Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Backflow Prevention Device Testing: Your RPZ Testing Requirements as a NYC Property Owner

New York City property owners and managers have many responsibilities with the city. One of the most important is backflow prevention device testing. Here’s what you need to know to stay compliant with this annual requirement that keeps municipal water clean for large building occupants, like condo and co-op dwellers as well as users of many commercial properties.

What Is an RPZ Test?

NYC property owner responsibility

You may have heard of backflow prevention device testing referred to as RPZ testing. They are the same thing. The abbreviation stands for “reduced pressure zone,” which is the most common kind of backflow prevention device used in New York City. The device must be tested once per year to ensure its correct operation.

What Does a Backflow Prevention Device Do?

Clean water protection

The reason testing your RPZ device is so important is that it protects the municipal water supply entering many New York City properties. It prevents backflow, which is when clean water flows in the wrong direction. When this happens, water for drinking and washing can become contaminated by chemicals, sewage, and other undesirable elements found in greywater or wastewater. This renders the water unusable – a huge problem for residential and commercial properties that rely on clean water every day.

A backflow prevention device may only be installed by a licensed master plumber like Sanitary Plumbing, once a plan has been completed by a professional engineer or registered architect. The installation is inspected by a tester certified by the state of New York. At Sanitary Plumbing, we also perform RPZ device inspections.

What Causes Backflow?

Pressure changes

An RPZ device is necessary because backflow is a common problem in New York City due to fluctuating water pressure. One type of pressure loss, known as back siphonage, occurs when a water main breaks or is shut off during construction.

Internal plumbing issues can also produce back pressure. This happens when the pressure of a water distribution system is lower than the building system pressure. It’s a common concern in buildings with large boilers, distributor pumps, pressure booster pumps, and elevated water tanks.

Which Properties Are Required to Undergo RPZ Testing?

Large residential and commercial properties

Many types of properties in New York City are required to have a backflow prevention device that needs annual testing. If you’re not sure if you have one, here are three options:

  • Look at the area where the municipal water supply enters the property. The device is made of metal and typically has two valves, one at each end.
  • Call Sanitary Plumbing. We can take a look at your building and tell you if a backflow prevention device is in place.

Your building should have a backflow preventer if it fits in one of these categories:

  • Large residential building with a commercial boiler and/or treated boiler water
  • Building with a roof water tank
  • Property with multiple municipal water lines
  • Building with a swimming pool
  • Educational institution
  • Nursing home
  • Hospital, healthcare facility, dental clinic, laboratory, or veterinary clinic
  • Dry cleaner
  • Supermarket
  • Barber shop or beauty salon
  • Commercial car wash
  • Brewery
  • Greenhouse
  • Funeral parlor
  • Tannery, meat processing plant, or fishery
  • Commercial kitchen
  • Most types of industrial and manufacturing facilities

How Does RPZ Testing Work?

The annual inspection process

The test requires the water source to be closed for a short period of time while pressure changes are tested across the device.

A report of the test results must be submitted within 30 days as to the status of the test. Failure to complete your inspection on time can result in citations and fines from the city.

If you have failed a backflow prevention device test, or if you are concerned about passing an upcoming inspection, Sanitary Plumbing is happy to make a service call to create a plan to fix the issue. Frequently it’s a matter of cleaning the device or replacing the defective parts.

You want to take care of the cause because it’s probably affecting other components of your plumbing system, too, which can result in further problems with clean water and large expenses in the future – far more than what you’d pay to fix the problem now. Call Sanitary Plumbing at 212-734-5000 to set up an appointment and never worry about passing your RPZ test again.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of omniagroup.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with omniagroup.nyc).

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your Sanitaryplumbing.com password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since omniagroup.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.