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What To Expect During A Backflow Preventer Inspection

By 20 November 2019January 16th, 2023Winnipeg plumbers

The City of Winnipeg requires businesses to have backflow preventers and once you have a backflow preventer installed, you’re required to have it inspected every year. You should know that not all backflow prevention is conducted by using a device. In many cases, an air gap between the end of a pipe or hose and a surface that holds liquid is sufficient. This isn’t always possible, however, and there may be a number of things that occur during a backflow preventer inspection. You may discover you need a backflow prevention device, you may learn that you need a new backflow prevention device, or you may need no further action.


Backflow preventers are essential to securing public health. They exist so contaminants can’t move backwards through pipes or hoses and into the City’s water supply which can occur if there’s enough pressure to cause the flow of liquid to reverse. One of the first things your plumbing team will consider is the occupancy of the property. High-risk properties like hospitals and laboratories will have areas where a reduced pressure backflow assembly must be attached to their high-risk plumbing. Conversely, many commercial properties will require a less complex double check valve assembly. Determining what kind of preventer you need, and where, are the first steps.


For places that already have backflow preventers installed, your inspection will involve checking to make sure the devices are working properly. Your plumber may use test hoses in order to check pressure and they may dismantle your backflow prevention devices in order to ensure they haven’t worn down. There are many moving parts in these devices that can succumb to wear and tear. Should your plumber find problems with the backflow preventer, they may be able to replace some of the parts but in the worst cases, you may need to replace the entire backflow prevention setup.


During your backflow inspection, it’s entirely possible that your plumber finds no problems at all –  no signs that backflow isn’t being prevented in a certain area and no signs that your backflow prevention devices need any maintenance. No matter what they find, they’ll need to log their inspection for you. These inspections are mandatory and the City can ask you for evidence that the inspections took place. That’s why it’s important to have an inspection done once a year even if you have newly installed devices and you haven’t noticed any problems.


To do a backflow preventer inspection, you need to have the appropriate licenses. When we send a plumber out, they’ll be fully licensed to do the inspection. Our team can do a lot more than backflow inspections, too –  anything from advising you on what fixtures to get to vertical stack cleaning in Winnipeg. Get in touch with us and we’ll help you with all of your plumbing needs. 

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