(707) 800-6287 |  Sonoma Napa and Marin Counties

 

What’s worse than being hot in the summer heat? You guessed it, no air conditioning! When your air conditioning system isn’t functioning properly, you need to get it back up and running ASAP to avoid high energy bills and sweltering temperatures. In addition to regular maintenance to ensure your HVAC system continues to work smoothly, backflow testing is an important part of your HVAC system as well. Here’s what you need to know about this important service that keeps you cool and comfortable!

 

What is Backflow Testing?

Before purchasing or installing an air conditioner, heat pump, or any other appliance that utilizes water you must have your plumbing system inspected and tested. This is to make sure that back flow doesn’t occur in your home when it is operating. Back flow occurs when impurities are placed into a water line. For example, chlorine bleach being put into a hot water heater by mistake can cause serious issues. A system called backflow prevention is placed in line with your water main (i.e.: street) before it enters your home so as to prevent such incidents from occurring and causing damage to your property and appliances.

Backflow is a very serious issue in your home, and it is crucial that you contact a plumber to ensure that it is not occurring. If you are unsure if your plumbing system has been tested or inspected then it would be wise to reach out and contact a Valley Comfort heating and air technician so they can inspect and test your plumbing system. Even if you believe everything is fine as far as back flow prevention goes, there are other issues that may arise with your plumbing systems such as leaks. A plumbing leak can cause major damage to property, appliances, fixtures and more. They can also become an issue when purchasing insurance for certain types of homes such as flood damage prevention. In order to have your plumbing inspected we highly recommend using Valley Comfort Heating & Air!

 

How Does Water Damage Occur?

Water damage can be caused by a number of issues, but leaks are most common. Sometimes, a leak will develop slowly and go unnoticed until it has damaged walls or ceilings. Other times, water damage occurs suddenly when a pipe bursts or a part is faulty. But no matter what causes your water damage, you need to make sure that your heating and air conditioning system is free from leaks so as not to put out spores and mold. Mold spores can cause health issues such as allergies and respiratory problems in vulnerable people like children, seniors, and those with existing health conditions. You’ll want to call on experts like Valley Comfort Heating & Air if you suspect a leak in your air conditioner so that they can perform backflow testing to check for these issues.

If you suspect your heating and air conditioning system is causing water damage, then you may want to consider performing backflow testing. While regular inspections are important for all of your home’s systems, backflow testing is specifically performed to ensure that there are no leaks or malfunctions in your AC system. A licensed professional will first use a pressure gauge to test whether or not your system can withstand high pressure. Next, they will connect an additional device called a pig—which resembles a large tube with three prongs—to run through your whole AC system. The prongs measure flow and compare it against what should be flowing through your house at that time.

If there is any discrepancy between what should be flowing through your house and what is, then that means a leak may exist somewhere in your air conditioning system. A professional will be able to locate these leaks and repair them immediately so that they don’t cause any additional damage to your home. This backflow testing is important because it can potentially save you money down the road if you catch issues early on. The cost of water damage repairs depends on how much damage occurred and how long it went without being noticed, but it could run into thousands of dollars. Also, if mold develops as a result of water damage, then you may need to replace parts of your AC system as well as some other damaged areas in your home.

 

Understanding Backflow Devices

The importance of backflow testing cannot be understated. If your HVAC system backs up, you could be dealing with serious damage to your property—not to mention that a flooded basement is never fun to clean up! The best way to ensure that your home stays safe from serious water damage and other problems caused by backflow devices is by having your plumber or other qualified professional conduct a backflow test on an annual basis. With regular testing, you can take steps before a problem occurs to stop it from becoming serious. The cost associated with backflow testings are minimal and well worth it when compared to major water damage repairs down the road.

With a little effort, you can make sure that your home is protected from problems caused by backflow devices. If you suspect that your HVAC system has a problem, call Valley Comfort Heating & Air right away. With our years of experience and expertise, we’ll have your problem fixed in no time! For more information about how we can help with all your needs, call today!

 

How Is it Possible to Test For Leaks?

When it comes to backflow testing, there are two types that you will commonly hear about: pressure-test and vacuum-test. Pressure test will come with a gauge that reads pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI). With an inexpensive tool, it can be used to check all types of fixtures from sprinklers to hose bibs. Vacuum test will use a gauge that’s attached to your plumbing line and reads negative pressures in inches or millimeters of mercury (Hg). It’s useful when checking potential leaks where suction must occur such as vent stacks and kitchen sinks. In addition, some low-priced kits are equipped with both pressure and vacuum gauges, providing you with extra versatility.

Before you begin to perform your backflow test, it’s a good idea to make sure that there is some water in your fixtures. Otherwise, you may be testing air instead of plumbing lines and wasting your time. With that being said, it’s also important to determine which test pressure or vacuum is required. The easiest way to accomplish both tasks at once is by calling your local authority as they will have access to all of your fixtures or components. Most jurisdictions require backflow testing every year (or more often) so a quick call should be able to help steer you in the right direction. It’s a good idea to allow one hour per fixture and if any problems are discovered during testing, then take action immediately!

 

When Should I Test My Backflow Device?

Some municipalities and states require annual testing, while others recommend tests once every three to five years. Talk to your local codes department to learn more about specific regulations in your area. There are many reasons why backflow testing is an important part of your responsibilities as a homeowner or business owner. Fortunately, it’s simple and easy! If you’re feeling a little nervous about how much time or money it will take to test, rest assured that we can handle it for you in just a few short steps. As we discussed earlier, servicing our equipment is what sets us apart from other air conditioning service companies in Jacksonville, Florida because we don’t just repair and replace parts—we keep your system running smoothly year-round by using preventative maintenance tactics and regular testing programs.

If you’re unsure if you need to have your backflow device tested, there are a few things to keep in mind. It’s recommended that you test at least once per year, or after any major installation or repair work has been done on your system. If you live in an area that frequently experiences severe weather or flooding, it’s important to have regular backflow tests done to avoid health risks and potential fines from your local government officials. Whether you’re a homeowner looking out for your own family’s safety, or an employee with concerns about workplace safety—it never hurts to know more about what protects our drinking water systems every day!

 

What If I Don’t Test My Backflow Device?

Once you’ve taken care of some basic maintenance, it’s time to think about whether your backflow prevention device needs testing. In short, a backflow prevention device is a type of plumbing valve that prevents water from flowing in an unwanted direction. These devices are commonly used near fire hydrants or other sources of public water to prevent contamination. While no system is foolproof, there are systems that can provide added protection against contamination during repairs and maintenance activities. Don’t forget—your heating and air conditioning system needs some attention too! Our state-of-the-art AC technicians are always on call and ready to help with any issue you may have.

Depending on your area, you may need to test your backflow prevention device every 3 or 5 years. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that Systems such as fire hydrants and potable water lines located in areas such as schools, day care centers, hospitals, nursing homes and businesses may require testing more frequently. You should contact your local municipality to see what their regulations are before proceeding with a backflow test. If you’re looking for an HVAC service provider with experience handling a wide range of maintenance issues, you can trust our team to get it done right.

 

How Valley Comfort Does Backflow Testing

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends that air conditioning systems be tested each year to ensure their safety. The good news is that it doesn’t take much time or money to do backflow testing, but failing to test regularly can cost you a lot more in repairs. Valley Comfort heating and air takes pride in offering quality maintenance services designed to keep your home healthy and comfortable—all year long. We are also fully equipped to handle any emergency situation, including faulty ductwork or refrigerant leaks. Backflow testing ensures that your system will function safely throughout each season; contact us today if you’d like more information about our comprehensive, hassle-free backflow testing services.

If you have a pool in your yard, and you’re using a whole-house humidifier or dehumidifier, it’s crucial to do backflow testing as well. Otherwise, chlorine from these devices can leak back into your home’s water supply and corrode pipes. It might not be dangerous to drink water with high levels of chlorine, but over time it can damage your skin and hair. For added peace of mind, always leave your faucets dripping slightly when you aren’t using them; this way any chemical residue that has accumulated will drip out rather than seeping into other plumbing lines.