What is the purpose of a backflow preventer?
1. Backflow Preventers Protect Potable Water
Backflow preventers are designed to protect potable water supplies from contamination or pollution due to water traveling in the wrong direction.
This can be caused by any incident that would reduce pressure causing the water to be siphoned in the opposite direction than is intended.
2. Backflow Preventers Protect Against Back-pressure and Back-siphonage
A backflow preventer can also be called a backflow valve. Backflow valves are a fail-safe way to drain away water trying to back into the potable system.
A check valve is a type of backflow prevention device that allows fluid to flow through it in only one direction.
This item is more affordable and can control flow but it’s not a reliable substitute to prevent contamination of potable water.
Here is an example of what can happen in a scenario where backflow prevention was not installed.
Common types of backflow prevention to protect your water:
Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker (AVB)
AVB is the most straightforward and most inexpensive mechanical assembly that can be purchased at your local hardware store.
Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB)
The PVB is a more advanced version of the AVB. It works under constant pressure but does not protect against back-pressure conditions.
Double Check Valves
Double-check tools are two single-check valves assembled together used to protect low to medium hazard plumbing such as food processing equipment or lawn sprinkler systems.
Reduced Pressure Zone Assembly
The RPZ valve prevents backflow caused by back-pressure or back-siphonage and may be installed on either low or high hazard connections.
The type of backflow prevention items you need installed is usually dictated by local codes and how your plumbing is set up.
Do I need a backflow preventer?
3. Yes, if you have an irrigation system
Residents who have irrigation systems or a well need an irrigation backflow device installed because they are at risk of contamination.
Though, if you do not have an irrigation system, this installation is still highly recommended to protect your water.
4. Yes, if your location is at risk of reduced pressure
There are many reasons to make sure a good quality backflow preventer is installed on your property.
For instance, if there is a water main break in the area, you are at risk of water supply contamination.
Whenever water pressure is reduced down the road, it leads to water being siphoned out of your home due to high demand from any source connected to the main supply lines.
Without a backflow preventer installed you may be at risk
Water flowing in the wrong direction can contaminate public drinking water with chemicals and waste products, such as:
- Human waste
- Chlorine from pools/spas
- Soap from sinks/dishwashers/showers
5. Backflow Preventers May Be Ordained by the State
To protect the water supply, it is mandatory in many municipalities to install a backflow device according to code.
Newer homes may have built-in valves on certain water lines, and it should be checked annually by a licensed professional.
How much does it cost to replace a backflow preventer?
You’ll find that the costs for this product do vary, but on average you can expect to pay around $300 for the whole service.
Variables to consider for the cost of a backflow preventer installation will depend on the size of the building and the exact specifications of the project.
Trust Your Neighborhood Experts
Contacting your local fire and security company will better serve you as we are up to speed on the district’s codes and regulations.
Also, if service or repairs are needed on the system, a local company is easier and faster to schedule.
If you have questions regarding your water system, devices and manufacturers we are happy to assist you.
We can inspect your current system and provide a free quote for the proper installation of a new one. We are B&W Fire Security Systems, your neighborhood experts!