Backflow Prevention: Why Every Plumber Should Get Certified

Plumbing is one of the most profitable subcontracting jobs out there. According to Money magazine, this is the case the sixth highest paying job This does not require a degree and offers reliable job security. Backflow prevention training and certifications can increase these benefits even further.

Backflow occurs when the flow of water within a plumbing system shifts, causing undrinkable liquids to flow back toward clean water. This can contaminate the water that people use for cleaning or drinking, which can lead to a variety of problems. This is also a preventable problem, but a certified professional is required to install and test the necessary equipment.

Because backflow prevention is one of the most fundamental elements of system design and installation, many plumbers may forego certification because they believe it is unnecessary. However, this can cause them to miss out on a world of opportunities. For this reason, every plumber should pursue backflow prevention certification.

Reflux is common

Plumbers and contractors in general have the opportunity to become certified in a number of specialties. Many of these can seem like small niches that, while improving business in some areas, may be unnecessary. Backflow prevention is not a niche. Instead, it's a surprisingly common problem.

Backflow occurs through cross-connections. These are areas where a water supply could come into contact with non-potable liquids, gases or solids. These cross-connections are everywhere, including the garden hoses that are currently available most common source of backflow In the United States, these compounds are so commonplace that backflow is a widespread problem throughout the country.

There can be more than 1,000 backflow events in a state each year. As long as there are cross-connections in water systems, this is a problem that requires certified professionals. Plumbers can be confident that they will put their certification to use.

Reflux poses health risks

Another reason all plumbers should pursue backflow prevention certification is because this problem is potentially dangerous. When contaminated fluids enter the drinking water supply, it can cause significant health problems. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has recorded 57 waterborne disease outbreaks Backflow occurred for 17 years, resulting in more than 9,700 cases of illness.

Even in a country with as much clean water as the USA, there are some 7.15 million waterborne diseases a year. While reflux is not responsible for all of these cases, it is a major contributor. Plumbers with appropriate certification can help combat these diseases.

Certified plumbers can install backflow prevention measures during the construction phase of a building. In this way, they prevent these health risks from arising in the first place. Otherwise, problems could arise in the future and another plumber will have to come out to fix the situation, hopefully before someone gets sick.

Backflow prevention can be profitable

On a less serious note, plumbers may want to pursue this certification for business reasons. Plumbing is already a potentially lucrative career that deserves one Average wage of $55,160 a year. Backflow testing and prevention certification can increase revenue for several reasons.

First, this certification increases the services a plumber can provide, giving them leverage to negotiate for a higher wage. Preventing backflow also involves installing new equipment in a pipe system, not just fixing a problem in the pipes themselves. Employees who do this may charge their customers more to cover the additional costs.

Second, backflow devices require regular testing and maintenance to ensure they are functioning properly. That means every time a plumber installs these systems, there's a good chance they'll get repeat business from that customer. These equipment checks provide a stable and consistent source of payment alongside a plumber's regular work.

Backflow prevention certification can attract customers

Backflow certification can also help plumbers reach more potential customers. Considering how common problem backflow can occur, many customers will look for appropriately qualified professionals in their area. When plumbers advertise their certification, these customers will find them quicker and do more work.

Customers may not be aware of the need for certification in this area, but that does not detract from the advertising impact. A quick Google search for “backflow prevention” or “backflow testing” will lead to certified professionals in the area. The ability to advertise these services helps plumbers appear in these searches and reach new customers.

Backflow certification can be important even for people who do not have any related issues. Certifications in general Show commitment to the job AAnd build trust with potential customers. This evidence of a plumber's knowledge and trustworthiness can help them stand out from the competition.

How to Get Backflow Prevention Certification

Plumbers looking to obtain backflow certification have several options.

As with many other types of certifications, several organizations offer training and licensing so plumbers can choose what seems best to them. In general, larger organizations are a better choice because potential customers are more likely to recognize their names.

Within each organization, there may be multiple certifications that a plumber could pursue. These often differ depending on the area of ​​expertise, so contractors should decide which best suits the work they want to carry out. What the process looks like from there can vary depending on the organization and specific certification.

Some organizations, such as the American Backflow Prevention Association (, just requires a test, no specific training course. However, if a plumber has not received training in this field, he or she will likely not be able to pass the exam. Other certification programs include courses and hands-on training before testing a plumber's skills.

With most, if not all, certification bodies, a plumber's qualifications expire over time. They will then need to get tested again to renew their certification so that they can continue to advertise and provide these services. This renewal may require repeating the same test, but some organizations, such as the Institute of Cross-Connection ( offer various recertification courses and tests.

Every plumber should consider backflow certification

Backflow prevention certification can advance any plumber’s career. It expands the scope of work, attracts new customers, increases wages and helps prevent health risks. The certification process is also relatively straightforward and short, providing these benefits without a large investment.

As the nation's water infrastructure ages, these issues could become increasingly important, further increasing the need for certified flowback workers. With the right qualifications, plumbers can make an already in-demand and profitable business even more successful.

Rose Morrison is a freelance writer covering construction, home improvement, and contracting. She is also editor-in-chief of, a website dedicated to the latest trends in the home industry. She has a passion for innovative technologies that make the home industry sustainable and efficient. Visit to see more of her work.

You might also like

Comments are closed.