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Your RPZ Valve Inspections Just Became Even More Important

Building and maintenance codes are constantly changing, and it can be challenging to keep up. At Yale Mechanical, we care about keeping you up-to-date on the latest regulations because we know you care about staying in compliance and keeping your building running properly. One of these latest updates is to the inspection and replacement regulations regarding testable backflow devices like Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) valves, which protect the potable water supply in buildings and city municipal water systems.

What’s Changed

Backflow devices are designed to keep water flowing in one direction through a system; RPZ valves prevent pressure drops in a plumbing system, which can lead to the backflow of contaminated water (from waste, industrial or appliances) back through a system and into the drinking water supply. Naturally, regular inspection and maintenance of any RPZ valve is necessary to ensure the safety and hygiene of water flowing through your plumbing system.

Prior to recent regulation updates in the Minnesota Plumbing Code, local codes called for yearly inspections of RPZ valves by certified plumbers. If an RPZ failed an inspection, it needed to be rebuilt, and it also needed to be replaced every five years, regardless of test results. The new regulations remove the five-year replacement requirement, now mandating that an RPZ only needs to be replaced if it fails an inspection and if rebuilding it doesn’t correct the problem.

In addition, backflow devices that previously didn’t require yearly inspection will now need to be tested annually. Installations that could be tested infrequently before the code changes will now need to be scheduled for regular inspection and maintenance.

What This Means for You

While it might seem simple, this change in standards means that regular and thorough yearly inspections will become that much more important to ensuring the safety of your building’s potable water supply. Eventually, every piece of machinery fails, and RPZ valves are no exception. The older an RPZ gets, the more likely it is to have problems – and with these code updates, many buildings will begin to house older systems that are more prone to these issues.

Now that new RPZ valves won’t be installed every five years – and that other backflow installations will need more frequent testing – in the coming years it will be even more important to keep a close eye on older equipment. Yale Mechanical makes sure that your systems remain safe, operational and compliant.

Yale Mechanical’s licensed plumbers are Backflow Testing Certified, meaning that they are both professionally and legally qualified to service and inspect RPZ valves. Whether you need installation, repair, service, inspection or replacement, our plumbing services team is prepared to help you with your RPZ requirements.

What You Can Do

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to make sure that your RPZ valve is running normally as well as detect any issues your system might be facing in between inspections. Here are three tips to get you started:

  1. Check for leaks
  2. Maintain a moderate water temperature
  3. Keep RPZ valves clean with a periodic flush of regular running water

Schedule Your Next RPZ Inspection Today

The best way to keep any mechanical system safe is by maintaining compliance with the latest regulations – and Yale Mechanical can ensure this happens. Compliance testing can mean the difference between filling your glass with safe, clean drinking water and risking contaminated waste water flowing back through your pipes. Give us a call today to schedule your next RPZ test with Yale Mechanical.

Blog Author

Chris Young

As executive vice president of Yale Mechanical’s Mechanical Design/Build Division, Chris leads the design/build process for new construction, tenant improvements and remodels. He ensures the HVAC and plumbing systems are designed right, installed correctly and completed within budget for leading projects across the Twin Cities.

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