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Knowledge Center

Knowledge Center

  • Backflow and Thermal Expansion What is Thermal Expansion? Thermal expansion is a phenomenon that happens when water is heated. When water is heated, it expands causing system pressure to increase. When these pressures aren’t alleviated, damages may ...Read More

  • Beautify Your Most-Visited Rooms and Add Value to Your Biggest Investment Kitchen and bathroom renovations can help you actualize the home of your dreams! Open floor plans, walk-in showers with rainshower heads, tile flooring, premium fixtures, heated floors, ...Read More

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my water pressure is too high?2022-08-11T16:13:27-04:00

Small amounts of water dripping from the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve generally indicates that the water pressure in your home is too high or that you may need to change or install a Thermal Expansion Tank.

Is water heater maintenance included in the Arbor Plumbing & Backflow Maintenance Plan?2022-08-11T16:12:11-04:00

Yes, water heater maintenance is included in our maintenance plan

How do I know if my water heater tank is overheating?2022-08-11T16:07:10-04:00

When large amounts of water discharge from the water heaters’ Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve it may be due to the tank overheating. 

How do I turn off the water supply going to my water heater?2022-08-11T16:04:09-04:00

Arbor Plumbing installs a code-required appliance isolation valve within three (3) feet of the water heater. Take a look on the right side of the appliance just above the top of the tank and you should see the valve. 

What’s the cost difference between premium and standard water heater installations?2022-08-11T16:03:01-04:00

Premium installations include stainless steel water distribution system construction (piping coming to and from the tank), an inline sediment filtration system, and a full port ball valve drain assembly. Standard water heater installations include a like-for-like change-out installation with no upgrades.

Why does my water smell like boiled eggs?2022-08-11T16:01:04-04:00

Bacteria and other impurities present in the drinking water react with the appliances’ anode rod feature and emits a rotten egg odor. The odor is present when opening hot water taps. 

Can you adjust the temperature on my water heater?2022-08-11T15:58:33-04:00

We can not adjust the water temperature beyond 120 degrees Fahrenheit for tank-type of appliances. Generally, the appliance is preset by the manufacturer for electric appliances. We will set the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for gas installations. Anything beyond this temperature severely increases the risk of scalding. 

How often should I flush my water heater?2022-08-11T15:57:07-04:00

Manufacturers recommend water heater flushing every 6-12 months. We recommend flushing twice a year at a minimum.  

When do I need a Thermal Expansion Tank?2022-08-11T15:55:08-04:00

Thermal expansion control is required anytime you have a closed water distribution system. Check valves such as backflow preventers or pressure reducing valves are devices that close your water distribution system. In some cases, water meters have check valves integrally installed and such systems (homes) will require a means to alleviate thermal expansion.

Are manufacturer warranties available?2022-08-11T15:53:53-04:00

Yes. We furnish appliances with a minimum 6-year warranty.

How long will my water heater last?2022-08-11T15:52:47-04:00

Your water heater will perform beyond its warranty when it is appropriately maintained. Be sure to inquire about our Maintenance Plan and premium upgrades for your water heater appliance. If your water heater fails before the warranty period has concluded, the manufacturer will furnish you with a new appliance.

Does Arbor Plumbing & Backflow perform installations in residential, commercial and industrial settings?2022-08-11T15:51:40-04:00

Yes. Contact us for full-service plumbing in any setting. 

Will Arbor Plumbing & Backflow dispose of my existing water heater?2022-08-11T15:50:09-04:00

Yes! Water heater disposal is a part of the cost of service. We’ll get rid of your old piping and appliance and replace it with new, code-approved materials. 

Does Arbor Plumbing & Backflow furnish water heaters?2022-08-11T15:48:57-04:00

Yes. Arbor Plumbing & Backflow furnishes brands from the industry’s leading manufacturers.

Does Arbor Plumbing & Backflow offer a warranty for water heater installations?2022-08-11T15:47:35-04:00

Arbor Plumbing & Backflow offers a 1 year warranty on every installation we perform. This warranty is in addition to the manufacturer warranties transferred by product makers. 

What is the NC DEQ?2022-08-19T13:29:59-04:00

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is the lead stewardship agency for the protection of North Carolina’s environmental resources.

The organization, which has offices from the mountains to the coast, administers regulatory programs designed to protect air quality, water quality, and the public’s health, and also works to advance an all-of-the-above energy strategy that fits North Carolina’s needs. The Division of Water Resources is responsible for the environmental protection and quality of the State’s surface water and groundwater, and to ensure safe drinking water for its residents. This authority is granted in accordance with laws, policies and rules established by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the N.C. General Assembly, the Environmental Management Commission, and the Commission for Public Health.

What is the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)?2022-08-19T13:03:08-04:00

The SDWA focuses on organic contaminants and lead in the drinking water. It requires that sanitary surveys be conducted at water treatment plans to assure that they are producing and distributing water safe for consumption. What is more, cross connection control programs are required to be implemented by local governments. Backflow prevention and cross connection control are subjects paramount to public health and safety. 

See “What is backflow?

Are there any Federal and/or State Backflow Prevention regulations?2022-08-19T13:27:36-04:00
What is Water Pollution2022-08-11T15:37:47-04:00

Any impairment of water quality that affects the aesthetic (sight, smell, etc.) of the water, yet does not create a health hazard. 

See “What is water contamination?

What is Backsiphonage?2022-08-11T15:36:22-04:00

When the public water supply pressure is less than atmospheric pressure causing a vacuum (backflow) phenomenon.

See “What is backflow?

What is Backpressure?2022-08-11T15:35:13-04:00

When the pressure from a non consumable water source or supply is greater than the public water supply pressure, resulting in a backlow condition.

See “What is backflow?

What is the Public Health significance of Backflow?2022-08-11T15:33:00-04:00

The backflow of chemical and biological contaminants into a drinking water system can be harmful to the health of a population. The type of exposure will determine the severity of harm. The Flint Michigan water crisis speaks to long term effects of chemical exposure to the drinking water. 

See “What is water contamination?

What’s the best method to protect my outdoor Backflow Assembly from freezing?2022-08-04T14:37:24-04:00

The best method to protect your assembly is to place it inside of an approved enclosure.

See “Can my Backflow Preventer be negatively impacted by the weather?

Can my Backflow Preventer be negatively impacted by the weather?2022-08-04T14:35:14-04:00

Yes! Your assembly is full of water and has the potential to freeze during the winter months. Freezing causes leaks, holes and defects in the internal components. If your assembly freezes you will need repairs/replacement. 

See “Can my Backflow Preventer be negatively impacted by the weather?

How can I protect my Backflow Preventer?2022-08-04T14:33:15-04:00

When backflow preventers are left outside they must be protected against the weather, particularly in the winter months. If you have an irrigation system backflow preventer be sure that it has been installed with union fittings to facilitate disassembly during the winter months. Domestic and fire-flow assemblies on the exterior must be secured in a protective enclosure approved by your local Inspections Department. These enclosures are designed to protect your assembly from freezing and from exposure to the elements. 

Are there discounts on testing costs if I have multiple Backflow Preventers?2022-08-04T14:24:00-04:00

Arbor Plumbing & Backflow serves the Greater Triangle area. This includes all of the border municipalities surrounding Raleigh, Durham and Chapel-Hill. 

Are there discounts on testing costs if I have multiple Backflow Preventers?2022-08-04T14:21:45-04:00

Yes. If you have 2 more assemblies you may save up to 25% on testing. 

See “How do I redeem coupons?”

What is Backflow reporting and whose responsibility is it?2022-08-04T14:19:05-04:00

We take care of reporting the findings of your test and inspection. Reporting is our responsibility. We have up to 14 days to transfer the records to your Water Provider, however, we generally report the findings within 24 hours of your service.

See “Can you provide a test history of our backflow preventers’ performance?”

Can you provide a test history of our backflow preventers’ performance?2022-08-04T14:15:36-04:00

Yes. If you’re curious about how your assembly has performed in years passed please let us know and we’ll provide you with performance records.

See “How often should I have my Backflow preventer tested?”

What do I need to do after having my Backflow Preventer tested?2022-08-04T14:13:48-04:00

Sit back and relax. Arbor Plumbing & Backflow will take care of record transfers with your Water Provider. Recordkeeping and records transfer is a part of the service we provide.

See “How often should I have my Backflow preventer tested?”

How much does a Backflow test cost?2022-08-04T14:11:50-04:00

Backflow tests start at $110.00 for residential irrigation system backflow preventers. Prices vary depending on the size, type, and location of the assembly for fire-flow and commercial domestic systems. Be sure to inquire about pricing at the time of booking if you are a commercial or industrial client.

See “How do I redeem coupons”

What happens if my Backflow test fails?2022-08-04T14:07:59-04:00

Our experienced technicians will assess the extent of your failure and provide you with solutions to repair or replace your assembly. In the event you’d prefer to forgo repairs and/or replacement, your water provider will receive failing testing results. Water providers will reach out to customers with additional requirements about repairing or replacing the assembly. Providers levy penalties for non-compliance. Sometimes repairs are as simple as removing debris from the check assemblies. Certain scenarios require replacement of the internal components of your assembly or assembly replacement. Replacement and repair work is billed separately; each service includes the cost of re-testing your assembly and reporting the results to your water provider.

See “How often should I have my Backflow preventer tested?”

We need a fire-flow Backflow Prevention Assembly tested, will the alarm system need to be deactivated?2022-08-04T14:05:11-04:00

If your Fire protection (sprinkler) system is equipped with an alarm, the alarm will need to be deactivated prior to having the test performed. We recommend disarming the alarm for a minimum of 2 hours. 

How long should a backflow test take?2022-08-04T14:02:09-04:00

Backflow tests generally take about 30 minutes. In some cases, tests may take longer due to accessibility reasons or assembly preparation time (Fire-flow system shutdown).

See “How often should I have my Backflow preventer tested?”

How do I find out when my backflow test is due?2022-08-04T14:00:48-04:00

You may always ask us about your testing schedule. We can provide you with everything you need to know about your assembly. You may also contact your Water Provider for these details. 

See “How often should I have my Backflow preventer tested?”

How often should I have my Backflow preventer tested?2022-08-04T14:00:41-04:00

Your Water Provider sets the testing schedule for your assembly. Domestic backflow assembly tests are completed annually; Fire-flow backflow tests are generally completed on an annual basis; Irrigation backflow assemblies are tested on a bi-annual or tri-annual schedule. These schedules are at the discretion of your Water Provider. Backflow assembly manufacturers also recommend test schedules. In most cases, the manufacturer(s) recommend annual testing. Never forget that a backflow assembly is a mechanical device constantly under water pressure and will surely wear out over time. 

See What is backflow preventionand “How do I find out when my test is due?

Where are some common places to find Backflow Prevention devices/assemblies?2022-08-04T13:50:33-04:00

You will commonly find a backflow preventer at the right of way near your meter box, in a mechanical room or closet, in the back of your building following your fire line, and in some cases in a vault underground. 

See What is backflow prevention and “What is the best device to protect against backflow?”

What is the best device/assembly to protect against Backflow?2022-08-04T13:45:17-04:00

The RPZ (Reduced Pressure Zone) is the gold standard for backflow protection. This assembly has two testable check valve components and a relief valve for visual inspection. You’ll always be able to determine if/when something is going on in your water system (pertaining to hydraulic pressure) with this type of mechanical device.

See “What is the best method to prevent Backflow?