Understanding Backflow Inspections: Annual vs. 5-Year Inspections

Maintaining the integrity of your water supply is a critical responsibility for property owners and municipalities alike. One of the most important steps in safeguarding your water from contamination is through regular backflow inspections. Let’s explore the differences between annual and five-year backflow inspections, their purposes, and why they are crucial for your health and safety.

What do I do if my backflow is malfunctioning?

Easy, give us a call and our team of licensed experts can provide a repair/inspection quote, call us at (832)653-2598.

What is Backflow?

Backflow is the reverse flow of water in a plumbing system, which can lead to contamination of the clean water supply. This reversal can occur due to back pressure (when downstream pressure exceeds supply pressure) or back siphonage (when a significant drop in supply pressure creates a vacuum pulling water backward). Backflow can introduce harmful substances such as fertilizers, pesticides, and industrial chemicals into the drinking water system, posing serious health risks. Read more about the importance of Backflow here. Or, give us a call at (832)653-2598

Annual Backflow Inspections

Annual backflow inspections are a routine requirement for many residential, commercial, and industrial properties. These inspections ensure that backflow prevention devices are operational and meet local regulatory standards.

Purpose of Annual Inspections:

  • Ensure Functionality: Annual inspections confirm that the backflow prevention devices are working correctly without any signs of wear or malfunction, our team of experts at Maverick Fire & Safety can ensure proper functionality.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Many jurisdictions require annual inspections to comply with health and safety regulations. Non-compliance can result in fines or penalties in Hays County, or in your jurisdiction.
  • Prevent Contamination: Regular inspections help protect the public water supply from potential contaminants.

What Maverick Fire & Safety Will Do for You

  • Visual Examination: Inspectors visually check the backflow prevention device for any obvious damage or signs of wear.
  • Operational Testing: The device is tested to ensure it functions correctly under standard conditions.
  • Documentation: The inspection results are documented, and a report is provided to the property owner. If the device fails, recommendations for repairs or replacements are made from our team of experts.

Five-Year Backflow Inspections

Five-year backflow inspections are more detailed and comprehensive compared to our annual inspections. They provide a deeper evaluation of the condition and performance of backflow prevention devices over a longer period.

Purpose of Five-Year Inspections:

  • Comprehensive Assessment: Five-year inspections involve a thorough examination of the device, ensuring it meets all safety standards and operates efficiently.
  • Long-Term Reliability: These inspections assess the long-term durability of the device, identifying potential issues that may arise due to aging.
  • Prevent Major Failures: By conducting a detailed evaluation, five-year inspections help prevent significant failures that could lead to severe contamination events.

What Happens During a Five-Year Inspection:

  • Detailed Examination: The device is disassembled for a thorough inspection of internal components for wear, corrosion, and other potential issues.
  • Extensive Testing: More comprehensive testing is conducted to evaluate the device’s performance under various conditions and stress levels.
  • Replacement of Parts: Worn or damaged parts are replaced to ensure the device continues to function properly.
  • Comprehensive Reporting: A detailed report is provided, outlining the device’s condition, any repairs made, and recommendations for future maintenance from our team of experts.

Key Differences Between Annual and Five-Year Inspections

Understanding the distinctions between annual and five-year inspections is crucial for proper backflow prevention device maintenance.

  • Annual Inspections: Focus on immediate operational issues and regulatory compliance, with visual and basic operational testing. Less invasive, targeting immediate functionality and compliance.
  • Five-Year Inspections: More comprehensive, involving detailed examinations, extensive performance testing, and part replacements as needed. In-depth, aimed at assessing long-term integrity and performance.


Both annual and five-year backflow inspections play critical roles in maintaining a safe and reliable water supply. While annual inspections ensure that devices are functioning properly and complying with regulations, five-year inspections provide a more thorough evaluation of the device’s long-term performance and durability. By adhering to these inspection schedules, you can help protect the community’s water supply from contamination, ensuring a safe and healthy environment for everyone. Give us a call at (832)653-2598 Or fill out our contact form [HERE].