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  • Backflow prevention

    I start my Backflow certification class on Monday, it's a week long course, ending in the exam.
    Currently, no one in my company is licensed to test backflow preventers, I'll be the first. My problem is, that leaves me with no one to go to with questions about the tools. I'm wondering, for those of you licensed in backflow testing, what differential testing gauge you prefer, what features I should look for, and if possible, Links!
    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

  • #2
    Re: Backflow prevention

    http://www.drillspot.com/products/72...enter_Test_Kit

    This is the unit I use, one of the best mechanical units on the market. Thing is they are all spendy, just some more than others.

    Something else, if you can swing it buy your own guage so that if you change employers you can still test, makes you more valuable as an employee.
    sigpic
    www.uandiplumbing.com

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    • #3
      Re: Backflow prevention

      Thank you, for now I'll let my employer buy it, especially some of these thousand dollar models, I always prefer to own my own equipment, but sometimes you just have to know when to say when.
      No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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      • #4
        Re: Backflow prevention

        Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
        Thank you, for now I'll let my employer buy it, especially some of these thousand dollar models, I always prefer to own my own equipment, but sometimes you just have to know when to say when.
        I agree, its nice when you don't have to share your tools.

        I learned with this guage so when it came time to buy my own thats what I did, its a 5 valve model and works extreamly well.

        Do a google search for backflow test kit, or guage and you can compare the differences.
        sigpic
        www.uandiplumbing.com

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        • #5
          Re: Backflow prevention

          the bonus here is, I'll be the only one certified, and as such, the only one who can sign off on the tests, I won't have to share the tool unless we hire someone who already has the license. I can't see the boss forking over the 600 bucks to certify a second person.
          No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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          • #6
            Re: Backflow prevention

            I use a Watts TK-99E
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Re: Backflow prevention

              I have the watts, http://www.USABLUEBOOK.com best price that I found when I bought mine

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              • #8
                Re: Backflow prevention

                I hope to get my cert sometime later this year. Right now we pay $100 a pop for each test at the school district. We have numerous backflows.

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                • #9
                  Re: Backflow prevention

                  I use a Watts tk-99. I am the only one in my company and the test kit stays in my truck at all times. As far as questions, I took the class with a city inspector and just give him a call if something pops up.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Backflow prevention

                    Originally posted by plumb4life View Post
                    I hope to get my cert sometime later this year. Right now we pay $100 a pop for each test at the school district. We have numerous backflows.
                    Whoever is testing for you at $100 each is cutting themselves short. Minimum should be $150 and in most areas it should be closer to $200 per test. You have the expense of the gauge maintenance (including calibration) to account for in your charges.

                    I have a TK-99E and a TK-99D. Apollo also has some nice test rigs.
                    You know that you need separate gauges for testing of potable and for non-potable BFDs right? So now with backups you are up to 4 gauges.

                    It is best to have your own equipment when possible. But you have to maintain it. The best thing about having your own is you know how it was cared for. People who slam their gauges with high pressure and peg the needle are doing damage to the equipment and throwing them out of CAL. Repairs and re-cal is expensive. The gauge will require re-cal EVERY year at a minimum, so unless you can live w/o a test gauge for a week or more you will probably want a second gauge before long. What will you do if your gauge craps out on you and you have three jobs lined up over the next two days? To perform the test you must shut the water off. Tis may require scheduling with the owner depending on what activity takes place on the property. If you test and the BFD fails technically by the letter of the law it should remain shut down until repaired and retested.

                    If you schedule a test for tomorrow lets say and today you drop your gauge putting it back in the truck and it is now junk you'll have to reschedule that test for tomorrow. Clients don't like that too much though they may put up with it ONCE. After the second time you'll be history and somebody else better prepared will be doing the work.
                    Last edited by Bob D.; 02-21-2009, 10:49 PM. Reason: fixed a typo
                    ---------------
                    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                    ---------------
                    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
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                    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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                    • #11
                      Re: Backflow prevention

                      Our program is new by some standards and the market is flush with testers so the prices are down, try to get in with your local water purvayers and get on their public lists, I picked up a contract this year for a private system with 160 units.
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                      www.uandiplumbing.com

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                      • #12
                        Re: Backflow prevention

                        ah crap, it hadn't crossed my mind yet that i'd need at least 2 gauge sets
                        suddenly the class itself doesn't seem so expensive
                        No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Backflow prevention

                          I would check with your local administrative authority before you buy the second guage, I went through the class ( 40 hrs and one re-cert ) and have not heard of this requirement, although I can see the advantages especially if doing sewer treatment facilities, and mortuarys. It could be a real humdinger of an issue. I do go in for my re-cert again in April and I will be bringing it up.
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                          www.uandiplumbing.com

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                          • #14
                            Re: Backflow prevention

                            well, it's a valid point, if you tie into the downstream side of an rpz hooked to a system protecting from a poison you wouldn't want to tie that back into someone elses potable water

                            same idea behind using different refrigerant hoses for different refrigerants.
                            No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Backflow prevention

                              Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
                              well, it's a valid point, if you tie into the downstream side of an rpz hooked to a system protecting from a poison you wouldn't want to tie that back into someone elses potable water

                              same idea behind using different refrigerant hoses for different refrigerants.

                              I can't think of one instance where I've had to test a non-potable system. I guess a sprinkler system using gray water would qualify. What else?
                              Theoretically, everything downstream is a potential hazard. You would use the same tester for mortuaries, sewer treatment facilities (why would they need an rpz except to protect a hose bibb?) doctor/dentist offices, lawn irrigation systems etc.
                              "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

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