5 most common mistakes when installing a backflow preventer Many problems can result from the improper installation of a backflow prevention device, including high and recurring maintenance costs, or even inadequate protection with reference to the level of risk. Here are the 5 most frequently encountered mistakes:
- Backflow preventer installation higher than 5 feet: The device must be installed lower than 5 feet from the ground to allow field testing, maintenance and repair to be done in optimum and safe conditions for the tester. It is best to lower a backflow preventer or, if this is not possible, to use a safe platform, eliminating the risk of injuries to the tester.
- Improper installation of a reduce pressure principle backflow preventer (RP): RP must be installed nearby a floor drain because the relief valve may leak for many reasons. To avoid major water damage, the relief port must be connected directly to a drain pipe and terminate with an indirect connection above the floor drain. Moreover, the drain pipe must be of an adequate size. The installation of an air break under the relief port shall be made using the manufacturer’s drain connection fitting. You will have the assurance that it is the adequate connection. An Air break is mandatory above the floor drain.
- No Wye strainer upstream: Debris can sometimes flow in the water system. If debris gets stuck in the backflow preventer, the device can be damaged and made inoperable. To prevent this situation, it is recommended to install a Wye strainer upstream the backflow preventer. This protects your device, increases its efficiency and reduces the contamination risk.
- Clearances not respected: The device must be installed in an easily accessible place to facilitate inspection, field testing and maintenance. When clearances are not respected, test cocks may be out of reach. A sufficient space must be provided to work with your hands and use tools, to extract defective parts and to inspect and clean the backflow preventer internal parts.
- A backflow preventer installed vertically with a downward water flow: The majority of backflow preventer are not approved to be installed vertically with a downward flow of water. The weight of the water column in the pipe could prevent closing of the check valves in case of back siphonage or backpressure.
Ask our experts for adequate installation of a backflow preventer.