VFP Plumbing Services

Backflow Testing & Certification

For backflow prevention, testing is essential and required by Illinois EPA regulations.

Backflow testing, inspection and certification

The fact that  clean water flows  throughout your building’s plumbing system is sometimes taken for granted. Fortunately, your plumbing system was designed to protect your water from pollutants and contaminants using backflow preventers. Organizations like the EPA also help to protect building occupants from unforeseen emergencies.

The EPA requires backflow prevention devices to be installed on all domestic water supplies, fire protection water supplies, lawn irrigation system lines and the like. Those backflow valves or assemblies must be tested every year to ensure they are working as designed. The design allows water to flow in one direction but never in the opposite direction to prevent drinking water from becoming contaminated by stagnant water.

Backflow prevention, simply put, prevents contaminated water from flowing back into clean water supplies.

What We Do

Backflow Testing & Certification

The EPA requires that all backflows be tested and certified, by an individual or company that is Backflow Certified, one time per year. At Valley Fire Protection / VFP Plumbing, our certified personnel will test and certify backflow devices and submit all required reports to the appropriate municipality on your behalf.

  • Inspection of cross-connection control device
  • Repair backflow assemblies
  • Installation of reduced pressure zones (RPZs) and backflow prevention devices
  • Testing and certification of new and existing backflow devices
  • Submit all required reports to local municipalities
  • Contact you annually to schedule testing

Cross-connection control and backflow prevention

Drinking water piping runs throughout your building; wherever it connects to various plumbing fixtures, a cross-connection exists. Drinking water contamination occurs if and when a contaminant is introduced to one of those plumbing fixtures and it flows back (backflow) into your clean water system. But if your domestic water system is fitted with backflow prevention devices, they will protect the integrity of your system and your drinking water.

Cross-connections occur in places like a faucet, washroom, garden hose or dishwasher. If a faucet, for example, is situated lower than the top of a bathtub or laundry tub, and the tub is filled with water containing cleaning chemicals, the clean water supply would immediately be contaminated. There are dozens of contaminants like bacteria, waste, pesticides, metals, and toxins, that can be introduced into a system. The solution in this case is to raise the faucet higher so that it’s situated above the lip of the tub, which creates an air gap between the faucet and contaminated liquid.

Another example of how cross-contamination occurs is if the end of a garden hose was placed into a pail of dirty water, allowing the dirty water to flow back into the clean water supply. Backflow preventers like vacuum breakers are placed on hose bibs to prevent this type of contamination from occurring.

Backflow also occurs when the pressure in the water delivery main is lower than it is supposed to be. Should there be a ruptured main, back-siphonage can occur, which is also a form of backflow.

Finally, backflow occurs when a water pump gets cross-connected with the internal plumbing system. Since the EPA requires annual backflow device certification by a backflow certified technician, your building and its occupants should always be in good hands. Backflow preventers, when installed correctly and well maintained, keep that consistent, clean flow of water going in the right direction.

  • Backflow preventers on fire protection systems Because there are cross-connections on fire protection systems, they must be properly protected, which is why backflow prevention devices, must be installed, inspected and maintained.
  • Ensuring you have backflow protection for your plumbing system Only certified backflow inspectors are qualified to ensure that your commercial property has the protections necessary to prevent backflow contamination. They know what to look for, they know when action needs to be taken and they can give property owners the assurances they need to remain confident that their water will remain uncontaminated, regardless of what’s gone wrong with the plumbing system, inside or in the main lines from the municipality.

For backflow testing, inspection and certification, contact us at (630) 761-3168.

Backflow prevention services for irrigation systems

Because many irrigation systems are tied to potable water lines, reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valves need to be installed to protect against back siphonage.

  • Conducting annual RPZ backflow testing To ensure that your irrigation system is up to code, a certified contractor must conduct an annual RPZ backflow test.
  • RPZ inspection Valley Fire plumbers have years of experience inspecting RPZ valves, which means they know exactly what to look for as they go over your commercial irrigation system’s RPZ protections.
  • Backflow certification Certification is mandatory, but Valley Fire handles the paperwork for the client and ensures that the local municipality gets the documentation they need, keeping the client up to code.
  • Backflow preventer installation Our services make it easy and pain free for our clients, including with the installation of backflow prevention solutions.
  • Backflow preventer repair and replacement Like any mechanical device, the mechanical parts in a backflow prevention system wear down over time, so after several years a backflow prevention device may require minor repairs or replacement. Valley’s plumbing vehicles and shop are equipped with replacement parts from a range of manufacturers, so repairs are done quickly and with little to no disruption to your business operations.

Our client references testify to our high- quality approach to what we do, whether it’s performing an annual RPZ inspection or installation, maintaining, repairing or replacing any portion of a plumbing system. Our customer-centric approach is second to none.

Valley Fire  RPZ backflow preventer testing services

Backflow testing is a requirement in Illinois and Indiana, which means your commercial property needs to be on a schedule that keeps your RPZ valves and your plumbing system up to code through a certified RPZ inspector. Valley Fire’s backflow preventer testing will ensure that your RPZ assemblies are in working order and ready to respond when needed. Our advanced backflow testing services go above and beyond what other contractors offer, making Valley Fire the go-to source for backflow prevention services.

Backflow preventer inspections to protect your business

The only way to know if you’re fully protected against backflow is through a thorough inspection of your backflow assemblies.  Whether it’s on your fire protection system, irrigation system or your internal plumbing system, Valley Fire has the experience and expertise necessary to thoroughly inspect all of your RPZ assemblies.
Our inspection and maintenance team specializes in fire sprinkler systems for commercial buildings such as warehouses, offices and hotels, as well as residential properties like single-family homes, condos, apartment buildings and townhouses.

RPZ backflow certification

Building owners pay for dozens of property upgrades and upkeep services every year, but backflow service protects the health and safety of every tenant so it may just conceivably be the most important expense.

Annual RPZ backflow certification protects your employees and clients from coming into contact with contaminated water. It’s so important that Illinois requires that your RPZ backflow assemblies be certified, which is a service we provide at Valley Fire Protection. By some estimates, roughly five percent of backflow prevention devices are currently experiencing issues that could lead to failure, which is a good reason to keep our number handy and to keep your system in check with regular testing.

Our clients can attest to the fact that Valley is a customer-centric organization offering industry-leading solutions to ensure backflow issues are dealt with quickly, effectively and efficiently.

  • Valley Fire’s certified backflow preventer specialists provide inspection, installation, repair and certification of a wide range of backflow devices.
  • Our licensed cross-connection control device inspectors evaluate all testable backflow devices.
  • After testing, the documentation for each backflow device is updated with the most recent test date and results.
  • Copies of the backflow test results are provided to the proper governmental agency and stored electronically in Valley Fire’s office.
  • We offer a single point of contact for all compliance issues.

To verify that your RPZ backflow device is in compliance with local, Illinois, or Indiana state laws, contact Valley Fire Illinois at (630) 761-3168. or Valley Fire Indiana at (219) 472-0083. Customer references are available upon request.

“Please pass along how much I appreciated the crew you had working here. They were very professional and conscious of their surroundings. I appreciate the time they took every morning to go over what their work plan was for the day, this way I could let our supervisor know what areas we should have our employees stay clear of. I was very happy with the timely completion of the job and the workmanship that went into it. This crew is welcome back in our building anytime. I won’t hesitate calling Valley for any future needs that may arise.”
David DiGirolamo

Maintenance Manager

Reduced pressure zone (RPZ) backflow preventer installation and repair

Unfortunately, installation and repair of an RPZ backflow preventer isn’t something you can leave up to your building’s maintenance crew. This is a highly specialized and important aspect of the plumbing system that must be carried out by a professional who is certified to install and repair RPZ units.

Backflow preventer installation is required in any building that has a lawn irrigation system, fire suppression system, domestic water system, large boiler and the like. A certified backflow technician will have the skill set and requirements needed to expertly install and/or repair your RPZ units.

At Valley Fire Protection / VFP Plumbing, we make the process of testing and inspecting, retrofitting, installing and/or repairing existing or new devices, pain free for our clients. Here’s what we offer:

  • Installation of RPZs and backflow prevention devices
  • Testing and certification of new and existing backflow devices
  • Submission of all required testing reports to the appropriate municipality on your behalf
  • Annual reminders of your next test date
  • Full compliance with State of Illinois, local and EPA laws

Avoid the hassle and let our specialists take care of the reporting process. Our professionals are skilled in the maintenance and repair of backflow prevention devices. Keep your business safe with Valley Fire Protection experts. Give us a call.

Backflow preventer installation requirements for commercial customers

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Rules and Regulation Title 35 covers guidelines that commercial properties must follow in regard to potable water. The Illinois Plumbing Code has specific rules that specify exactly what must be protected with a backflow preventer. For example, if a fire safety system contains additives such as antifreeze, fire retardant or other chemicals, it must be outfitted with a backflow preventer.
The following businesses must have backflow prevention installed:

  • Restaurants
  • Dry cleaners
  • Medical offices
  • Funeral homes
  • Beauty and nail salons
  • Car washes
  • Multi-tenant retail spaces
  • Any commercial building three stories or taller
  • Any commercial space with a dedicated fire service line/sprinkler system
  • Churches with baptismal pools

Fortunately, Valley Fire Protection has worked with organizations in many industries, and we’re ready to assist you in getting your facility up to code and keep your plumbing system’s backflow preventers in compliance.

Types of backflow preventers

Backflow preventers come in many different shapes and sizes and are built to protect against very specific situations. Some are only installed in systems where the hazard threat is considered low, while others are only used in high-hazard situations. The following is a list of some of the most common preventers in use in properties today.

  • Reduced pressure zone (RPZ) One of the most reliable and effective backflow preventers, often placed in food and beverage processing plants, chemical refineries and other facilities where backflow could lead to contact with highly toxic material.
  • Pressure vacuum breaker (PVB)Most often associated with irrigation and sprinkler systems, PVBs are very common units almost always installed right after the isolation valve.
  • Double check valve assembly (DCA) Steam generators, heating equipment and swimming pools are mostly considered “medium hazard situations,” requiring the installation of a DCA.
  • Double check detector assembly (DCDA) The DCDA is used in continuous and non-continuous pressure applications. It is installed in low-hazard situations, such as fire sprinkler systems and to the system supply main to detect leaks and unauthorized use of water.
  • Atmospheric vacuum breaker (AVB) Lab sinks, commercial laundry and lawn sprinklers are often the go-to systems for AVBs. However, they aren’t designed to protect against back pressure or continuous pressure, but they are used in low and high hazard situations.
  • Spill-resistant vacuum breaker (SVB) Almost always used in indoor installations, the SVB is similar to a pressure vacuum breaker, but is less apt to discharge upon filling. It’s designed to be used for applications where there is constant pressure.
  • Reduced pressure principle assembly (RP) An RP has two independently acting approved check valves that are hydraulically operated. It’s for continuous and non-continuous pressure applications and prevents back-siphonage and back-pressure conditions.
  • Reduced pressure principle detector assembly (RPDA) This is a line-sized approved backflow assembly that has a bypass water meter and a reduced pressure principle backflow prevention assembly. It provides back-siphonage and back-pressure protection and can be used in low and high hazard situations.

A single commercial property might be equipped with several different types of backflow preventers; in Illinois, each requires the expertise of a certified and licensed plumber to install, repair or certify. Fortunately, the plumbing professionals at Valley Fire Protection have experience with all types of backflow preventers.

Get certified backflow testing and services from our experts

When the safety of your employees and clients is at stake, don’t leave anything to chance. At Valley Fire Protection, we’ve got the experience necessary to install, repair, test and certify all types of backflow preventers. Contact us today and let’s start your annual certification process. We’ll handle all the paperwork and get it to the proper authority so you can concentrate on running your business.


Emergency Response & Service

When a crisis occurs, you want it dealt with fast, but you also want it fixed the first time. Valley Fire Protection does both!

The Illinois Department of Public Health has certified Valley Fire as compliant with state provisions, rules and regulations, and has licensed us as a certified plumbing contractor. We are commercial fire and plumbing experts with the required skills to design, install and repair a variety of fire protection and plumbing systems.

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