A backflow preventer is a device that allows the water to flow only in one direction preventing the water to flow backward direction. The main aim of keeping it is to save drinking water from being contaminated. The backflow water may carry contaminants that can harm human’s health.Backflow occurs if there is drop in pressure in the main i.e during the main break and if there is water pressure at the property higher than at the main i.e if a pump is working at the site. The contaminants can enter the drinking water system via cross connection due to faulty plumbing and hoses submerged in buckets, tanks or pools.
There are many types of backflow preventers but the most important are:
- Pressure Vacuum Breaker
- Reduced Pressure Zone
- Double Check Assembly
- Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker
Pressure Vacuum Breaker
Pressure Vacuum Breaker is less expensive and is easy to repair, maintain and install. It contains an inlet shutoff valve, a single valve body, check valve and two test cocks and an outlet shutoff valve. The drawback of this system is it sometimes ejects some water.
Reduced Pressure Zone
Reduced Pressure Zone is expensive but most secure and reliable backflow preventer. It contains an inlet shutoff valve, two independently operating spring-loaded check valves, four test cocks and an outlet shutoff valve. It is compatible with aboveground and belowground installation but the aboveground installation is more preferred.
Double Check Valve
Double Check Valves are best for underground or indoor installation and should be installed vertically if allowed by the building codes. It consists of an inlet shutoff valve, two independently operating spring-loaded check valves, four test cocks and an outlet shutoff valve.
Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker
Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker is the least expensive backflow preventer used for one or two zone irrigation systems. It should be installed at least six inches above the highest outlet in the zone and is not usage with the chemigation.
These backflow prevention devices have the following elements which are used for stopping the backflow of water:
- The valve used for letting the water to move only in one direction.
- An air valve.
- A break tank.
Therefore, these devices are very important in human life as they protect the water quality from being contaminated and protect human life from infection as well.
How Backflow Happens In First Place?
When water is supplied into your home from the main pipe then it should flow in only one direction but due to the pressure change the water can flow backward into the main supply line. The backflow can occur if there is a break in the main water line and this causes the pressure lost which makes the water no longer pushed forward and will flow back into the main supply lines.Because of the backflow of water in the main supply lines, it will contaminate the drinking water supply with:
- Human waste
- Chlorine from pools
- Soap from sinks
How the Backflow Prevention System Works?
The backflow prevention system consists of the devices installed in your water pipe which allows the water to flow only in one direction from the main supply line. It allows the water flow in one direction and stops if the water tries to flow backward in the main supply line.
Is Check Valve And Backflow Preventer The Same?
The backflow preventer protects the portable water and check valve controls the flow but it is not comparative. The check valve cannot be the proper substitute for the backflow preventer.
How long the backflow preventers last?
The backflow preventers are strongly made and assemblies that are installed are for about 50 plus years. They are providing the needed protection for the water systems in our homes and apartments.
Who Is Responsible For The Backflow Prevention?
If you are the owner then it is your responsibility to install the right kind of backflow preventer in the house and you must ensure the following points:
- You have the appropriate backflow prevention device.
- The prevention device is properly maintained.
Testing The Devices
The plumber should always test the backflow prevention device, should know when they are installed and test every year after the device is installed. It is the responsibility of the house owner to consult the expert plumber while fixing the problems related to plumbing.We are seeking the problems from your side and will provide the immediate solution related to plumbing. So, never be late to contact us if you have to fix any plumbing related problems.