Backflow Preventer Testing

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Backflow preventers, or cross-connection controls, are mechanical devices connected between a water line and sprinkler system to avoid contaminating a water supply.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) requires businesses to complete regular backflow preventer inspection and testing to document accurate operation. This testing should only be performed by a certified industry professional.

Backflow preventers play an important role as they:

  1. Stop biologically or chemically polluted water from flowing back into a clean (potable) water distribution pipeline

  2. May keep sprinklers from reaching full water flow demand if pressure is lost

Patriot Fire Protection’s expert technicians are licensed to test all types of backflow prevention devices in Metro Atlanta and throughout the State of Georgia.

Reasons Fire Sprinkler Systems Need Backflow Preventers

There are many safety and monetary benefits to installing backflow preventers in fire sprinkler systems including:

  • Protect property from excessive moisture damage in the event of water line problems.

  • Reduce repair costs when pipe issues can be rapidly isolated and mended instead of allowing them to spread.

  • Safeguard the public water supply from harmful substances.

Your business relies on these cross-connection controls to keep your sprinklers operating properly while sustaining clean, drinkable water.

How Does Backflow Prevention Work?

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Backflow preventers are mechanical devices containing air inlets, check valves, and relief valves. They are installed on pipes to stop the flow back of pressurized materials from a fire suppression system into a clean water source.

Fire sprinklers and irrigation pipes hold pressurized materials like:

  • Chemicals

  • Firefighting foam

  • Gases

  • Suspended solids

  • Water or other liquids

Two cross-connection controls commonly used in piping systems are:

Double Check (DC) Valve Assembly – a closed system with two redundant check valves; can be used in low hazard conditions.

Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) Valve Assembly – two independently operating check valves & hydraulically operated differential relief valve; preferred choice in high hazard conditions.

Each one works equally well when functioning properly. However, only the RPZ is made to protect the water supply by disposing of back-flowing water during failure of check valves or relief valves.

Let one of our experience professionals provide a free fire safety consultation!

Backflow Preventer Inspection & Testing Is A Requirement

Cross-connection controls require regular inspection, testing, and maintenance to remain effective. Comprehensive tests must also be conducted by a certified industry professional who documents the process and assures compliance is being met for NFPA and local codes.

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Mandatory annual tests can include:

Forward Flow Test

A forward flow test must be completed annually at the designed flow rate, including hose stream demand, where hydrants or inside hose stations are located downstream of the backflow preventer. The highest demand gallons per minute (GPMs) with the hose allowance should be applied. This test was created to verify the system can be served by enough water in a fire condition.

Backflow Performance Test

A backflow performance test, as required by the authority having jurisdiction, shall be conducted annually at the completion of the forward flow test.

Daily or weekly and monthly visual inspections should also occur. The NFPA presumes that local or state requirements guarantee proper testing of these devices by qualified personnel.

We offer comprehensive inspection services such as:

  • Check small components (rubber, plastic, metal) for wear/disrepair

  • Confirm that device installation is up to code and meets facility needs

  • Perform stress tests

  • Valve check

These mechanisms are under constant pressure, making them vulnerable to failure. Inspection and testing are necessary steps to check for components in need of repair or replacement. We’ll make sure your facility is prepared for an emergency.

Contact Us for Backflow Preventer Testing

Contact us today for complete fire line backflow preventer inspection, testing, and maintenance for your Georgia business. Our highly skilled technicians look forward to ensuring dependable operation of your fire protection system.