Marco Bros

What’s Backflow?

Picture your building having a gag-reflex: backflow. In the water-supply infrastructure of a building, water is normally kept in constant pressure. This keeps the “reflex” away from entering your structure and makes sure it stays in designated local sewage storage. Sometimes, water pressure can decrease, due to things like frozen pipes, water-main bursts, or an abnormally high demand on the system itself. This isn’t good. It can actually cause what’s called backflow contamination, of which there are over 10,000 reported cases of each year; some of which are actually lethal.

What Is Backflow Prevention?

Certified Backflow Prevention Mechanics perform what is technically known as backflow prevention assembly and backflow testing. Backflow testing is basically an annual process required by America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to keep your water (and everyone else’s water) safe! Phew! Thank goodness!

The backflow prevention assembly and testing actually revolves around the installation and subsequent annual testing of backflow preventers. A backflow preventer is a backflow valve (known technically in plumbing as a check valve). Commercial & Industrial plumbing systems generally require an RP (reduced pressure) device, a double-detector check, or an air gap, for proper backflow certification.

Two type of Backflow Preventer we implement

Pressure Vacuum Breaker. A pressure vacuum breaker (PVB) is similar to a atmospheric vacuum breaker except that you only need to install one of them and it is installed on the mainline leading to the control valves. Like the AVB it must also be installed above ground and it must be 6 inches (150mm) higher than the highest sprinkler head or drip emitter controlled by any of the valves. In a sloped yard it would typically need to be installed at the highest point in the yard, with a mainline pipe running up to it from the water source, and then another mainline running back down to the control valves.

Reduced Pressure Backflow Preventer. The reduced pressure backflow preventer (R.P. Unit) is the king of the backflow preventers, made for high-hazard uses. It is also an expensive piece of equipment. It is the standard for commercial irrigation installations. The R.P. Unit must be installed 12 inches (300mm) above ground, but it does not have to be higher than any of the sprinklers. A single R.P. Unit is installed upstream of all the valves. R.P. Units are used for many things other than irrigation systems. Drive through any commercial business area and you will likely spot a lot of these units, most often sitting right out by the street. Many times you may see several grouped together, each used for a different purpose. R.P. Units may spit out water if they detect backflow, they also spit water if they are broken. So don't install them inside a building without providing a floor drain.

Call us today for a free estimate 240-304-8643(John) 240-398-0096(Dave).

"For a Brighter and Greener Tomorrow"