s main water outlets, especially the drinking water line.


At the same time, a complete backflow preventer maintenance checklist offers you space to document errors, monitor the progress and follow up on unresolved areas in the backflow inspection. With a complete checklist you’re also able to fix problems without additional costs on hiring additional staff.



This article provides information on the following topics:


1. What Is the Best Checklist for Backflow Preventer Inspection?

2. What Must a Backflow Preventer Inspection Checklist Contain?

3. Why Are Backflow Inspections Necessary?

4. The best digital tool for an error-free backflow preventer maintenance checklist.


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What Is the Best Checklist for Backflow Preventer Inspection?


The best checklist to use for backflow prevention should have precision-engineered techniques, address all the areas of the water system and only use field-tested procedures sanctioned by the Department of Public Health.


Some of the areas needed to be checked in a backflow preventer inspection are the following:

  • Water meter connections, air vents and pipes that carry wastewater outside the building. The inspector may test these areas with soap solution or dye tablets (which turn bright colors if they detect any contamination).
  • Disconnection of the home's main valve before testing each individual device so no water flows into the client’s house while testing it. If there are multiple devices on a single line (like one main valve connected to two units), then only disconnect one section at a time so you don't end up with half-drainage and half-flooding issues in the basement.
  • The public water system identification number located on the water system to document the exact location of the problematic areas.
  • Indicate if the assembly being tested appears on the state’s List of Approved Backflow Preventer Inspection Assemblies.


What Must a Backflow Preventer Inspection Checklist Contain?


The details can vary, but in essence, these are the core tasks you must include in your checklist:


1. Test the backflow preventer


To test a backflow preventer, follow the manufacturer's recommended testing procedure. First, ensure that the water supply valve is open and the discharge valve is closed. Second, ensure that all test cocks are closed and that the backflow preventer is installed in the correct orientation.


What a backflow preventer inspection is going to include next is an audit on all of your valves. You should check them slowly to allow pressure to equalize between them before making any connections during an inspection or testing procedure. This will reduce damage to any equipment.


2. Test the pressure gauges


This is a simple step in your backflow preventer inspection and field test report, but it's important to make sure that the reading of the pressure gauges will correspond with what you would expect.


If one gauge shows high pressure and the other shows low, there may be an issue with your backflow preventer. Similarly, if neither gauge reads anything when turned on—even after waiting for a few minutes—there may be something wrong with the unit or its connections.


Checking for leaks can help you determine if there are any problems that need to be addressed:


Inspect all joints where water might leak from (e.g., around pipes).


Make sure you check all valves in your backflow preventer inspection and field test report. They should move freely without sticking and close completely when they are supposed to close off flow or block it entirely.


3. Test the valves


After the water supply is turned off, test all valves, including test cocks, shut-offs and drain valves. Your backflow preventer inspection requirements should make sure that these items are not stuck or frozen in place. If they are leaking, you will want to replace them with O-rings or rubber washers.


Always test with water turned off for safety reasons. Remember that some types of plumbing issues can lead to flooding in your home if left unattended over time - so if you see anything out-of-the ordinary during your inspection process (such as evidence suggesting there may be an issue with one's water pressure), then make sure someone comes out right away before things get worse.


4. Test the water and air relief valve


It’s critical to test these valves in order to ensure their functionality and safety, as they are critical components of your backflow preventer. You should be able to easily test them by removing the cover and manually activating each one. If you notice any issues with either of them, you will need to replace them with new ones immediately.


5. Look for structural damage


To look for structural damage in your backflow preventer inspection requirements, check first for cracks or bends, such as in the chamber and check valves, as well as missing parts or pieces.


If the backflow preventer has been exposed to fire or heat, it's possible that it has sustained some structural damage. You should also check for signs of corrosion on any metal components inside your inspection point if you suspect that there may be a problem with your backflow prevention system due to this type of exposure.


This task catalog is by no means a complete list, but it gives you the most important areas to never miss in your checklist. There are plenty of tasks to include in your detailed checklist and missing just one of them could prove disastrous. So always make sure that your checklist is complete.


Why Are Backflow Inspections Necessary?


So why should you have your clients’ water systems inspected for backflow regularly? Here are some of the most important reasons:

  1. First, your state may require that a certified backflow assembly tester should do these inspections.
  2. A qualified technician can find and repair any problems before they become serious. A professional will know which type is best for your situation and can efficiently install it correctly the first time around!
  3. In addition to safety benefits associated with preventing cross-pollution between potable water sources and non-potable ones (like swimming pools or irrigation systems), annual testing of this vital piece of equipment also helps businesses avoid fines by ensuring compliance with city regulations regarding water quality standards.


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Digital Tool For Faultless Backflow Preventer Inspection


Having a thorough backflow preventer inspection checklist can help ensure that your client’s water system is ready for anything and running as efficiently and safely as possible.


But what if you need to handle multiple cases and have a number of inspectors you need to manage? Do you have the available time and the complete questions you need to include in your checklist?


If this is you, then using a digital tool to synchronize your inspections is what you need.


Lumiform is the revolutionary digital application to centralize all your staff and synchronize all of your backflow preventer inspection tasks so that the inspection practically runs by itself without a minute wasted.


The intuitive Lumiform mobile and desktop app will:


  • Help you or your inspectors stay organized days or even weeks ahead of schedule because you can assign corrective actions with priority levels from the app so incidents are addressed and fixed in order of urgency.
  • Convert all your manual text, images and other data into digital forms/templates so your records are more accurate, descriptive and can be processed in infinite ways by anyone in your team anywhere they are.
  • Make home inspections faster, safer and error-free because even the tiniest details are tracked, thereby increasing your productivity 10x in ways that only mean better promotions and opportunities for you and your inspectors.
  • 100% customizable to fit your firm’s unique style of operations thanks to the flexible form builder.
  • The inspections are always guaranteed to be safer, faster, centralized, client-focused, comprehensive, error-free and scalable, so inspectors can cater to more clients at half the time.


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Robyn Neath

Robyn Neath

Robyn started her writing career after receiving her screenwriting diploma from InFocus Film School in Vancouver, BC. She has since worked for esteemed sports, casting, and news organizations. When she isn’t concentrating on generating content with Lumiform, she enjoys working on her sitcom scripts and entering them into writing competitions. She has a strong interest in the arts, and can usually be found re-watching Frasier or stumbling her way through The New York Times daily crossword.

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