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Backflow preventers are an essential component of any commercial property’s plumbing system. They protect the potable water supply from contamination by preventing the backflow of non-potable water, chemicals, and other harmful substances. The most common causes of backflow are cross-connections and backpressure.

 

Cross-connections occur when there is a connection between the potable water supply and a non-potable source, such as a sprinkler system or a chemical tank. Backpressure occurs when the pressure in the non-potable source is greater than the pressure in the potable water supply, causing the non-potable water to flow back into the potable water supply.

 

Backflow preventers are designed to prevent both cross-connections and backpressure. They are installed at the point where the potable water supply enters the property and are required by law in most jurisdictions. There are several types of backflow preventers, including the reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valve, the double check valve assembly (DCVA), and the pressure vacuum breaker (PVB).

 

RPZ valves are the most commonly used type of backflow preventer on commercial properties. They consist of two check valves and a relief valve, which work together to prevent backflow. The check valves ensure that water flows in only one direction, while the relief valve opens to release any excess pressure.

 

DCVAs are typically used in low-hazard situations, such as irrigation systems. They consist of two check valves and a shutoff valve, which are installed in a single unit. The shutoff valve allows for easy maintenance and testing of the backflow preventer.

 

PVBs are typically used in medium-hazard situations, such as swimming pools. They consist of a check valve and an air inlet valve, which work together to prevent backflow. The air inlet valve allows air to enter the system, creating a vacuum that prevents backflow.

 

It is important to have your backflow preventers inspected and tested regularly by a certified professional. This ensures that they are functioning properly and protecting the potable water supply from contamination. Failure to maintain your backflow preventers can result in fines and legal liability in the event of a contamination incident.

 

In conclusion, backflow preventers are an essential component of any commercial property’s plumbing system. They protect the potable water supply from contamination by preventing the backflow of non-potable water, chemicals, and other harmful substances. Regular maintenance and testing of backflow preventers is crucial to ensure their proper function and compliance with local laws and regulations. Protect your property and the health of your occupants by investing in quality backflow preventers and professional maintenance services.

 

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