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  • Writer's pictureJen Snyder

What to Expect During a Backflow Preventer Inspection

Maintaining a safe water supply is essential for both public health and your everyday convenience. At San Diego Backflow Testing Inc., we encourage you to schedule a regular backflow preventer inspection. This is just one vital component of ensuring water safety. The backflow preventer is what keeps contaminated water from going back into the clean water supply. Be diligent about scheduling your backflow preventer inspection! 

You can expect three main phases of your backflow preventer inspection: an initial assessment, pressure, and functional testing, and reporting and recommendations. Keep reading to learn more!

Initial Assessment: Shut-Off Valve Check

The inspection begins with a tester turning off the downstream shut-off valve to isolate the backflow preventer. This step is critical for securing the system, allowing for safe inspection and testing without risking contamination or pressure loss. Ensuring the system is isolated prevents any unintended water flow that could complicate the inspection process.

Visual Inspection

Next, the tester conducts a thorough visual inspection of the backflow preventer and its surroundings. This involves checking for signs of damage or leaks. Identifying issues like corrosion, cracks, or worn-out components helps in preempting potential failures. A visual inspection is a simple yet effective way to catch problems early before they escalate into major issues.

Pressure and Functional Testing

Pressure Testing

The tester then sets up a test kit, connecting hoses to the test cocks on the preventer. The primary goal in this step is to measure pressure at various points to ensure there’s a proper pressure differential between the valves. Analyzing this pressure data can reveal inconsistencies that may indicate a malfunction. Proper pressure differential is crucial as it confirms that the preventer is maintaining the necessary barrier to prevent backflow.

Functional Testing

Next, functional testing involves using the test kit to apply pressure and check the operation of the check valves. The tester ensures the check valves allow one-way flow and effectively block reverse flow. For devices like reduced pressure principle assemblies, the relief valve is also tested to confirm it operates correctly under backflow conditions. This comprehensive testing ensures all components are functioning as intended.

Reporting and Recommendations

Inspection Report

After completing these tests, the tester provides a detailed inspection report. This report documents the findings and results of the tests. If the device passes, a certification is issued. This certification is crucial as it needs to be submitted to the municipal water authority to ensure compliance with local regulations.

Maintenance Recommendations

If the inspection reveals any issues, the tester will recommend necessary repairs or replacements. Addressing these issues promptly is essential to restore the backflow preventer to proper working condition. Keeping the device in good shape is crucial for maintaining water safety and preventing contamination.


A backflow preventer inspection involves several key steps: shutting off the downstream valve, conducting a visual inspection, performing pressure and functional tests, and providing a detailed report with recommendations. Regular inspections are vital to ensure these devices function correctly and protect our water supply from contamination. Scheduling regular inspections with certified professionals is essential for compliance and public health, ensuring safe and clean water for all.

Contact us at 877-363-8378 to schedule your backflow preventer inspection and safeguard your water today!

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