Backflow prevention devices protect public health by isolating cross-connections and protecting drinking water. Many towns and cities require homes and businesses to have backflow preventers installed and tested.
This backflow installation process involves working in areas that are considered confined spaces and requires specific training to perform safely. Backflow assembly testing is a significant source of income for plumbers. Visit https://www.plumbing-express.com/ to learn more.
Backflow is when a backward flow of water, or other substances, enters the potable drinking supply. The reason this is a problem is because the water could be contaminated with hazardous chemicals or bacteria. Backflow can also cause serious damage to plumbing pipes. Thankfully, it’s possible to protect your home or business from backflow events by installing a backflow prevention device.
There are two main kinds of backflow: back pressure and back-siphonage. Back pressure backflow is the most common type of backflow. It happens when a higher-pressure system or appliance creates more pressure than the local water distribution lines can handle. This can be caused by things like a water main break, a fire hydrant being opened for use in your neighborhood, or even the simple act of someone flushing a toilet in the next room. This difference in pressure causes the water to be pushed backwards into your house’s plumbing systems, and can potentially contaminate your water supply.
While backpressure backflow is not a major concern, back-siphonage is. This backflow occurs when a lower-pressure area pulls higher-pressure water into it. This is the most dangerous kind of backflow, and can happen in your household if you have a drain in a basement that goes directly into your sewerage system, or if you have a septic tank and irrigation system connected to it. Back-siphonage can draw sewage, oil, and other dangerous substances into your drinking water supply, and can also lead to backflow of scalding hot water into your household drains.
Luckily, many modern plumbing fixtures have built-in backflow protection. For example, most toilets have a sensor that can detect if the water is flowing in the wrong direction. This will trigger a safety valve to close, preventing the toilet from filling up and overflowing. However, older plumbing fixtures may not have this feature, or it might be disabled.
It’s important to have your backflow preventer inspected annually to ensure it is working properly. You should also have it repaired or replaced as needed. If you do need to have your backflow preventer repaired or replaced, it’s important to work with a licensed backflow contractor. A backflow certified tester will be able to test your backflow preventer and make sure it’s in good working order.
Why do I need a backflow preventer?
Backflow prevention is an important part of your home’s plumbing system, as it ensures that dirty or polluted water doesn’t enter your clean water supply line. Without it, sudden changes in water pressure can reverse flow and mix dirty water with your home’s potable water. This contaminated water could contain lead, copper, chromium, chemicals, pesticides and other debris that are not meant for your drinking water.
While it’s tempting to try DIY backflow preventer installation, this is one project best left to professional plumbers. It requires a good understanding of your home’s piping system and the proper equipment to make sure the device is installed correctly. Choosing to go with a professional is an affordable and safe choice that can help protect your family from potentially costly waterborne disease outbreaks.
If you have a new irrigation system that isn’t connected to your JEA irrigation meter, a private fire sprinkler system, or a boiler system on your property, it’s likely your city requires you to have a backflow preventer in place. Likewise, if you have an outdoor pool or pond that is connected to your home’s water system, your backflow preventer needs to be properly installed and tested.
The cost of a backflow preventer installation varies by city, but the average homeowner pays between $135 and $1,000. Most cities also require that you obtain a permit to install the device. It’s always a good idea to consult your local permits and regulations before starting the project on your own.
Investing in a backflow preventer is an easy sell to most homeowners. Compared to other potential home renovations, backflow preventer installation is affordable, quick and safe. It’s also a crucial investment in the safety of your family and neighbors.
If you’re not convinced, consider how many waterborne diseases are caused by backflow every year. From Salmonella to Campylobacter and Giardia, the list is long and includes diseases that can be fatal. A backflow preventer can help protect your family from these dangerous contaminants and save you a fortune in medical bills and lost productivity.
What kind of backflow preventer do I need?
Backflow preventers are designed to protect your drinking water from contaminants, but you have to take the necessary steps to keep them working. If you don’t have one, backflow can easily enter your system and contaminate your clean water with harmful pollutants and bacteria like Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni, and Cyanobacteria. Backflow preventers are the one-way valves that stop this problem and keep your water safe. They’re crucial for protecting your family from these diseases, but they’re not easy to install and maintain. Follow these simple tips to get yours in tip-top shape.
First and foremost, shut off the main water supply to your property. This will prevent backflow from entering the plumbing systems and contaminating your clean water. Once you’ve turned off the water, remove the cover from your backflow preventer and check for test cocks. These are used to test the backflow preventer, and they must be numbered. Make sure to label the test cocks as well so that you know which ones are testing and which are inoperative.
There are several different types of backflow preventers, but a pressure vacuum breaker assembly (PVBA) is the most common and least expensive type. It consists of an inlet shutoff valve at the bottom, a pressure vacuum breaker and two test cocks in a single valve body, and an outlet shutoff valve. It is also the most widely used backflow preventer on residential irrigation systems.
Dual check valves are more comprehensive than PVBAs and can also protect against backsiphonage, backpressure, and chemical backflow. However, they’re not as effective in high-hazard situations.
Reduced pressure principle (RPZ) backflow preventers are the most comprehensive and dependable type of backflow preventer, but they’re also one of the most expensive. They’re able to protect against all types of backflow, including corrosive chemicals and lethal hazard contaminants like radioactive material or raw sewage.
RPZ backflow preventers are typically installed underground in vaults or basements, and they require a foot of clearance underneath for maintenance purposes. They also use a pressure differential release valve to separate two independent spring-loaded check valves and are used in industrial buildings, commercial or high-occupancy facilities like apartments and hotels, and municipal water systems.
How do I install a backflow preventer?
In order to properly install a backflow preventer, there are two main considerations: hydraulic conditions and mechanical conditions. Hydraulic conditions have to do with the sizing, pressure and temperature of the system into which the backflow preventer is being installed. This is especially important in situations where a backflow preventer will be installed into an existing piping system, as this may have a significant impact on the overall workings of the piping arrangement.
A backflow preventer helps to protect our water supply by keeping contaminated backflow out of the water we drink, shower in and wash with. This is because backflow can bring contaminated water into the clean, treated city water that is piped in to our homes and businesses. When this occurs, it can contaminate our drinking and cooking water with harmful germs and bacteria.
This is the primary reason why many communities require that backflow preventers be installed on all irrigation systems, as well as fire protection systems. Backflow can cause the stagnant water that fills fire protection system pipes to mix with the clean, ‘potable’ city water that flows into buildings and homes. This contaminates the drinking water with germs and bacteria and makes it unsafe for consumption or use in your home, business or industrial facility.
When installing a backflow preventer, it is critical to make sure that it is located above ground. This is because it is very difficult to get to and maintain a backflow preventer that is below ground. In fact, the best practice is to install a backflow preventer so that it is at least five feet off the ground.
Backflow prevention devices also need to be placed where they are easily accessible for testing, inspection and maintenance. This is because the components of a backflow preventer can be very complex and must be tested, cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. For this reason, it is best to place them where they can be easily accessed and where there is ample room around them for efficient testing, cleaning and maintenance.
If you are installing a backflow preventer in an existing underground piping system, then it is recommended that you consider the installation of a protective enclosure. This will help to shield the device from tampering and harsh environmental conditions. You should select an enclosure that complies with ASSE 1060 standards to ensure that it has the necessary locking mechanisms, adequate drainage and can keep the proper temperature.