Many areas require a backflow preventer to be inspected and tested each year. Testing costs vary depending on location and who is doing the testing. For example, Paradise Irrigation District in Northern California charges $40 to do an annual test, while the city of Boulder in Colorado does not perform the test and estimates that private companies charge anywhere from $25 to $350 per device (CostHelper, 2020).
Here in Georgia, most municipalities require testing via private companies. Fees range anywhere from $65 to $300 per device (Manta, 2020). For a list of Georgia municipalities, click here.
770BACKFLOW technicians perform backflow testing and file all necessary paperwork with municipalities. We charge $125 per backflow device. Appointments are scheduled in 2-hour increments. Testing time is dependent on age and condition of the backflow device.
The most common device installed for residential sprinklers/irrigation systems is the double check valve. The parts are usually a single unit containing a series of valves and chambers and are installed on a main water line. An assembly like this is suitable for prevention of back pressure and back siphoning, but is not suitable for high hazard applications. If there is a more significant hazard to address, then a more reliable check valve like a reduced pressure zone device will be mandated by local municipalities. If you need a device installed, give us a call and we will send a certified technician to investigate the most cost-effective methods.
Backflow preventer costs for businesses vary greatly. While the assemblies all function to keep the water clean, the type of device depends on the backflow situation you want to prevent. ALWAYS check with the local water provider or government building department (whomever issues building permits) to be sure that the backflow preventer you plan to use is legal in your area. Regulations will vary per municipality. There are, of course, other limits of installation to consider like how deep you can install a pipe or the dimensions of a preventer box. Check out the information below for more specifics on all standard backflow devices.
Reduced Pressure Type or RPs are made for high hazard use. They must be installed above grade. They may not be installed in any location where it might be submerged under water. You can drive through any commercial business area and you will see an RPZ unit hot box or insulated cover, most often sitting right out by the street.
Double Check Valves are typically used for low hazard commercial properties such as office buildings and retail stores. For larger structures, or those that may contain flammable materials, a fire sprinkler system may be present. These are typically protected by a double check detector assembly or DCDA. These devices come with their own meters and are billed separately from your domestic water supply.
An Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker or AVB can be a more inexpensive option for some businesses, but not all municipalities allow them. They are commonly used for localized backflow prevention. They also cannot be tested, and as such, should be replaced every few years. As a general rule, AVBs are not economically practical if you have more than 6 or so valves. In this case, consider a Pressure Vacuum Breaker or PVB.