Where To Install Your Backflow Preventer

You might understand and recognize the dangers and importance of backflow prevention, but do you know where to install your backflow preventer? Read on to learn the general applications and ideal locations for backflow equipment installation.

General Backflow Preventer Applications

Before discussing the ideal location for backflow preventers, it’s important to understand which types of systems require backflow prevention in the first place. Backflow prevention devices primarily protect potable water supplies from pollutants, chemicals, waste, and other contaminants. Because of that, they’re often attached to systems that draw water from public service lines.

These systems generally include fire lines, domestic water lines, and irrigation infrastructure. All three of these line types are potentially hazardous to public health and demand additional safeguarding against backsiphonage and backpressure backflow.

Now, let’s explore the two main areas where you can install your backflow preventer.

Above-Ground Enclosures

The safest and most effective location for your backflow preventer is in an above-ground enclosure specifically designed to house plumbing equipment. There are numerous reasons why this specific setup is the most beneficial for property owners, including eliminating the risk of flooding that is associated with using an underground vault layout.

Furthermore, above-ground backflow enclosures are far more accessible for equipment testers, repairers, and installers. Ultimately, this makes backflow preventer maintenance straightforward, safe, and, most importantly, affordable. Some states even mandate above-ground backflow preventer installations in an effort to increase public safety, environmental health, and potable water supply integrity.

Underground Vaults

Some backflow preventers exist underground in enclosed vaults, either from outdated design or adverse weather concerns related to the local region. An underground vault is sometimes preferred, because the piping does not need to be brought above ground; however, this design does come with plenty of hazards and risks.

First, these underground vaults can accumulate toxic fumes, contaminated water, and even wildlife. When an individual goes to inspect your backflow preventer, they can be physically harmed by any one of these dangerous elements. If your water is high hazard, you need a reduced pressure assembly, which has a relief valve. These valves cannot be installed underground, as they deposit backflowing water directly into the surrounding area. This increases the chances of flooding the underground vault.

Understanding where to install your backflow preventer ensures better protection for yourself, your business, and the surrounding community. Check out our quality selection of backflow products at Backflow Direct and find the ideal parts for your plumbing system. Or, contact our friendly team today to learn more about proper backflow prevention.