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Thread: PVB testing

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Default PVB testing

    This is getting ridiculous.

    I have called my landscape architect, two sprinkler companies, my very competent plumber ...

    No one who I called knows how to test a backflow preventer.

    These things are supposed to be inspected once a year.

    The testing procedure according to the FEBCO PVB installation instructions says that it's ASSE Series 5000 manual. Well, that's certainly helpful.

    So I called Zurn/Wilkins and asked for the price on a test kit. The list price on the TG3 is $1705.10. Yikes. "You've got to be a certified backflow tester," the nice lady said. Double yikes.

    Anyone have any recommendations?

    My licensed plumber -- who should know -- tells me that my city does not require inspection of backflow preventers. "Hey, does it work?" he asked.

    I'm just curious how sensitive these things are (Wilkins 720 and Febco 765) and whether I should worry about having it inspected.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Check you private message in box. I just left you a long diatribe on the subject.

  3. #3
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ToolsRMe
    This is getting ridiculous.

    I have called my landscape architect, two sprinkler companies, my very competent plumber ...

    No one who I called knows how to test a backflow preventer.

    These things are supposed to be inspected once a year.

    The testing procedure according to the FEBCO PVB installation instructions says that it's ASSE Series 5000 manual. Well, that's certainly helpful.

    So I called Zurn/Wilkins and asked for the price on a test kit. The list price on the TG3 is $1705.10. Yikes. "You've got to be a certified backflow tester," the nice lady said. Double yikes.

    Anyone have any recommendations?

    My licensed plumber -- who should know -- tells me that my city does not require inspection of backflow preventers. "Hey, does it work?" he asked.

    I'm just curious how sensitive these things are (Wilkins 720 and Febco 765) and whether I should worry about having it inspected.
    If a PVB is installed according to manufacturers' instructions, with the installation height making it at least a foot higher than anything downstream of the device, then you can relax. Even if you never employ a test rig to examine the inner check valve, the spring-loaded vacuum breaker will be there to protect the water supply.

    A PVB is basically a gravity device. Install it correctly, and it will protect. (assuming the force of gravity remains in working order)

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member ToolsRMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart
    Check you private message in box. I just left you a long diatribe on the subject.
    How do I do that???

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Look at the upper right corner of this page. You'll see
    Welcome, Tool'sRMe
    You last visited: (day and time)
    Private Messages: Unread 1, Total 1

    Click on Private Messages

  6. #6
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Look in the yellow pages and you should be able to find a company that advertises doing back flow testing.

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    They are supposed to tested when

    first installed
    yearly
    whenever relocated

    I've had a backflow license in KY for 8 years now. Great knowledge base and the education will make a believer out of you on the what ifs of cross-connections.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart
    Check you private message in box. I just left you a long diatribe on the subject.

    Gary,
    Would you be willing to post this so we can all see it?
    Thanks.

  9. #9
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I'll have to redo the message, I didn't save it. This is an excerpt from the notice sent each year to water users in Yakima, Washington which outlines their cross connection regulation. It is important to understand that although this is a city requirement, it is based on Federal law as well as Washington State law. I shall edit the document to save space.

    Congress passed the "Safe Water Act" in 1974 with the intent of protecting the public health and welfare of all public water supply users in the United States. The EPA interpreted this mandate to mean that certain contaminants should not be found in water "delivered to the free flowing outlet of the ultimate user." Thus, these contaminants became the responsibility of the water purveyor.

    It goes on to quote State of Washington codes that require annual testing of approved backflow devices by a backflow assembly tester certified by the state.

    It appears obvious that some cities and states are not complying the the Federal law. I certainly don't know how likely it is that an individual's water supply or an entire city water supply could be contaminated, but certainly the chance is there. So, required or not, it would seem quite prudent to have a good backflow device and have it inspected annually.

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