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What is a Backflow Prevention Device?

Definition of Backflow Prevention Device

A backflow prevention device must be installed with all lawn sprinkler systems. Although the rules vary by jurisdiction, many areas require that these devices be checked annually tot make sure they are still working properly.

The backflow prevention device is used to keep water flowing in one direction and to prevent potentially dangerous chemicals from entering the water supply. With lawn sprinklers in particular, pesticides and fertilizers could potentially seep into the water supply and end up harming humans that drink the water. While some systems will only have one check valve, others have much more complex backflow preventers.

Types of Backflow Prevention Devices

Anti-Siphon Valves A simple one-way valve used in systems where there is reduced or no pressure in the line. They are most common in residential sprinkler systems; however, they are not approved for use in all areas.

Pressure Vacuum Breakers (PVB) Intended to prevent spillage at start up when supply pressure is applied, but should not be used in systems subject to backpressure. Not a good option for colder climates because they must be protected from freezing.

Double Check Valves Consist of two check valves assembled in series which provides a more reliable seal. Also, one valve will still act even if the other is jammed open. Effective against backpressure backflow and backsiphonage and can be used under continuous pressure service.

Reduced Pressure (RP) This type is the industry standard because it is suitable in all pressure situations. If you use fertilizer frequently, even if it is labeled safe or organic, you should install one of these devices. RP devices contain a redundant design, so they continue to provide protection even if a check valve is broken. Unfortunately, this is the most expensive type of backflow prevention device.

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ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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