Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in a backflow assembly test?

ABC will conduct a test, complete a test report and submit the report to you and the proper jurisdiction (Usually the water district). The cleaning of the assembly needed to facilitate a passing test, if necessary, is included (Same trip as the initial test). There are no hidden costs (like: trip fee. gas fee, submittal fee, equipment fee).

Our reliable, professional specialists perform operational testing that conforms to WAC 246-290-490 test procedures. All field test gauges are calibrated annually to ensure correct and accurate readings. After inspection the assemblies are tagged and our office staff prepares and submits all test reports to the appropriate water authorities as required, with additional copies sent to our customers. A copy is maintained in our customized database maintaining pertinent info regarding your backflow assembly for future reference. We are recognized by all water purveyors as a quality testing company. We contact our customers in advance of the required test date to ensure operational tests are scheduled and performed timely in an effort to meet compliance requirements by local water authorities. Please don’t be fooled by other backflow testing companies who tell you pricing is in accordance with the size of assembly! The operational test is the same whether it’s a ½” to a 12” assembly. Therefore, we at ABC charge the same price regardless of size.

What about repairs?

Like any other piece of equipment, backflow assemblies break, freeze, deteriorate and become fouled with impurities in the water. They have plastic and rubber moving parts that eventually wear out. Most backflow assemblies can be repaired. When it becomes necessary we will diagnose the problem and give you a cost for the repair. Our technician will show you the problem or the broken part if you desire.

When should I replace the assembly?

Our philosophy is to make every effort to repair the unit and replace as a last resort. Backflow assemblies are generally designed to be repaired rather than to be replaced. Of course, there comes a time when the cost of the repair parts makes it a better choice to replace. However


Does the water have to be turned off to test or repair the assembly?

All backflow assemblies must be tested with the water turned off to the system. We turn off the water at the valves on the assembly. During a normal test the water is turned off for only a few minutes, usually 5 minutes or less (15 minutes at most).

Who files the test report with the water district?

As a part of our basic service, ABC will submit the test report to the water district for you. We will also send you a copy and we will retain a copy.

What forms of payment are accepted?

We accept cash, check, or credit cards.

Why does the backflow test need to be completed annually?

State law requires the test to be completed once a year. This ensures the backflow preventer is working correctly to prevent any contaminants from reaching your drinking water. Any water passing thru the backflow preventer will be kept in its proper place and not be brought back into the domestic line for contamination.


What if the device is located inside?

If the device is located anywhere inside the location an appointment needs to be made and someone over the age of 18 must be present to have the test completed by our certified technicians.

Where is my device located?

Most irrigation devices are located outside, close to the meter. Most other devices are located inside the home or business. If you do not know of the location, we can assist you in locating the device.

What are the consequences for not having the annual backflow test done?

Aside from the risk of fines and termination of water service enforced by your utility company for not testing, listed below are a few incidences where backflows have effected people’s lives.

IN MAY OF 2000, residents living around the subdivision in Pineville, North Carolina, known as Walden Pointe discovered that their drinking water had become contaminated with raw sewage. The contamination reached around 60 homes and more than 100 Walden Pointe residents fell ill. The affected citizens sued their municipality and received a $1.2 million settlement to cover their damages and medical expenses.

In June, 2004, thousands of residents living in the Detroit, Michigan, suburb of Novi were issued a ‘boil water alert,’ even though municipal water systems were supposedly EPA compliant. The alert forced Novi schools to shut off sinks and drinking fountains and purchase hundreds of cases of bottled water. There are no reliable estimates of how many people may have been hurt by the contamination.

In 2006, a Georgia man stepped into his shower to get ready for work. Due to a caustic contaminant in the water supply from a nearby plant, the spray from the showerhead seared nearly 80 percent of the skin off his body.

Three different locations. Three separate public health incidents. One common cause: contaminated backflow.

Unfortunately, these incidents are not uncommon. Commercial and residential irrigation sites are a frequent source of water contamination—so frequent, in fact, that a number of companies have dedicated years of engineering research and development to creating backflow prevention devices that shield property owners and contractors from liability while protecting the public health. The good news for irrigation contractors is that contamination can be contained with adequate backflow devices and a better understanding of backflow prevention.

Cross Connection Blamed in Illness — September 19, 2014

FLORIDA: Homeowners complained of an unusual taste and odor from their water. An investigation by the utility found that a neighbor was mixing chemicals to use as fertilizer on his farm.

All local mains and service lines had to be flushed and chlorinated. A backflow preventer was installed because of a cross connection between the chemicals and the drinking water.

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