A backflow calibration is a service performed on a backflow test kit to ensure it is working properly. A backflow test kit, also referred to as a backflow test gauge, is a piece of equipment used to test a backflow preventer.
Since the purpose of a backflow prevention valve is to protect potable drinking water systems from cross-connections and contaminations, they must be tested periodically. A backflow test kit, also referred to as a backflow test gauge, is the instrument used to perform a test to ensure that a backflow preventer is functioning correctly.
A backflow test kit generally consists of a differential pressure gauge, hoses, needle valves, fittings and some type of case. Depending on the type, brand and model of your test kit, the components may vary.
Testing a backflow preventer with a backflow test kit will result in differential pressure readings. These readings signal whether a backflow preventer is operating properly or if it is failing and needs to be repaired.
By comparing one device to another with a known correctness, backflow test kit calibration ensures that the device you rely on for testing and measuring backflow prevention valves is operating correctly. The item to be compared is known as the test kit, while the comparison device is known as the standard. Once calibrated, a backflow test kit can be used to measure installed backflow gauges or valves.
Test kits are required to be inspected and certified annually. Of course, if an issue is suspected, the gauge should be inspected and a backflow calibration may need to be done before the annual certification is required. When a backflow gauge is being tested for accuracy a simulation of a backflow test is done and all the components of the instrument are inspected as well.
If the readings are off during the inspection of the test kit, a backflow gauge calibration will be performed. Once it has been verified that a backflow test kit is functioning properly, a dated certification is provided. This certification is required and deems whether or not the backflow test report being submitted to a city or county is valid.
Like any instrument or tool after frequent use, components of a backflow test kit can become worn or damaged. If a test gauge is still not working properly after the backflow test gauge calibration is performed, a backflow gauge repair may be needed.