RPZ Valve Test: What Is It And Why Do You Need One?


Water is normally maintained at a specific pressure to determine water to flow from the tap, shower head, and other valves. When that pressure falls, there is an unexpected high demand on the water system that can reduce pressure in the pipes and cause polluted water from the ground, storage or other sources to dangerously draw into the system. This is when the importance of a professional plumbing service is needed to repair the system.

Because contaminants can enter your drinking water from various sources it is important to have a plumbing service test the RPZ valve (Reduced Pressure Zone Valve).  The rapid reduction of water pressure in the plumbing system causes an extreme risk of contamination to the water supply from the backflow. When the water pressure lowers it causes water to flow in the wrong direction bringing the contaminated water from your appliances and/or other industrial processes with it. This poses a danger to your drinking water supply.

In fact, contaminants can enter the plumbing system in a number of other ways too. If there is a water leak in your house, a house water service break or city water main break than the water pressure in the house or city water mains will drop lower than the water pressure, causing an issue.  Another way water pressure can lower is when the fire department pulls from one source of water near your house to fight a fire. This poses a risk of contaminates to enter the drinking water. Even small fluctuations occurring sporadically in city water mains due to uneven water use from neighborhood to neighborhood can effect the water pressure large enough to cause a back-flow. Even the use of fertilizers or pesticides on your lawn combined with you home’s boiler or fire suppression system poses a chance that standing water may get trapped in these systems leading to a build-up of bacteria and problematic mineral content from the piping system.

For these numerous reasons, a Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) valve is installed in your plumbing system by a professional plumbing service to protect not only your drinking water, but the city water supply from these contaminants.  A RPZ test is typically conducted annually to test for backflow and to insure that the RPZ device in your system is working properly. Following a testing, the homeowner will get documentation to show proof that they are in compliance and satisfy all requirements for any state inspector to check. Only a licensed plumbing service with a Cross Connection Certification License should test the RPZ valve and submit the verified paperwork to the city.

Having a good plumbing service is so important to keep your drinking water safe. Most homeowners have no knowledge of the dangers of cross connection, plumbing, pipefitting or anything related to waterworks. Understanding the ins and outs of cross connection control along with the surveys and testing involved in their care is valuable for prevention, clean up and repair. Learn more about water backflow testing services offered by Benjamin Franklin Plumbing – Minneapolis.

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