Why Backflow Prevention Devices Are Necessary

A backflow prevention device is essential for every water pump-style system. That’s especially true for fire sprinklers and fire prevention systems. But why do backflow prevention devices exist? What purpose do they serve, and why does the law require them? These are the questions that we’ll answer in this post. You’ll learn why a backflow prevention device is necessary for fire prevention. First, let’s define what backflow is in the first place.

What Is Backflow, and Why Do We Need To Prevent It?

The goal of any water supply is for the water to flow only in one direction. For example, you want the water supply in your home to only flow into your home. You wouldn't want it to flow backward, as that would be counterintuitive. Not only would you not get the water that you're paying for, but it will contaminate your supply if it flows back in. That's what backflow is, and it can be perilous.

Water should only flow one way in pipes. That’s the goal, but it doesn’t always work that way. There are many reasons why backflow can occur. Commonly, backflow occurs when the following situations arise:

  • A break in the water line
  • When a fire hydrant opens up for use
  • Changes in pressure in your pipes
  • Puddles from sprinkler systems
  • Cars being washed
  • Dry-cleaning services

Since backflow can occur for so many different reasons, backflow prevention, in and of itself, is necessary.

Backflow Prevention Devices

That brings us to backflow prevention devices. As the name implies, they prevent the water from flowing back into your system. They do so by ensuring that water can only flow in one direction no matter what. Changes in pressure will not affect a backflow prevention device. That way, you can keep your water supply safe from backflow and contamination. A backflow prevention device is required by law for all water pump systems.

Backflow Prevention for Fire Systems

As with any water system, fire prevention systems need backflow prevention. As previously mentioned, fire hydrants can drastically change the pressure in the pipes. The same is true for fire sprinkler systems. That's why a quality backflow prevention device is crucial for your fire prevention systems. Not only is going without one dangerous, but it's also illegal. That's because backflow can contaminate the public drinking supply with toxins such as:

  • Fertilizers and pesticides
  • Human waste and E.coli
  • Chlorine
  • Soap

So, that’s why a backflow prevention device is necessary. If you want to keep your fire prevention system safe from backflow, you need a prevention device. At Backflow Direct, we carry the highest quality backflow devices on the market. Don't forget to check out our certified backflow preventer to take care of all your needs!