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News: Blaine

Posted on: June 3, 2022

Building Inspections Corner: Importance of Backflow Devices

Residential Inspection-15

What is backflow prevention?

When the domestic water supply system is connected to any system that has the potential to pollute or contaminate the building or city water supply, backflow protection is required. The type of device installed is determined by the level of hazard and other parameters. Not all residential plumbing systems will have a testable backflow prevention device. Backflow prevention devices will often be found in homes that have a lawn irrigation system or boiler heat. 

Backflow Prevention Testing 

In recent months, many property owners may have been contacted about testing their backflow prevention devices. In 2015, the State of Minnesota adopted a national plumbing code called the Uniform Plumbing Code, (UPC). Minnesota amendments were created and incorporated into what is now the Minnesota Plumbing Code Chapter 4714, which became effective in 2016. The new code brought significant changes, some of which not only affect plumbers but also homeowners. While many of these code changes can be discussed as homeowners and plumbers obtain permits, there is also a new requirement for the annual testing of testable backflow prevention devices. 

Individuals performing backflow prevention device testing are required to have completed the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) certification and be licensed as a backflow prevention tester, by the State of Minnesota. If the test reveals a need for repair a City of Blaine permit will need to be obtained by an ASSE certified and Minnesota licensed backflow prevention rebuilder with testing to occur again after the repair. 

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