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View Full Version : Who tests backflow preventers?


Mike Leary
10-24-2011, 07:52 PM
Is this a part of your business?

greenmonster304
10-24-2011, 08:03 PM
I would do it if anyone would pay me for it but it's not enforced here, at least for irrigation.
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koster_irrigation
10-24-2011, 08:06 PM
yes, it turns out a good chunk of change for my pocket.

testing about 400 or so a yr.

residentials are due every other yr. commercial yearly

Mike Leary
10-24-2011, 08:13 PM
I would do it if anyone would pay me for it but it's not enforced here, at least for irrigation.

It should be, the Clean Water Act mandates it. Call your purveyor and the State Dept. of Water Quality and kick some butt.

zman9119
10-24-2011, 08:18 PM
Would love to but our P.O.S. State will not let use "uninitiated" persons do it...

Oh well, our irrigation law expired in Jan 2013 so we all might be out of business unless your a lic plumber.

Mike Leary
10-24-2011, 08:24 PM
Would love to but our P.O.S. State will not let use "uninitiated" persons do it...

Oh well, our irrigation law expired in Jan 2013 so we all might be out of business unless your a lic plumber.

Is that Illinois? What a stupid-ass deal that is. I attended a lot of backflow meetings up north and realized what a huge lobby the plumbers had; we had zip.

mitchgo
10-24-2011, 08:27 PM
Havta re license this winter to be up to procedures for the 10th edition
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greenmonster304
10-24-2011, 08:40 PM
Call your purveyor and the State Dept. of Water Quality and kick some butt.

I don't have to. I work closely with a plumber/tester who's passion is backflow. He works real hard to make sure everything he works on is up to code and tries to educate everyone who is working with water mains on how to protect their customers and the public.

Watch for a new thread I will be making later. I did a sub job for said plumber today replacing a mickey mouse backflow setup at a mall.

Sprinkus
10-24-2011, 08:55 PM
Most of the people I know that are licensed to test backflows say that it costs more to maintain their license than what they actually make testing them.

S.O.Contracting
10-24-2011, 08:56 PM
Everything gets tested every year and we are RPZ only. Still have a few PVB in service but if they break they have to be replaced with an RPZ.

Mike Leary
10-24-2011, 08:56 PM
Havta re license this winter to be up to procedures for the 10th edition

Study-up on PVBs, we failed the test many times 'cause we had none in service!

txirrigation
10-24-2011, 09:06 PM
Most of the people I know that are licensed to test backflows say that it costs more to maintain their license than what they actually make testing them.

I dont make any money with it, but I do avoid paying 45-60 bucks for tests on each install.

bcg
10-24-2011, 09:32 PM
I test and make a little money on it but not enough that I'd keep the license if I didn't need it for my own work.

mitchgo
10-24-2011, 09:39 PM
We have like 4,500 back flow customers.

Last year I did about 900 tests

Mike Leary
10-24-2011, 09:43 PM
We have like 4,500 back flow customers.

Last year I did about 900 tests

I don't know about Mitch, but we charged anywhere from $50.00 on up to $$ for fire lines. Not chump change, I'd say.

SPEEDSKI
10-24-2011, 10:29 PM
I have 4 certified testers on staff and we test around 1500 a year at $50.00 plus. Almost every water dept. around here requires annual testing and an initial test when we install a new device whether it is a replacement or new install.

I always wondered why some areas just have double checks and why we have Reduced Pressure Backflows? The only reason I ask is because we literally have Backflow Nazi's around here and they will fail us for the smallest B.S items.

We have to put them above ground and 18" is the norm. We have had the our device failed before for having a blow down on the Y-Strainer and then other counties will fail you for not having a blow down. I even have some that get popped by Metro for not having the flare fittings in the test cocks.

Anyway, it is a good amount of money each year. Not to mention most of the landscapers that irrigate seem to be able to pass the test!!

Personally, I wish we had more regulation around here to get rid of the weekend warriors and trunk slammers. Some cities are finally require permits yet we do not have a Irrigation License requirement. One thing that busts my ass is a couple cities only allow a master plumber to pull the install permit. I had to hire a Master Plumber to install a backflow on a commercial and the idiot actually put it in backwards. NO ****!!

I am trying to get my MP license this winter, but you need to be apprenticed in the plumbing trade for 4 years and have a MP write you a verification and reference letter. Pisses me off!

DanaMac
10-24-2011, 10:40 PM
I don't know about Mitch, but we charged anywhere from $50.00 on up to $$ for fire lines. Not chump change, I'd say.

Mike - how long does it take to put the truck in park, do the test, pack up, write up the paperwork, load up the cones and leave? I'll explain why later.

mitchgo
10-24-2011, 11:31 PM
We are fairly cheap.. Particularly compared to other major irrigation companies here.

$40 individual- $35 with a group rate of a neighbor.

$45 for owner access

$75 for fire alarmed systems that we need to call in.

I think anything above 3" should be way more then what we charge.. It just doesn't seem right to charge $40 for a 10" back flow assembly that isn't actively monitored.

Since we do it all on laptops.. We complete the invoice and the office will send out all the reports/invoices on mondays. All but one or 2 water districts accept it as a email and we'll send the same copy out to the homeowner

DanaMac
10-25-2011, 07:29 AM
Mike - how long does it take to put the truck in park, do the test, pack up, write up the paperwork, load up the cones and leave? I'll explain why later.

The reason I ask, is it seems like the $40-$50 price is way low. It sounds to me like the $25-$40 blow out guys. You're tested, licensed, have specialty equipment, but the test is lower than a regular blow out should be, or lower than many service call fees. Sounds like others in the industry have de-valued the service and have set the bar low for pricing, just like the blow out guys.

I also understand that the testing can lead to repair money, but for all the griping about pricing on blow outs, why is the BF testing so low?

greenmonster304
10-25-2011, 07:33 AM
The reason I ask, is it seems like the $40-$50 price is way low. It sounds to me like the $25-$40 blow out guys. You're tested, licensed, have specialty equipment, but the test is lower than a regular blow out should be, or lower than many service call fees. Sounds like others in the industry have de-valued the service and have set the bar low for pricing, just like the blow out guys.

I was thinking the same thing. The guy I use charges 85 or 90 for a test.
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DanaMac
10-25-2011, 07:46 AM
Here's the thing. When doing a start up or repair, I charge $70 for the first half hour I am on site. I'm going to assume that a BF test takes half hour.
But when doing a blow out, I'm at $65 for any system with 10 zones or less. I assume each one will take half hour.
Problem is, we are also pulling an additional $4000-$8000 worth of machinery. So I should be charging more than my regular service call. BUT - other jackasses have de-valued it by offering cheap $25-$40 blow outs, thinking they are making great money.
Same goes for testing BFs. Money and time go into studying, testing, licensing, renewal fees, specialty equipment, testing of equipment, and probably extra insurance. So I'm just wondering if the market/pricing has been pushed that way by idiots that are not doing their job properly, by doing a drive by test or falsifying test results just to get the repair jobs.

jbrockmann
10-25-2011, 08:02 AM
I'm a plumber here in St. Louis.
Sounds like the majority of your states are reasonable when it comes to licensing and testing. I really like Illinois for their statewide licensing and testing requirements. In MO, it's up to each county and city to provide licensing and testing. For instance, in the city of St. Louis only a licensed plumber can test the irrigation backflows, but the county a licensed installer can test. In the city, the plumber has to pull a plumbing permit for new system installs and theoretically has to be onsite for the enitre install to "oversee" the work is done properly. No permits required for new system installs in the counties. Backflows, yes, permits are required but at least not for the system.

We do a fair amount of testing as licensed plumbers both in the city and in the county for irrigation guys that don't have their license and we charge a fair amount for each test. I think some of you guys are short changing yourselves for the fees you are charging. Not my business, but I think you might be leaving some money on the table.

As far as getting a master plumbing license that some of you have mentioned. Here it's a real career that is not taken lightly. Minimum 5 years apprentice, then test, minimum 5 years journeyman, then test for your masters. And you have to prove you worked 40 hours a week for the enitire 5 years with a licensed plumber before being allowed to test. And - they just started new requirements that as an apprentice you must complete 600 hours of classroom training before being allowed to test for your journeyman's.

Just saying it could be worse if you're just starting out. But, for us plumbers it is nice to have some job security provided by our "lobby". :)

Wet_Boots
10-25-2011, 08:40 AM
The idea of an enforced requirement for a master plumbing license to be on site for an entire install is laughable. This sort of thing is what drives the proliferation of trunk-slammers.

zman9119
10-25-2011, 09:03 AM
Is that Illinois? What a stupid-ass deal that is. I attended a lot of backflow meetings up north and realized what a huge lobby the plumbers had; we had zip.

Yep, Illinois. It is the plumbing unions that screwed it for us.

Sad part is most of them know nothing about backflows..

Kiril
10-25-2011, 09:17 AM
Sad part is most of them know nothing about backflows..

........ or irrigation.

Mike Leary
10-25-2011, 04:44 PM
Am I the only one who installs backflow with sch 80 or brass unions? :dizzy:

Wet_Boots
10-25-2011, 04:49 PM
Backflows are more likely to walk away if they are connected with unions, and they also introduce the possibility of a bit of straight pipe being put in their place.

Mike Leary
10-25-2011, 05:11 PM
Backflows are more likely to walk away if they are connected with unions, and they also introduce the possibility of a bit of straight pipe being put in their place.

Unfortunately true in both cases. New regs out here require the assembly be stripped completely of anything not brass when trying to re-cycle it, which may or may not help avoid thievery. I was blessed with a purveyor that ran a "Captain Nazi" backflow program. If an assembly failed and the HO felt it was not worth fixing or replacing, we would abandon the system, and go back two feet, removing the unions and seriously sealing both ends (at HO nickel).

jvanvliet
10-25-2011, 05:54 PM
Lisenced plumber does the check in Palm beach & Broward Counties; each county has different requirements.

Mike Leary
10-25-2011, 06:21 PM
each county has different requirements.

I could never figure why the "requirements" differed so much: backflow is backflow, testing is testing with a psid that shall not drop below a industry-accepted level, and proper clearances in the valve box. I wrote in unions to my specs and also had my purveyor buy a Canadian backflow tracking software program to keep track of psid numbers to avoid "drive-by" testing. A friend that ran the cross-connection program in Portland had the same software and became suspicious of the psid #s of a tester and videoed a "drive-by".
Busted him, took away his testing license. By the way he was a plumber, and the State did not pull his plumbing ticket. :hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead:

greenmonster304
10-25-2011, 06:54 PM
Just found out today that Suffolk County Water changes their rules and only licensed plumbers with backflow cert can test.
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jvanvliet
10-25-2011, 06:58 PM
I could never figure why the "requirements" differed so much: backflow is backflow, testing is testing with a psid that shall not drop below a industry-accepted level, and proper clearances in the valve box.

Backflow preventers are installed to potable water supply only and apparently "brown" water (I haven't received a notice and I haven't tapped into the "purple nirple" yet). Oddly enough, they are not required on the service line to the residences, even though these lines are usually not much more than 10 - 14 inches under the dirt if that much, and subject to the same failure as irrigation. As far as I know, at least in my area, we can never install a back flow below grade, IE inside a valve box.

Each County, and then each incorporated city has its own code with the County prevailing if their standards are higher. It's a beeatch having to go to City Hall and pull the permits and get the run around on the WTF?

In general, no unions and no cross connects, ever

Anyway, I'm OK with the HO or HOA having to contact a plumber to check them.

Mike Leary
10-25-2011, 07:07 PM
Just found out today that Suffolk County Water changes their rules and only licensed plumbers with backflow cert can test.

Most plumbers care less (Though we've got one on the forum who seems to know) about backflow. Does the County require a certificate of calibration for the backflow test sets each year? :dizzy:

Wet_Boots
10-25-2011, 07:23 PM
Random thought - it is possible to do your own calibration with lab-quality accuracy (not that any officials would ever believe in it)

greenmonster304
10-25-2011, 07:30 PM
Most plumbers care less (Though we've got one on the forum who seems to know) about backflow. Does the County require a certificate of calibration for the backflow test sets each year? :dizzy:

I am not sure.
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jvanvliet
10-25-2011, 07:39 PM
Most plumbers care less (Though we've got one on the forum who seems to know) about backflow. Does the County require a certificate of calibration for the backflow test sets each year? :dizzy:

Dunno, County/City requires the HO or HOA/CA to obtain one. I'm glad it's not my problem :)

Mike Leary
10-25-2011, 09:31 PM
I'm glad it's not my problem :)

That is why nothing gets done; everyone looks the other way. :hammerhead:

Sprinkus
10-25-2011, 09:47 PM
Am I the only one who installs backflow with sch 80 or brass unions? :dizzy:

Below ground usually gets sch 80 even though the city only requires sch 40.
Above ground gets metal piping even though the city requirements don't call for it.
And no PVC male adapters on any of my backflows or valves, only sch 80 toe nipples.

jbrockmann
10-25-2011, 10:14 PM
Most plumbers care less (Though we've got one on the forum who seems to know) about backflow. Does the County require a certificate of calibration for the backflow test sets each year? :dizzy:

Not here in MO. Just go buy a set and test for years. It's up to the license holder to make sure everything operates properly. And we do. Test enough BF's and you can tell when something is wrong.

I should add that a plumber must install the backflow everywhere here, but still must be certified and carry a testing license to test. We retake the entire backflow prevention course every three years because it qualifies for our PEU's (continuing education requirements). Two birds one stone.

Fire sprinkler BF's must be tested by fire sprinkler guys with certification only. Plumbers nor irrigation guys can test those. Crazy how each state or water purveyor is so different.

jbrockmann
10-25-2011, 10:24 PM
Woops, not completely correct. I forgot when each testing unit is calibrated by an official authority it is certified and labeled on the back of the test unit. When record keeping, the testor is supposed to keep a record of each test and the cert date of the kit. Only in case the water purveyor ever asks for records. (They never ever do or will). So....laymen's terms - the kit has been certified, but you never need to recalibrate.

There's no where on our test forms to record the cert dates of our test units.

It's nice to see there are people that care about public safety other than the teachers that teach the backflow prevention course.

Kiril
10-25-2011, 10:58 PM
Am I the only one who installs backflow with sch 80 or brass unions? :dizzy:

......... No.

mitchgo
10-26-2011, 12:34 AM
Random thought - it is possible to do your own calibration with lab-quality accuracy (not that any officials would ever believe in it)

Doubt it. supposedly they take it apart down to the diaphrams. You really have to know what your doing ( and certified)

It would be like a homeowner getting back flow test certified to test his own device annually

txirrigation
10-26-2011, 09:52 AM
1) The backflow is at least 8" off the wall .... how big is your hand anyway?
2) The test cocks aren't facing the wall .... open your eyes.
3) You don't have a clue what you are talking about and have yet to provide one good reason not to face the handle in.

I opened my eyes... and I see that the test cocks are not facing the wall.... BUT you will need a mini flat head screw driver to open the test cocks. I believe that is what he was refering to.

We dont do basement backflows, but if I did I would think I would want it closer to the wall with handles out.

If I had the option of closer to the wall, handles out -or- 8" from wall handles in. I would choose closer to the wall. And I might be able to open the test cocks without a 2" flathead.

DanaMac
10-26-2011, 09:56 AM
I opened my eyes... and I see that the test cocks are not facing the wall.... BUT you will need a mini flat head screw driver to open the test cocks. I believe that is what he was refering to.

We dont do basement backflows, but if I did I would think I would want it closer to the wall with handles out.

If I had the option of closer to the wall, handles out -or- 8" from wall handles in. I would choose closer to the wall. And I might be able to open the test cocks without a 2" flathead.

Even facing out, I like having the PVB about 8" out, so it can be spun off when it needs replacing due to freeze damage.

Wet_Boots
10-26-2011, 10:06 AM
So, with corrosion in mind, the PVB has stainless-steel handles and nuts?

Kiril
10-26-2011, 10:16 AM
So, with corrosion in mind, the PVB has stainless-steel handles and nuts?

The handles and nuts are galvanized steel on the Febco PVB and the handle/nut are not in contact with the water in the pipe.

Wet_Boots
10-26-2011, 10:26 AM
You can get stainless handles for them. From long-term experience, the handles corroding will be more of an issue than galvanic corrosion in the plumbing.

Kiril
10-26-2011, 10:29 AM
From long-term experience, the handles corroding will be more of an issue than galvanic corrosion in the plumbing.

Agreed .... however the handle/nut corrosion is not a result of galvanic corrosion as long as the PVB is electrically isolated.

Mike Leary
10-26-2011, 10:43 AM
I'd hate to count the number of DCVAs I've had to take the channel locks to. :hammerhead:

txirrigation
10-26-2011, 03:10 PM
Even facing out, I like having the PVB about 8" out, so it can be spun off when it needs replacing due to freeze damage.

Makes since.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-27-2011, 08:44 AM
I opened my eyes... and I see that the test cocks are not facing the wall.... BUT you will need a mini flat head screw driver to open the test cocks. I believe that is what he was refering to.

We dont do basement backflows, but if I did I would think I would want it closer to the wall with handles out.

If I had the option of closer to the wall, handles out -or- 8" from wall handles in. I would choose closer to the wall. And I might be able to open the test cocks without a 2" flathead.

I'm debating on that too. I like that the blue handles don't mar the visual against a white stucco. In Kiril's case the handles will rarely be used since no blowouts. I'd probably out of habit, thinking the handles need to be as accessible as possible, have the handles out. I have a tool that has a phillips on one end and a straight slot on the other that is bent a 90 degree angles for tight spot screws. Would work fine on those testcocks.

Kiril
10-27-2011, 09:11 AM
I'm debating on that too. I like that the blue handles don't mar the visual against a white stucco. In Kiril's case the handles will rarely be used since no blowouts.

Not only no blowouts, but the chances of that backflow ever being tested again is nil to none.

I'd probably out of habit, thinking the handles need to be as accessible as possible, have the handles out. I have a tool that has a phillips on one end and a straight slot on the other that is bent a 90 degree angles for tight spot screws. Would work fine on those testcocks.

There are a variety of ways to easily access the testcock valve screws when they are facing the wall. A stubby screw driver, a 90 degree screw driver, a dime, key chain toro adjustment key, etc....

Fact of the matter is, the unit I posted a pic of can easily be serviced/tested in the orientation it is in, and IMO it makes the install look cleaner with the handles facing the wall. That said, I'm not going to break apart a factory tested assembly for no good reason .... and facing handles/screws out when there is plenty of clearance between the wall and the unit and/or to make it look better are not good reasons .... so the where the handles fall is where they stay in most cases.

IMO a good reason to rotate the handles towards a wall is if there is a good chance of them getting caught on stuff like hoses, extension cords, etc..., or to rotate them away from the wall if there is not enough clearance to open/close the ball valves easily.

Wet_Boots
10-27-2011, 10:44 AM
Doubt it. supposedly they take it apart down to the diaphrams. You really have to know what your doing ( and certified)

It would be like a homeowner getting back flow test certified to test his own device annuallyIt just happens that the differential pressure readings that a backflow tester is displaying can be checked for accuracy completely outside the loop of testing labs, and to a surprising degree of precision.

But how? :confused:

Kiril
10-27-2011, 11:04 AM
Here is another one just for the whiners who don't have the proper tools. Oh my, what will one do. :dizzy:

bcg
10-27-2011, 11:58 AM
It just happens that the differential pressure readings that a backflow tester is displaying can be checked for accuracy completely outside the loop of testing labs, and to a surprising degree of precision.

But how? :confused:

You use water columns to certify the accuracy. A foot of head is always .43PSID so 2' of water on the high side and 1' on the low side should read .43PSID differential and 2' only ont eh high side should read .85PSID. That's how most of the certifying companies certify the gauges anyway.

Recalibration is an entirely different animal.

Wet_Boots
10-27-2011, 12:05 PM
You use water columns to certify the accuracy. A foot of head is always .43PSID so 2' of water on the high side and 1' on the low side should read .43PSID differential and 2' only ont eh high side should read .85PSID. That's how most of the certifying companies certify the gauges anyway.

Recalibration is an entirely different animal.you get a cookie :)

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
10-27-2011, 01:17 PM
Not only no blowouts, but the chances of that backflow ever being tested again is nil to none.

I dunno what part of CA you're in but down here they require that EVERY backflow be tested annually. I even get the notices for the 4 or 5 devices at my house. They mean business to.... you don't get them certified they shut your water off.

Mike Leary
10-27-2011, 03:29 PM
They mean business to.... you don't get them certified they shut your water off.

I like that kind of talk, why the F most other purveyors look the other way is beyond me. :dizzy:

AI Inc
10-27-2011, 04:15 PM
Here is another one just for the whiners who don't have the proper tools. Oh my, what will one do. :dizzy:

Ya took the time to turn one , but not the other. What are you the ADD posterchild?

Wet_Boots
10-27-2011, 05:23 PM
Isn't Febco the last of the PVBs with the testcocks on the body? I know Wilkins changed to testcocks on the ball valves.

AI Inc
10-27-2011, 05:34 PM
watts also on ball valve

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
10-27-2011, 06:26 PM
Here is another one just for the whiners who don't have the proper tools. Oh my, what will one do. :dizzy:

I dunno... you left an awful lot of rocks and debris sitting on that fence rail....

Kiril
10-27-2011, 06:40 PM
I dunno what part of CA you're in but down here they require that EVERY backflow be tested annually. I even get the notices for the 4 or 5 devices at my house. They mean business to.... you don't get them certified they shut your water off.

Residential backflows almost never get inspected round these parts .... lack of enforcement is not my problem.

Ya took the time to turn one , but not the other. What are you the ADD posterchild?

Hey quick one .... those are union ball valves ... you don't need to break the factory threads to turn it. :hammerhead: How long have you been in this field of work?

I dunno... you left an awful lot of rocks and debris sitting on that fence rail....

Do you fill the trench in before all the pipe is laid? Maybe you do ..... I prefer not to dig trenches twice.

Mike Leary
10-27-2011, 06:56 PM
Residential backflows almost never get inspected round these parts .... lack of enforcement is not my problem

Oh really? I hope to hell you're kidding.

Kiril
10-27-2011, 07:02 PM
Oh really? I hope to hell you're kidding.

No I am not. I inform my residential clients they should get their backflows tested every year ..... and it is up to them to do it. Far as I know, none of them do.

Mike Leary
10-27-2011, 07:08 PM
No I am not. I inform my residential clients they should get their backflows tested every year ..... and it is up to them to do it. Far as I know, none of them do.

That bites, huge. Why have backflow then? Are you not licensed to test and why do you not explain to the client the importance of cross-connection protection? I don't get it.

Kiril
10-27-2011, 07:16 PM
That bites, huge. Why have backflow then? Are you not licensed to test and why do you not explain to the client the importance of cross-connection protection? I don't get it.

Yes I do tell them .... but it is not my problem. I have enough on my plate without worrying about someones backflow and when the last time it was tested.

Mike Leary
10-27-2011, 07:30 PM
I have enough on my plate without worrying about someones backflow and when the last time it was tested.

You have now crossed the line, finally, sonny. :waving:

Kiril
10-27-2011, 07:36 PM
You have now crossed the line, finally, sonny. :waving:

Not my problem. I inform people all the time on bullshiit code violations I see .... but I'm not an enforcement agency and I'm not a rat.

Maybe I should tell AI that the backflow he posted a pic of is not up to code. :laugh:

jbrockmann
10-27-2011, 07:36 PM
That bites, huge. Why have backflow then? Are you not licensed to test and why do you not explain to the client the importance of cross-connection protection? I don't get it.

Is it possible where he's at they don't require plumbing permits for backflow installs? I seriously doubt it. But if the county or city doesn't then there is no way to track yearly tests and send letters informing the homeowners of their duty. If they do require a permit and he's just not getting one for his customers then shame.

There are a few irrigation guys that operate around here that install their own bf's and don't permit them. No way to track and you can't test or even try to send in a future report because no permit was ever issued. :nono: The homeowner will get a headache from the paperwork and bills involved down the road if they sell their home.

The vast majority of installers operate properly around here and just cut costs by trying to use the cheapest plumbers getting permits and do most of the work themselves.:hammerhead: Thank goodness for the few other companies that operate professionally and allow everything to be done properly by licensed plumbers. Win win for the homeowner now and in the future. They are the ones paying the bills right??

Kiril
10-27-2011, 07:43 PM
Is it possible where he's at they don't require plumbing permits for backflow installs? I seriously doubt it.

Just because you pulled a permit doesn't mean testing will be enforced. Hell, my RPZ at my house has "passed" inspection without even having it tested. Go figure.

Wet_Boots
10-27-2011, 07:44 PM
A lot of areas seem to be lacking in a willingness to enforce testing. Lucky for me, the toxic-rated devices are more or less proof against inattention, like a PVB that functions because of gravity. (but for a hundred bucks, I'll show up and drop an apple)

Mike Leary
10-27-2011, 08:28 PM
Boots and Kiril seem to be the only honest ones, in that they seem to know lots about backflow, but do nothing to be even licensed or convince the client of the importance of testing. It also seems that a few of you could give a rat, which is unforgivable. Shame on all of you and even more so, why don't you go to the purveyor and the State and DEMAND the Clean Water Act be enforced? :hammerhead:

Sprinkus
10-27-2011, 08:52 PM
why don't you go to the State and DEMAND the Clean Water Act be enforced? :hammerhead:

Because of the warrants. :laugh:

Mike Leary
10-27-2011, 09:00 PM
Because of the warrants. :laugh:

Huh, huh, you makeum joke. I'm not happy about all this crap with naysayers. As far as I'm concerned, you install irrigation and backflow, you test them, period. We tested a ton of well systems with no adult supervision, what's the difference? I knew this thread would turn to mush, and, frankly, I'm disappointed more of you guys don't step up to the plate, get certified, and kick some local butt. :hammerhead:

DanaMac
10-27-2011, 09:05 PM
Boots and Kiril seem to be the only honest ones, in that they seem to know lots about backflow, but do nothing to be even licensed or convince the client of the importance of testing. It also seems that a few of you could give a rat, which is unforgivable. Shame on all of you and even more so, why don't you go to the purveyor and the State and DEMAND the Clean Water Act be enforced? :hammerhead:

It's your crusade, not ours. It's always been this way, no testing and enforcement, and we have not made the rules. Nor do I feel it is our responsibility to push for it. I would rather spend more time and money on the causes that I actually give a rat about, seeing how I can't recall any recent backflow or contamination issue due to the sprinkler systems. But if you want to bring up the MoHo and talk to our water departments that are already underfunded and understaffed, come on up and talk their ears off. I work on homes that are in 9 different water districts. You can come talk to each one.

Mike Leary
10-27-2011, 09:18 PM
if you want to bring up the MoHo and talk to our water departments that are already underfunded and understaffed, come on up and talk their ears off.

Nope, I don't plan on that, wrong time of the year to visit. I do plan to do more research on why backflow regs are so different in all parts of the country and how various areas get away with no oversight. Gee," underfunded and understaffed", my purveyor, with a backflow tracking software kept track of hundreds of assemblies out of a little tiny office. Give me a break.:hammerhead:

Wet_Boots
10-27-2011, 09:24 PM
Sprinkler guys in this area can get licensed up the wazoo, and it counts for nothing when it comes to pulling permits and installing backflow. I want to see functional toxic-rated backflow preventers, because they do their job even without close attention.

One of the last times I submitted permit paperwork, I ask the inspector if they want to observe the system in operation, and I get "the look" in response.

Kiril
10-27-2011, 09:41 PM
Boots and Kiril seem to be the only honest ones, in that they seem to know lots about backflow, but do nothing to be even licensed or convince the client of the importance of testing. It also seems that a few of you could give a rat, which is unforgivable. Shame on all of you and even more so, why don't you go to the purveyor and the State and DEMAND the Clean Water Act be enforced? :hammerhead:

Hey now. I already said I talk to the clients about testing, and there are already plenty of testers in this area .... no need to add one more. That said, it isn't my problem if they don't get it tested. I am a manager & consultant not an enforcement agency. Now if I was a tester, then I might be more inclined to insist on testing .... but I'm not .... and therefore it is not my problem.

Kiril
10-27-2011, 09:44 PM
Huh, huh, you makeum joke. I'm not happy about all this crap with naysayers. As far as I'm concerned, you install irrigation and backflow, you test them, period. We tested a ton of well systems with no adult supervision, what's the difference? I knew this thread would turn to mush, and, frankly, I'm disappointed more of you guys don't step up to the plate, get certified, and kick some local butt. :hammerhead:

FYI Dad .... probably 80% or more of residential, and even some commercial properties run ASV's. How does one go about testing an ASV?

Mike Leary
10-27-2011, 09:44 PM
I want to see functional toxic-rated backflow preventers, because they do their job even without close attention

So, if a RP relief valve fails, it's no big deal to have water all over the place? :hammerhead:

Wet_Boots
10-27-2011, 09:50 PM
So, if a RP relief valve fails, it's no big deal to have water all over the place? :hammerhead:no one suffers from the spilled water

MAD whacker
10-27-2011, 09:50 PM
Is this a part of your business?

im sure that you have to be certified . usually the plumbing co has an ad or two.

one of the plumbing and hvac shops i worked for in the past had to test all the irri BFPD's and the ones used in manufacturing. it pays around 250 per check out . and a rebuild is around 300.

they arent hard to do i have assisted two guys in doing a full rebuild on the budwieser plant here in anderson and they worked two days , one BFPD at a time and netted like 4000.


hope this helps...

M.w.

Kiril
10-27-2011, 09:55 PM
I've had more than a few licensed plumbers ask me what a backflow was, even when they were looking right at it. Goes to show just because plumbers and irrigators both work with water doesn't mean plumbers know jack about irrigation. Hell ... most irrigators know more about plumbing than they do about irrigation .... witness this forum. :laugh: :cry:

mitchgo
10-27-2011, 09:58 PM
I've had more than a few licensed plumbers ask me what a backflow was, even when they were looking right at it. Goes to show just because plumbers and irrigators both work with water doesn't mean plumbers know jack about irrigation.

So I had a new customer today

He said " Hi, I'm Kiril , nice to meet you!" which is how it was spelt too

Kiril
10-27-2011, 09:59 PM
So I had a new customer today

He said " Hi, I'm Kiril , nice to meet you!" which is how it was spelt too

No shiit ..... too funny. Did you punch him in the face and say that is for the forum :laugh:

mitchgo
10-27-2011, 10:08 PM
It just happens that the differential pressure readings that a backflow tester is displaying can be checked for accuracy completely outside the loop of testing labs, and to a surprising degree of precision.

But how? :confused:

Is this a test for me?

If I was to guess .. Using elevation and the .433 rule could accurately allow you to determine if your tester unit is working right.

Kiril
10-27-2011, 10:14 PM
I say if you want to calibrate it, you send it to a calibrator who can do it and issue a NIST certification on it.

MAD whacker
10-27-2011, 10:15 PM
I've had more than a few licensed plumbers ask me what a backflow was, even when they were looking right at it. Goes to show just because plumbers and irrigators both work with water doesn't mean plumbers know jack about irrigation. Hell ... most irrigators know more about plumbing than they do about irrigation .... witness this forum. :laugh: :cry:

what makes you believe BFPD's are only used in irrigation? i use safe fail check valves in hvac/r all the time. and the plumbers i help are WAY smarter than myself, just saying..............

mitchgo
10-27-2011, 10:17 PM
A safe fail check isn't a back flow assembly.. One day it will fail and you will never know about it

Kiril
10-27-2011, 10:18 PM
what makes you believe BFPD's are only used in irrigation?

What makes you think I do? This is the irrigation forum and hence we are talking about backflows as it applies to irrigation.

mitchgo
10-27-2011, 10:20 PM
I say if you want to calibrate it, you send it to a calibrator who can do it and issue a NIST certification on it.

We have to get our's calibrated each year. In January I will be sending mine in.
I wish they would fail it because I want a new one.

Kiril
10-27-2011, 10:20 PM
A safe fail check isn't a back flow assembly.. One day it will fail and you will never know about it

In other words .... sealed check assemblies that cannot be tested or repaired.

mitchgo
10-27-2011, 10:23 PM
Ive met not the brightest plumbers my self.

Working inside is so easy.. There isn't much of anything that needs more then 1/2 piping and 50 psi ... They don't have to think about anything other then getting water to the specified area in the house and building..

I mean even designing a fire sprinkler system to me seems easier then working with irrigation..

MAD whacker
10-27-2011, 10:23 PM
In other words .... sealed check assemblies that cannot be tested or repaired.

http://www.danfoss.com/North_America/BusinessAreas/Refrigeration+and+Air+Conditioning/ProdCat/IndustrialRefCheckValves.htm

you can quit trying to put people down now.

mitchgo
10-27-2011, 10:26 PM
http://www.danfoss.com/North_America/BusinessAreas/Refrigeration+and+Air+Conditioning/ProdCat/IndustrialRefCheckValves.htm

you can quit trying to put people down now.

Again, there is no way to test that device to ensure it's working properly

MAD whacker
10-27-2011, 10:27 PM
Ive met not the brightest plumbers my self.

Working inside is so easy.. There isn't much of anything that needs more then 1/2 piping and 50 psi ... They don't have to think about anything other then getting water to the specified area in the house and building..

I mean even designing a fire sprinkler system to me seems easier then working with irrigation..

tell that to the "PLUMBERS " who are rebuilding the WTC...........:usflag::rolleyes:

mitchgo
10-27-2011, 10:29 PM
All you do is crunch the numbers, throw in a few pumps.

And guys like that.... Are the elitest of the industry. I would randomly guess at least 75% of all journeyman plumbers couldn't properly do that

MAD whacker
10-27-2011, 10:32 PM
Again, there is no way to test that device to ensure it's working properly

yea like that test port on it wouldnt work now would it.

mitchgo
10-27-2011, 10:39 PM
No.. There is no way to test that device to ensure it is preventing back flow of any kind. Even after reviewing several of the pdf's... Stop being a tool

I'm not trying to diss on those units.. I don't even know the real importance of them.. All I'm saying is this device cannot be tested therefore it is not a proper back flow assembly... Should this device be used in a application where a back flow situation to occur and possibly cause harm to the public.. Then a proper back flow device should be installed upstream to this unit

I mean... Most water meters these days have built in check valves... But any kind of potential source of cross connection downstream of the water meter still requires a back flow assembly.

Kiril
10-27-2011, 10:40 PM
you can quit trying to put people down now.

You mean like this?

what makes you believe BFPD's are only used in irrigation?

BTW .... if the check valves you linked are on the following list .... then you are good to go.

http://www.usc.edu/dept/fccchr/list.html

I still am having a hard time trying to figure out what those checks have anything to do with irrigation? Care to explain?

MAD whacker
10-27-2011, 10:45 PM
No.. There is no way to test that device to ensure it is preventing back flow of any kind. Even after reviewing several of the pdf's... Stop being a tool

I'm not trying to diss on those units.. I don't even know the real importance of them.. All I'm saying is this device cannot be tested therefore it is not a proper back flow assembly... Should this device be used in a application where a back flow situation to occur and possibly cause harm to the public.. Then a proper back flow device should be installed upstream to this unit

i realize what you are saying. and im not trying to lock horns with anyone, what i am doing is defending my plumber friends from the caos that is hackwork, i realize SOME plumbers are not to sharp i realize also that some irri guys arent either. but back to the topic of who test BFPD's usually its a certified master plumber.... sorry about the round about bs*trucewhiteflag*

MAD whacker
10-27-2011, 10:46 PM
You mean like this?



BTW .... if the check valves you linked are on the following list .... then you are good to go.

http://www.usc.edu/dept/fccchr/list.html

I still am having a hard time trying to figure out what those checks have anything to do with irrigation? Care to explain?

no. idont really. i was making a mute point i guess.:nono:

Kiril
10-27-2011, 10:53 PM
No.. There is no way to test that device to ensure it is preventing back flow of any kind. Even after reviewing several of the pdf's... Stop being a tool

I'm not trying to diss on those units.. I don't even know the real importance of them.. All I'm saying is this device cannot be tested therefore it is not a proper back flow assembly... Should this device be used in a application where a back flow situation to occur and possibly cause harm to the public.. Then a proper back flow device should be installed upstream to this unit

I mean... Most water meters these days have built in check valves... But any kind of potential source of cross connection downstream of the water meter still requires a back flow assembly.

Wouldn't it be safe to assume that any health hazard rated backflow (barring an air gap) will take a dump on a cross connection/backflow event? If it ain't dumping it ain't protecting.

Kiril
10-27-2011, 11:15 PM
In other words .... sealed check assemblies that cannot be tested or repaired.

For clarity, I believe the above would be classified as a device, not an assembly.

S.O.Contracting
10-27-2011, 11:16 PM
Wouldn't it be safe to assume that any health hazard rated backflow (barring an air gap) will take a dump on a cross connection/backflow event? If it ain't dumping it ain't protecting.

No because a PVB can't protect from a backpressure incident just a backsiphon one. So if you have a booster pump downstream of it. It could cause a cross connection/backflow event and you would never know.

Kiril
10-27-2011, 11:17 PM
For clarity, I believe the above would be classified as a device, not an assembly.

What an arrogant elitist prick you are. You must be inherently mean or something ..... :laugh:

Kiril
10-27-2011, 11:21 PM
No because a PVB can't protect from a backpressure incident just a backsiphon one. So if you have a booster pump downstream of it. It could cause a cross connection/backflow event and you would never know.

Hmmm, good point. That doesn't mean it won't dump though .... does it? Backflows that aren't back pressure rated should protect as long as the back pressure isn't greater than the head pressure.

Waterit
10-27-2011, 11:59 PM
Hmmm, good point. That doesn't mean it won't dump though .... does it? Backflows that aren't back pressure rated should protect as long as the back pressure isn't greater than the head pressure.

A PVB certainly would dump if it's installed properly, downstream booster or no.

Kiril
10-28-2011, 12:07 AM
A PVB certainly would dump if it's installed properly, downstream booster or no.

So in a back pressure scenario, barring the unapproved use of a PVB with a downstream booster, you would need significant and/or constant back pressure, causing the check assembly to fail before you are at high risk of a cross connection?

DanaMac
10-28-2011, 07:23 AM
no. idont really. i was making a mute point i guess.:nono:

It's called a "moot" point, not a "mute" point.
Figured if everyone else was piling on ya.............

Sprinkus
10-28-2011, 08:18 AM
PVB protects against backsiphonage, not backpressure.
LINK (http://wcbackflow.com/faq.htm#9)

jbrockmann
10-28-2011, 09:14 AM
Ive met not the brightest plumbers my self.

Working inside is so easy.. There isn't much of anything that needs more then 1/2 piping and 50 psi ... They don't have to think about anything other then getting water to the specified area in the house and building..

I mean even designing a fire sprinkler system to me seems easier then working with irrigation..

Sorry you haven't met the brightest plumbers. BUT - they are out there if you wouldn't shop for the cheapest guys to do your work. Just like any profession, you get what you pay for. Call us and you will probably be shocked at the prices we charge (had a guy tell me two weeks ago that we were the highest of the 10 plumbers he called for flat rate BF install pricing). What you get in return is Master plumbers with 30+ years of experience and 4 year college degree's that "have seen a BF before".

I'll admit I don't know squat about irrigation, don't want to. But don't act like you know everything about plumbing. It's not all about piping 1/2" copper to everywhere. Hell, supply piping is only mabye 1/2 of plumbing. Waste piping is pretty important too and I guarantee you have no idea about that half of plumbing.

Fire sprinklers are installed only by licensed pipe fitters. Not even a plumber's job. Three different professions that require three different skill sets and require different knowledge and experience to install PROPERLY.

I know irrigation guys love to bash plumbers because "they don't know what they are doing and charge astronomical prices". Some of you need to get off the high horses and realize that most plumbers don't look at irrigation guys thinking you are just glorifed ditch diggers. Both are respectable jobs when you find the right guys (or gals) performing them.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-28-2011, 09:41 AM
All types in all trades. I've met some really sharp plumbers and I've met clueless as well. Same with electricians.

mitchgo
10-30-2011, 12:51 AM
pete says it all.

Give me the time in any field position and I'll be the top 1% :)

mitchgo
10-30-2011, 12:52 AM
Just got this in the mail

Gotta get re-certed in january for the 10th edition rules

Mike Leary
10-30-2011, 10:54 AM
Watch out for the PVB section, Mitch. Russ failed that part simply because we don't have any in service.

mitchgo
10-30-2011, 01:44 PM
The test rules have changed for the pvb too.

Amazingly I can still test a pvb without looking at the procedures . We only have like 2 or 3 in service

SVB on the other hand I completely forgot and I've never seen one in the field

Wet_Boots
10-30-2011, 02:02 PM
Who would want a SVB in a lawn sprinkler system?

CAPT Stream Rotar
10-30-2011, 02:39 PM
I want to get into it...badly

tons of rev can be made.

Mike Leary
10-30-2011, 02:43 PM
Who would want a SVB in a lawn sprinkler system?

That's only for Doctor and Dentist offices, and we used to test a lot of them. payup

mitchgo
10-30-2011, 06:36 PM
I don't know anything about them since I don't use them.

We test several dentist buildings and there all rp's.

Mike Leary
10-30-2011, 06:42 PM
We test several dentist buildings and there all rp's.

So they are premises isolation?

Wet_Boots
10-30-2011, 06:54 PM
They would be fixture isolation.

Mike Leary
10-30-2011, 07:14 PM
They would be fixture isolation.

Umm, one would hope so. :dizzy: I wonder why SVPs became out of favor?

Wet_Boots
10-30-2011, 07:26 PM
how do they connect to irrigation

Mike Leary
10-30-2011, 07:43 PM
how do they connect to irrigation

Not, in my testing area, same with any sort of external PVBs. SVPs were always in the mechanical room, which were permitted.

Wet_Boots
10-30-2011, 07:58 PM
I have one mechanical room with a regular PVB, cut into a system I renovated, with the supply exiting the building below grade. Height makes it kosher, even if not beautiful.

Mike Leary
10-30-2011, 08:07 PM
I always thought the spill resistant PVBs were a good assembly, plumbed correctly. Could it be there were not enough quality BATs around to accurately test them? :dizzy:

Mike Leary
10-30-2011, 08:22 PM
Most water meters these days have built in check valves... But any kind of potential source of cross connection downstream of the water meter still requires a back flow assembly.

We called them "flapper valves" and they were worthless. As my instructor in cross-connection school explained, " any valve that cannot be tested for backflow or siphonage is called a "device" and is not approved, period.

Wet_Boots
10-30-2011, 08:35 PM
Well, the Dual Check is the semi-kosher bastard stepchild of the real thing, and carries an ASSE number, but with all that, I only saw it employed at meters as a whole-house "just in case" addition to the supply plumbing at the time of house construction.

Flow Control
10-30-2011, 09:05 PM
I am certified in two states so I basically have to take recerts 2 out of every 3 years, I did a recert last month and it thought it would be the standard 1 day class and then a test. Instead they said they were changing things up and said it was a proficiency test instead. So they have you test a DC, RP & PVB and then go back and test again but the second time every part for each device is removed and placed in a pile and there may be screws loose or slivers of plastic placed in the checks. So you had to assemble and end up getting each device to pass by making any necessary repairs. I will have to recert next year as well and will go for ďAdvancedĒ certification for large devices. I have also been kicking around the idea of taking the class and test to be a licensed plumber simply due to the fact that it is required in some Cities now and may end up being the norm in the future. It is tough having such a wide variety of standards from state to state and county to county along with city to city. As having experience testing myself I found it impossible to believe a sub we used to test backflows for us in a certain area that did over 50 tests without one device having an issue. Itís also disappointing that lack of knowledge most irrigation contractors have regarding backflows.

Wet_Boots
10-30-2011, 09:15 PM
Jeez, I know guys who would just about kill to be able to get a plumbing license simply by passing a test. :eek:

Mike Leary
10-30-2011, 10:42 PM
I am certified in two states so I basically have to take recerts 2 out of every 3 years, It is tough having such a wide variety of standards from state to state and county to county along with city to city. As having experience testing myself I found it impossible to believe a sub we used to test backflows for us in a certain area that did over 50 tests without one device having an issue. Itís also disappointing that lack of knowledge most irrigation contractors have regarding backflows.

I had the same problems with various counties and cities, what b.s.! I had my purveyors run "stings" on a couple of "testers" because their psid readings made no sense after I tested the assemblies. :hammerhead:

Flow Control
10-31-2011, 07:51 PM
To clarify to be eligible to take the class you have to verify 5 years of full-time employment with a plumber.