What is Backflow and why is it required?

We expect clean and drinkable water when we drink and bathe. But what happens when water, chemicals or bacteria flows unintended into the your water supply from a separate piping system?  Backflow has the potential to create health hazards if contaminated water enters your water supply system and is used for drinking, cooking or bathing. 

For this reason, building codes, the EPA, PA State Regulators and water companies require backflow devices to protect the public water supply. All commercial buildings, apartments, condos, buildings with integrated fire systems, farms, new commercial construction and new residential properties require backflow prevention devices.

Who enforces backflow testing?

The local water company and the Allegheny County Health Department's (ACHD) Plumbing Inspector enforce backflow-device testing. The EPA, the state of Pennsylvania, and other agencies work behind the scenes writing and enforcing laws to protect the water supply.

What happens if I don't install or test a backflow device?

If your property requires a backflow device, you will receive a notice from the local water company asking for certified test results on your backflow device. Failure to provide test results will result in disconnecting water service to your home or business.

Who is qualified to test backflow devices?

Certified testers must attend a 30-hour classroom training taught by a certified instructor and pass both a written and practical exam. Certifications are renewed every 3 years with continuing education hours.

How often is backflow testing required?

Yearly backflow testing is required for Double Check (DC) and Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) devices.

Is John Wilcox Plumbing and Heating LLC certified?

Yes. John Wilcox is a licensed Master Plumber and holds special certifications in backflow testing from the American Society of Sanitary Engineering (ASSE). 

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