Why You Need a Fire Sprinkler Backflow Inspection

Backflow occurs when there is water flowing opposite the direction it is intended in piping containing water (like, fire sprinkler systems). Backflow is often a concern of the municipal water company for fear that the potable water supply (i.e. drinking water) could be contaminated without properly maintaining a backflow preventer assembly.

How to Avoid Backflow?

In order to prevent backflow from occurring in a fire protection system, a backflow prevention assembly is installed. In the event of new commercial construction, this assembly is installed between the city water supply and 1) the domestic water system, 2) irrigation system and 3) fire sprinkler system for a building. This assembly works to ensure that no water flows in the opposite direction and thus back into the city water supply.

Why are Backflow Inspections Vital?

Without inspections and regular maintenance, backflow assemblies can fail. Failure can occur if there is any sediment or corrosion inside the fire sprinklers backflow assemblies. Even a very small piece of debris or grit can damage the backflow assembly. This can lead to water in the sprinkler system leaking back into the city water supply and contaminate to the drinking water. Also, an impaired assembly can prevent a fire safety system from functioning properly. If backflow is occurring, the system will not have enough water to function properly and could be insufficient to contain a fire.

In addition to the problems that backflow could cause, not having a backflow inspection is against the NFPA 25 Standard for the Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. The standard states that the backflow assembly must be tested and inspected at least annually.

When are Backflow Inspections Performed?

When backflow prevention assemblies are installed, modified, or repaired, they are inspected. If there are no modifications or repairs needed, they should still be inspected at least once a year. Some states and municipalities have different laws and regulations about backflow inspections, but it is always best to be on the safe side.

In North Texas, backflow forms must be filled out with information regarding inspection, testing, and repair to ensure that regulations are followed. This is a common practice across the country. No matter where you are, the local water company will have requirements that need to be met every year, or in some cases multiple times per year. iProtection Systems will be happy to handle all of the required paperwork for backflow inspections, testing, and maintenance for your business. It is never okay to let a backflow inspection date pass by without having your backflow assembly inspected. Backflow inspections are part of ongoing building maintenance and should be included on your calendar to ensure that your building is safe and secure.

To have an iProtection Systems fire professional conduct inspection and testing services on your backflow assembly call 972-484-7722 or or request a backflow service or inspection on our site.

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