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I just went through the backflow certification course in my area done through a community college. I did the same course back in '95. This one was much more informative and the teacher was fantastic. I have e-mailed him thanking him for a great class. He wants feedback. Should I tell him he just certified a bunch of clowns who have never in their life diassembled a backflow preventer and don't know what they are doing or will it eventially come out in the wash? Anyone else go through this recently? Our area is really cracking down on potable water protection.

This class should have been longer (although I would have avoided it if it was....most self employed people couldn't endure 32 work hours to get certified or recertified to do something they don't really have to do to sustain a good business or income)

Any or all thoughts are welcome.
 

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i'd just let it all come out in the wash. you're certified and it sounds like you're qualified so all's good with you. i'd really like to take the course but like you said, it needs to fit into the schedule. i don't think there's more than a few guys around here certified to repair them.







paul
 

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I had to sit through a 40-hour course. We could do it in a 10-week course or drive 300-miles and do it in a week. I did it in a week and it was a great class which was taught by the head of the USC Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research. Most of those in the class worked for Municipalities.

Mark
 

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Ive taken quite a few apart, baiscly because something was stuck inside (solder) Or biggest thing is getting the pf certified after install. maybe i should take this cource. How much was it?
 

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I need to get certified too. Here I as a master can install it, but I can not test them. And I hear there is good money in testing backflows
 

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The big problem is that once you get certified then you need to go out and buy a tester. Have you seen what they get for a decent tester?
 

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The big problem is that once you get certified then you need to go out and buy a tester. Have you seen what they get for a decent tester?
No, but did you ever see what they charge to come out and test them?

BTW, what does a descent tester go for?
 

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No, but did you ever see what they charge to come out and test them?

BTW, what does a descent tester go for?
You need to check locally to see what is required. The course I took was to the AWWA and the ABPA standards which required a Pressure Differential gauge ($1,000) and a Duplex gauge ($800). So I purchased both and then called Los Angeles County to get my license. It turned out the AWWA and ABPA Certificates meant nothing to them. So I had to retest for the County which requires the use of a Pressure Differential gauge and a 30" sight glass ($40).

Mark
 

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so just under 3,000 for equipment. Now all I have to do is figure what one gets to test a backflow.
Like I said it really depends on what is required in your area. You may get by for under a $1,000. Keep in mind you also have to take your unit in to be re-certified so if you are a long way from someone who does it you may need a backup depending on how many you are testing.

Mark
 

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I usually charge $200 to come out and test 1 backflow. If there is more than 1 at the same location I charge $100 each. It only takes 10 minutes to test each. I find 30-40% need some type of repair. You can make good markup on the repair kits. Also, once you are on the property you can usually find other things needing attention. Backflow testing gives you an opportunity to visit at least once per year, The counties around here notify owners to get their backflows tested. They just call me back every year.
 

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I usually charge $200 to come out and test 1 backflow. If there is more than 1 at the same location I charge $100 each. It only takes 10 minutes to test each. I find 30-40% need some type of repair. You can make good markup on the repair kits. Also, once you are on the property you can usually find other things needing attention. Backflow testing gives you an opportunity to visit at least once per year, The counties around here notify owners to get their backflows tested. They just call me back every year.
We charged extra for anything over 2". There is a lot more work testing an 8" RP than there is testing a 3/4" RP. There is a lot more money testing and repairing the big stuff but you need to be real careful.

Mark
 

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We charged extra for anything over 2". There is a lot more work testing an 8" RP than there is testing a 3/4" RP. There is a lot more money testing and repairing the big stuff but you need to be real careful.

Mark
Excellent point. Some serious side issues can develop. It is possible that the sensing line on a larger RPBA can clog and that while testing the relief valve opening point. Worst case scenario can be the relief valve fully opening, and the number one shut-off failing to close. I know something like this happened at a hospital here on a 6" cla-val. Flooded the area in no time. :laughing:
 

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Nice! Periodic rebuilding makes sense. Some administrator cross connection control computer programs have provisions for this. In my area mandatory periodic rebuilding is far too advanced a concept. I've already experienced some nasty repercussions for moving too quickly formalizing certain aspects of CCC.
 

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I just got done testing 28 devices at a local factory. Can you say cha-ching? I rebuilt 4 this year and next year I will rebuild some more. I am trying to talk them into letting me rebuild them every 5 years, and doing 5-6 a year, so it won't be too much to swallow.
Nice little job there!! I have been trying to get some of my customers here to get on a program similar to what you are presenting. Hope they go for it, it will save them $$$ long term:thumbsup:
 

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The big problem is that once you get certified then you need to go out and buy a tester. Have you seen what they get for a decent tester?
I've even seen one electronic tester that you just hook up to the backflow, and it will do the entire test FOR you, then give you a print-out of the test. But that one was rather pricy.
 

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School is in

I've even seen one electronic tester that you just hook up to the backflow, and it will do the entire test FOR you, then give you a print-out of the test.
Wow! Back to school with you lad! Using your fatastical theory, it will also diagnose and repair the backflow preventer. Digital test gauges don't do the test for you, just like the analog gauges, they require human interaction. But if they do invent one as you're suggesting, perhaps they can incorporate an automated billing feature to nail the ho's credit card right then and there. No fuss, no muss. FYI, a lot jurisdictions in the US, and almost none in Canada recognize or allow digital testers.
 
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