There are different circumstances where a backflow prevention assembly is tested, and this dictates the type and approval of the certification required in order to test them. Generally speaking, there are:
- Containment (Primary) valves are at the very beginning of domestic water and fire sprinkler systems that connect directly to the public water supply, these valves protect the public water supply from any potential contamination from the building
- Isolation (Secondary) valves are throughout the building(s) and connect the potable water supply to various non-potable sources such as Irrigation Systems, HVAC Make-Up Water, Hair and Nail Salon Tubs, Commercial Kitchen & Restaurant Equipment, and other sources. These valves protect the building occupants from any potential contamination from the building's own systems
Initial Test - Both Containment (Primary) and Isolation (Secondary) backflow assemblies must be tested upon installation and submitted to the Buildings Department to final the plumbing permit and receive a Certificate of Occupancy. These tests must be done in a manner consistent with the plumbing code and acceptable to the permit office, which sometimes but not always has to be by a tester licensed through the appropriate Department of Health or Environment for the State, if applicable. Quite often a tester can just test them in accordance with the plumbing codes and use their own test report form for the secondary assemblies, even with no certification at all, but usually some type of certificate is required, whether state recognized or other.
Annual Water Purveyor Test - The supplier of water in your area will also require the Containment (Primary) backflow assembly be tested periodically, usually annually but sometimes more frequently. These tests must be done by a tester licensed through the appropriate Department of Health or Environment for the State, if applicable.
Annual or Periodic Isolation (Secondary) Assembly Tests - If the building sublets units, goes on the market for sale, something similar, or has annual or periodic required inspections to renew their liability insurance, they will often need to have backflow survey inspections and assembly tests done for the entire building. Our Certification is Acceptable For These Purposes, being that they are unrelated to water purveyors and construction codes. We have a multi-state program based on ASSE 5000-2015 test procedures with recognized coursework and testing methods, and can submit credentials upon request.
Check out below your state's requirements for testing, and see if maybe we can service your needs. We also sell backflow kits and do calibrations - check out those offerings at www.krugerinstruments.com
Please NOTE - Our course is currently not submitted or approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, so many water purveyors and jurisdictions may not accept our certificates.
Our 40-hour course is based on the USC (University of Southern California) textbook and course materials. Our 40-hour certificate program is acceptable to ABPA as the pre-requisite training for the backflow tester exam and license, but ABPA certificates are not valid in Texas.
Our course is likely valid for Isolation (Secondary) tests, but if doing Containment (Primary) tests, you will likely have to get the state license.
Containment (Primary) Backflow Assembly testing is managed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality - there is a vocational credit course required ( 40 hour minimum ) that is registered with the department, and you have to take a BPAT written exam after taking the course, this is outlined below on their website
Most Texas courses use the USC testing procedures, although some others are approved in most areas. The ASSE 5000 Single Hose Procedures are a little more efficient and require less equipment (tees, hoses, etc.), but if taking the ABPA exam, the proctor will only accept USC 10th Edition.
On our YouTube Channel, we created a series of videos where we test the four types of preventers using both types of procedures if you wanted to check out the differences:
Do you need a backflow test kit or need to calibrate a test kit you already have? We offer both of these, check out our sister company Kruger Instruments for more information: