Vacuum Breaker Testing

Here’s what you need to know about getting your vacuum breaker tested.


In January of 2017, backflow prevention testing became mandatory in the state of Minnesota. The Minnesota State Plumbing Code states that, “The premise owner or responsible person shall have the backflow prevention assembly tested by a certified backflow assembly tester at the time of installation, repair, or relocation and not less than on an annual schedule.

Every home should have a vacuum breaker used to prevent backflow into its water system. Many homes have vacuum breakers that are 30 to 50 years old and have never been tested. Because of the increased risk of backflow with older vacuum breakers, it has become mandatory that every home’s backflow prevention system should be tested annually and reported to your city.

What is a vacuum breaker?

Vacuum breakers are plumbing devices used for backflow prevention that are required throughout the state of Minnesota. Backflow is the term for unwanted water traveling through piping in the wrong direction.

Backflow most commonly occurs in reduced pressure zones (RPZs) because of back-pressure and back-siphonage. Properly installed and maintained vacuum breakers will prevent both pressure and siphon-related backflow.

Vacuum breakers usually connect indoor plumbing to outdoor irrigation systems. Irrigation systems require vacuum breakers because they are most susceptible to causing the dangerous backflow of chemicals.

Why is vacuum breaker testing important?

Getting your vacuum breaker tested is not only important to your own water supply, but also your neighbors’. If backflow occurs, entire residential areas can be affected. Backflow can become a very serious health issue when chemicals, pesticides, and human waste becomes involved.

If water contamination happens on your property, the costs to clean up the water supply can be extremely high. Contamination through backflow may also affect entire residential areas, making the cost of a large contamination substantial. Without a reliable backflow system, you are also at risk of drinking potentially toxic water.

Getting your vacuum breaker tested

To get your vacuum breaker tested, a certified backflow prevention system tester must be contacted. Those who are certified have taken the 40-hour class and have purchased the expensive tool used to test the system. Anybody can become a certified backflow prevention system tester, but only certified plumbers are able to deal with repairs and replacements.

At Keith Nelson Plumbing, we have both backflow testing certification and plumbing certification. We have the credentials to test your system and repair it too. Call us today at 651-739-1048 or contact us on our website to set up your stress-free breaker testing appointment with Keith Nelson Plumbing.