Backflow Testing Vancouver, BC
Backflow Assembly Testing in Vancouver
Call; text; or use the contact submission form to book a test or request a free quote. It would also help if you sent us a photo of the City of Vancouver’s letter or provided us with the Customer Confirmation Number (“CCN”) set out in the box on the top right of the letter.
Vancouver Backflow Testing Ltd:
- is insured; enrolled with WorkSafe BC; and licensed to carry on business as a plumbing contractor within the Metro Vancouver area
- our technicians are all experienced journeyman plumbers, as well as being BCWWA certified backflow testers
- our process is completely stream-lined, from the scheduling of a test all the way to invoicing and payment. Just contact us and we’ll take it from there. In many cases it will not even be necessary for you to be present when the testing is done.
- we focus on service and efficiency. Where test reports are filed online, we usually have a test report filed within an hour of the test being conducted. Where paper test reports are required, we usually send them out (by email or mail, depending on the municipality) within a day of the test being conducted.
- you don’t pay until we’ve completed the work.
- we follow up with you each year when it’s time for your backflow device(s) to be tested to ensure you keep up to date with your testing obligations
- if a device fails on initial testing, we are usually able to remedy the problem during the initial visit, thereby saving you the cost of an additional site visit. Our technicians are qualified to repair backflow assemblies, and always travel with the tools and parts required to carry out most repairs.
In Vancouver, backflow assemblies must be tested by a certified tester:
- when they’re first installed;
- annually thereafter; and
- whenever they’re cleaned or repaired.
The annual testing may be conducted as early as 2 months before the annual test due date. Test reports must be submitted to the city within 15 days of a test being done. In most cases, we file our test reports on the same day a test is done. Call; text; or use the contact submission form to book a test or request a quote.
The City of Vancouver has appointed Backflow Solutions, Inc. (“BSI”) to manage an online database system for tracking Vancouver backflow preventer test results and information. Each property with a registered backflow device is assigned a unique Customer Identification Number or “CCN”. BSI tracks the testing of each registered device and, when a backflow assembly comes due for its annual testing, BSI sends a notice of the due date to the device owner, and also to the most recent tester of the device.
All test reports for existing or replacement devices must be filed through BSI’s online portal. To file a test report, the tester must be registered with BSI and must know the CCN under which the device is registered. As of January 1, 2022, the tester must also pay a filing fee of $20.00 for each report filed.
For new or not yet registered backflow assemblies, the tester must complete the City of Vancouver’s Backflow Assembly Test Report form and submit the form to the city’s Waterworks Design Branch. There is no fee for filing a test report for a new or not yet registered device.
As of January 1, 2022, there is a $20.00 fee for filing a test report for an existing or replacement backflow device in the City of Vancouver.
Where a new connection is made to a water supply line, a backflow assembly is often required to prevent the backwards flow of contaminated substances into the water supply. For example, if you install a sprinkler, whether outdoors for irrigation purposes or indoors for fire protection, a backflow assembly must be installed on the water supply line upstream of the sprinkler system. Similarly, a backflow assembly must be installed when certain fixtures are connected to the water supply. Such fixtures include such diverse items as water filters; dental equipment; commercial dishwashers; ice machines; and esthetician’s chairs. If you need a backflow assembly installed, or want advice on whether one is required, contact us for a free quote or consultation.
The City of Vancouver sends out cross connection control inspectors to check that cross connections are protected with the required backflow assemblies. After such an inspection you might receive a City of Vancouver Inspection Report requiring you to employ a plumbing or mechanical contractor licensed with the City of Vancouver to install the backflow prevention devices specified in the report. We are licensed with the City of Vancouver and fully qualified to bring you into compliance with the city’s backflow assembly requirements. Text or email a copy of the report to us and we’ll be happy to provide a free quote for the cost of bringing you into compliance with the City’s requirements.
Before installing a new backflow assembly you must apply for a plumbing permit and pay the applicable permit application fee. As of January 1, 2022, the City of Vancouver’s permit application fee is $229.00 for 1, 2 or 3 devices, and $72 for each additional device. Once a device is installed it must be tested; a test report must be submitted to the City; and the installation work must be inspected and approved by a city inspector.
Cleaning, Repairs & Replacements
Under s. 4.10 of City of Vancouver’s Waterworks Bylaw No. 4848, only journeyman plumbers and their apprentices are permitted to repair a defective backflow preventer; our testers are all journeyman plumbers. Contact us for advice on whether a backflow assembly needs to be replaced or just repaired or even just cleaned. Often a backflow assembly will leak or fail because it’s clogged with dirt or debris. Eventually some of the internal parts of a backflow assembly will break down and need to be replaced but only rarely does a backflow assembly deteriorate to the point that it needs to be replaced. We are often able to bring a backflow assembly back into working order just by disassembling and cleaning it, or by replacing a few of the internal parts. Whatever may be required, we are usually able to solve the problem in a single visit because our testers have the necessary expertise, and travel with sufficient tools and replacement parts to handle most repairs.
Backflow Assembly Removal
In Vancouver, once a backflow assembly has been installed on your property, it must be tested every year even if you no longer have any use for the service or fixture for which it was installed. For example, even if you don’t use your underground sprinkler system, you must have the associated backflow assembly tested every year for so long as it remains connected to the water supply line. As another example, where a backflow assembly is installed for a water filter and the water filter is later removed, the backflow assembly must still be tested each year unless it’s also removed. Text or call us if you would like to have a backflow assembly removed and the water line capped off. As part of our service, we would report the removal to the City.
In some cases, the city’s backflow assembly records are out of date. After determining that a registered backflow assembly is no longer present we will, for a small fee, verify to the City of Vancouver that the device is not present and request that the device be removed from the city’s list of devices associated with your property.
Landlords & Property Managers
Because we specialize in providing backflow prevention services, our overhead low as compared to that of a general service mechanical contractor. As a result, we are able to provide expert service at highly competitive rates. In fact, many mechanical contractors find it to be more economical to subcontract their backflow testing out to us than do it inhouse. Call or text us if you would like to discuss how we can assist with your backflow prevention needs.
We are happy to assist property managers with the administration of their backflow assembly testing. This could entail conducting a full audit of the backflow prevention devices in a building or just attempting to locate, and determine the function of, the untested backflow devices listed under any Customer Confirmation Number (“CCN”) maintained by the City of Vancouver for your property.
We have achieved a high level of success in persuading tenants to comply with their testing obligations. We would be happy to reach out to your non-compliant tenants at no cost to you. Alternatively, you could hire us to test the tenant devices for you and then recover the cost back from the tenant. Contact us if you would like us to assist with bringing your tenants’ devices up to date.
If authorized by a landlord or property manager, we can obtain from the City of Vancouver details of the testing status of the assemblies in a building and provide a comprehensive report and recommendations.
We frequently test newly installed devices for contractors such as plumbing-mechanical contractors; fire safety contractors; general contractors; and irrigation contractors. Just call or text us to schedule a testing. We will complete the City of Vancouver’s test report form, inserting the required registration information, and either provide the reports to you or submit them directly to the city, whichever you prefer.
Our technicians are journeyman plumbers with extensive experience working with backflow prevention devices. We’re happy to work with contractors on projects in the Vancouver area. If you think we might be able to help, text or call us any time.
About Backflow Prevention
Water normally flows in one direction, from the public drinking water system through the plumbing of a home or building and out a sink tap or other plumbing fixture or appliance. Under certain circumstances, water starts to flow in the opposite direction; this is known as “backflow”.
The flow of water into, instead of out of, our drinking water system, creates the risk of contaminated substances being drawn into, and then disbursed from, the drinking water system.
Backflow happens when there is either back siphonage or back pressure in a water line.
Back siphonage is where water flows in the opposite direction because of negative pressure in the water line. This can happen when there is a drop or stoppage of pressure in the main water line due to, for example, a break in the line or the use of a fire hydrant.
Back pressure can be created when a source of pressure, such as a water pump, creates a greater pressure than the pressure from the water distribution system.
Backflow can arise where there is a “cross connection” to our public drinking water system; a cross connection is any actual or potential connection between our drinking water system and any source of pollution or contamination. Cross connections include connections to buildings; connections for sprinkler systems; and connections for various plumbing fixtures such as boilers, water filters, ice machines, dental equipment, pools, and soap dispensers.
Some backflow prevention devices have moving parts that can wear out over time or become clogged with grit or debris. These backflow preventers must be tested regularly to make sure they are operating properly.