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Thread: Backflow Prevention

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member rockycmt's Avatar
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    Default Backflow Prevention

    My town requires backflow prevention as it should. I am wondering if it is a good idea to place the unit outside underground in a box or in open air. I want to avoid putting anything in the house cause the branch going outside is a short run and there is not much length to put in the device. Also, must I use copper all the way up to the unit?

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    There are some that must be set not only above ground but higher than the highest sprinkler. Others can go either way so it's a matter of personal preference. I have mine in a box under the surface, mostly because there was on good place to put it above ground that would not be in the way of mowing. I also pull it out in the fall and store it indoors for an extra measure of protection against freezing. Now days, a hunk of brass like that above ground might be a theft waiting to happen.

  3. #3

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    Outside in a box or in the open it won't really matter. It will still require the same protection from the weather if your in cold country. Besides, although better protection is provided from within the house, it sure can be a hassle for winterization. Leave it outside. Copper is a good idea but not a requirement in all jurisdictions. Sched 40 will be adequate and my choice. Again, check with your local authority.

  4. #4
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockycmt View Post
    My town requires backflow prevention as it should. I am wondering if it is a good idea to place the unit outside underground in a box or in open air. I want to avoid putting anything in the house cause the branch going outside is a short run and there is not much length to put in the device. Also, must I use copper all the way up to the unit?
    This is a location-specific question, so please supply yours.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member rockycmt's Avatar
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    Northeast in Long Island NY

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Either design it for easy removal or make d@@n sure you have it well blown out every fall.

  7. #7
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Other backflow preventers might be used, but the Pressure Vacuum Breaker is almost always a best bet. It works on gravity, if located properly, and gravity is something in which you can trust.

  8. #8

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    I noticed my irrigation valve is not Anti-Siphon Valve, instead it's a inline valve. I know to prevent backflow, you should have anti-siphon valve installed. Should I be concern and have it replace with anti-siphon valve?

  9. #9
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Suppose a dog was roaming in your yard and did his business on top of a sprinkler. That evening it rained and part of the doggy-do washed into the sprinkler. Without a backflow prevention device, that contamination could be siphoned into your household water and into the city water main. So, what do you think you should do? Not only should you have one, it should be certified annually to make certain it is still functioning properly. Case in point. My city requires annual inspection and certification. (Failure to do so results in the water being shut off) When I had my double check valve backflow preventer inspected this spring, the inspector found both check valve pistons had worn to the point they would no longer hold the prescribed pressure. Total tab for inspection and repair was $50.

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