BCAB #1773 - Required Qualifications for Testing Backflow Preventers

November 19, 2015

BCAB # 1773

Re: Required Qualifications for Testing Backflow Preventers, Article 1.2.3.1. of Division A, Article 2.6.2.1. of Division B, and Article 2.2.1.2. of Division C of Book II, Plumbing Services of the 2012 BC Building Code (the code).

Project Description

The project is a building where a backflow preventer is installed in the building’s plumbing system.

Reason for Appeal

There is a disagreement on what qualifications are required to test backflow preventers when they are installed in accordance with the code.

Appellant's Position

The appellant contends that the code sets out the requirements for personnel performing plumbing work in Article 1.2.3.1. of Division A and Article 2.2.1.2. of Division C of the code.  The code references CSA B64.10 - 2011 “Selection and installation of backflow preventers” and CSA B64.10.1.-2011, “Maintenance and field testing of backflow preventers” and these standards do not impose any additional requirements for persons testing backflow preventers.

Building Official's Position

The building official maintains that the requirements of CSA B64.10 apply per the Plumbing Code.  This in turn references CSA B64.10.1 testing procedures and qualifications. 

Appeal Board Decision #1773

The Board considers that the BC Plumbing Code requires backflow preventers to be selected and installed in accordance with CSA B64.10.  This standard in turn references CSA B64.10.1. for the testing of backflow preventers at the time of installation.  The Board considers that this reference is limited to Section (8) of that standard, which contains requirements for test methods and pass/fail criteria.  The reference is not considered to include Section (5) of B64.10.1. that contains qualification requirements for persons testing backflow preventers. 

Therefore it is the determination of the Board that qualifications of persons performing installation and testing of backflow preventers are limited to those requirements of Article 1.2.3.1. of Division A and Article 2.2.1.2. of Division C of the code.  This determination is limited to the design, installation, extension, alteration, renewal or repair of plumbing systems as indicated in Article 1.1.1.1. of Division A and does not apply to testing of backflow preventers for maintenance or other purposes.

Lyle Kuhnert, Chair