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Backflow Testing in Arizona

Backflow is a common fire protection system issue. Backflow refers to the reversal of the flow of non-potable water in the piping of a sprinkler system that can contaminate a drinking water supply.

There are two primary causes of backflow: back pressure — which occurs when the pressure in downstream piping rises above the supply pressure of the piping system — and back siphonage, which is the result of the supply pressure dropping below the water system pressure.

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The Backflow Testing Process

Backflow can pose a health hazard if it enters a public or private drinking water supply. Periodic testing can detect the presence of backflow. The testing process entails a thorough inspection and cleaning to ensure the system and any installed devices are in peak operating condition.

This is followed by shutting down the water supply to perform a visual inspection to verify that the water is flowing in the proper direction.

The final step involves the use of a test kit to confirm that all areas are operating properly.

How to Prevent Backflow in a Fire Protection System

The simplest method of preventing backflow is to create an air gap, which is an open vertical space between any piping system-connected device and any location where contaminated water can collect. The installation of a device called a backflow preventer may be required when there is not enough space to create an air gap.

There are several types of backflow preventers, including:

  • Reduced Pressure Zone Assembly: An RPZ is considered the industry standard for backflow prevention in apartment buildings and condominiums, as they provide the highest level of protection against contaminants.
  • Pressure Vacuum Breaker Assembly:  A PVB contains a specially designed, spring-loaded poppet that makes it well-suited for high-hazard applications, or when valves are located downstream.
  • Double Check Assembly: A DCA valve protects against both back pressure and back siphonage in low-hazard applications.

Contact Titan Alarm Inc. for Your Backflow Testing Needs

Titan Alarm Inc. offers complete backwater testing and inspection services in Arizona. We can also help you design and install backflow preventer devices in your sprinkler piping system. Contact us to schedule a backflow inspection today.

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