Until you have one break, or get a
notice from the city or your local municipality, you most likely have never heard of a backflow preventer. So, what is a backflow preventer anyway? Simply put, it is a device that ensures water only flows in one direction. In more complicated terms, it is a sophisticated valve assembly that can often consist of 50 or more parts within a span of a 20 inches. You may not know it, but chances are a backflow prevention device has saved your life more than once.
You see, countless things can go wrong between the drinkable water source and your tap. Frozen or broken lines,
cracks in pipes, low pressure situations, pump truck connections, unauthorized cross connections or other hazardous conditions can cause contaminants to flow backwards into the drinking supply, known as potable water; hence the name “back flow” or “backflow.” Backflow occurs in a pipeline by either backpressure or backsiphonage. So this complex mechanical assembly protects the water system from the affects of both backpressure and backsiphonage. Now you get it!
Aside from what they do and how they’re important to your life, what else do you need to know about them? Well for starters, not all backflow preventers are created equal. There are several ways to accomplish the task, just as there are several ways to transport a million dollars. The question is, do you want to use an armored truck or the basket on a little girl’s bike?