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Why Test Each Year?

See what the Mid-West says about the time sensitive recertification process.

Recommended Interval for Checking the Accuracy of Backflow Test Kits

It is the recommendation of Mid-West Instrument that backflow test kits should be tested for accuracy on an annual basis. There are several reasons that support this position:
  1. Backflow prevention assemblies are mechanical devices that must be tested on an annual basis to insure that they are functioning properly. Backflow test kits are mechanical devices and should be treated in the same manner.

  2. Backflow prevention assemblies have their performance degrade over time based on the water to which they are exposed. Backflow test kits are exposed to the same conditions as backflow prevention assemblies.

  3. Backflow prevention assemblies must be tested by certified backflow technicians to insure accurate testing. A test kit of unknown accuracy would be equivalent to an untrained person testing a backflow prevention assembly.

  4. It is common industry practice. As a manufacturer with a third party certified quality system, all of our measuring tools including calibration standards are have regular accuracy check intervals and these measuring tools include our calibration standards. In no case does any interval exceed 12 months.
Having the accuracy checked on an annual basis does not mean that the test kit must be torn down, disassembled or rebuilt. The test kit should be checked for accuracy and if found within tolerance passed as suitable for use for another year. The test kit should only be calibrated or adjusted if it is found to be outside of the accuracy tolerance. Should a test kit be found to be out of tolerance it should only be adjusted by a trained and authorized service center which can be found by contacting the manufacturer.

It is our position that in order to protect our drinking water from cross-connections and backflow, backflow prevention assemblies must be properly installed, tested annually by trained and certified backflow technicians, and tested with backflow test kits of known accuracy as determined by annual accuracy verification.

Michael A. Lueck
MID-WEST INSTRUMENT Vice-President, Engineering & Quality Assurance

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