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Do Greater Vancouver Homeowners Really Need a Backflow Prevention Device?

Are you in the Greater Vancouver area and thinking about whether you need a backflow prevention device? This article is for you! 

When it comes to the water and drainage systems in Greater Vancouver, homeowners need a proper understanding of the process. After all, water quality is of utmost importance. To further reinforce the quality of the water system, homeowners in Greater Vancouver are confronted with the need to have backflow prevention devices. But first, let’s go back to the basics. What is a backflow? Backflow is a reversed flow of water in the water system that contaminates drinking water. 

To know more about backflow prevention devices, read on. We have provided the things you should know about before having one yourself. 

What is a backflow prevention device? 

Simply put, a backflow prevention device is a device that is mechanical in nature that is installed in your residential plumbing system. Once installed, the assembly will prevent any water from flowing in the reverse direction. Keep in mind, however, backflow prevention devices should be tested annually to avoid mechanical mishaps and damage. 

How does a backflow prevention device work? 

When water enters the pipelines, it should only flow in one direction. But when there are changes in the water pressure, the water may flow back to the main water supply. Thus, the backflow. This can pose health risks as backflow can contaminate the water with human waste, soap suds, and even pesticides. 

The backflow prevention system prevents such contamination by only allowing the water to flow in one direction. The backflow preventer acts as a one-way gate that does not allow water if it flows in the opposite direction or towards the main water supply. 

Backflow prevention device is the best practice to improve your house's water quality

Backflow prevention device is the best practice to improve your house’s water quality

How to tell if I have a backflow prevention device? 

First off, the City of Vancouver requires backflow prevention assemblies and devices to be installed to ensure the quality of water for drinking. If you are not sure whether or not you need a backflow prevention device, we suggest having a reliable plumber inspect your home’s water system. 

Do I need a backflow prevention assembly? 

Knowing the main purpose of a backflow prevention assembly, then yes, there is a need for you to have such a device to ensure the quality of your water system. 

Different types of backflow preventers 

There are different types of backflow preventers ideal for a certain type of plumbing system in your home. To ensure total efficiency, here are the different types of backflow preventers that will help you get started: 

  • Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker (AVB) 

The AVB is elbow-shaped in appearance. It contains a valve on the inside that you can maneuver to prevent backflow. The AVB is usually attached to a faucet valve or any valves of the same type to prevent water reverse flow that may contaminate the water supply. 

  • Double-check valve 

The DVC contains a ball or gate valve assembled on respective ends which allows for testing. In simpler terms, the DVC provides a one-way flow that does not need manual intervention to prevent water backflow. This type of valve is ideal for sterile processing that leads to a much cleaner water system. 

  • Double-check detector assembly 

The DCDA protects the potable water supply from potential contamination. This type of valve contains two spring-loaded check valves, a by-pass assembly, and a double check valve as well as closing gate valves. What makes this different from the DVC is its meter that is used to detect ground leaks and taps. 

  • Reduced pressure zone device (RPZ)

Lastly, the RPZ is a device that has a chamber between check valves. Such chambers should be maintained at a lower pressure than that of the water supply pressure. In addition, the RPZ is practical for the highest level of protection in your plumbing system as they work like a double-check backflow preventer with a relief valve should any of the valves fail. 

  • Air gap 

An air gap is a space between the water source and the overflow of the area which is being filled. The air gap is necessary for providing a free flow of water. In addition, this gap provides a cross-connection between the source of the water and its destination. The air gap is usually used for residential plumbing systems, especially in dishwashers, as this type offers a non-mechanical backflow prevention system. 

  • Hydrostatic loop 

The Hydrostatic loop is a backflow prevention system. It has a vertical alignment of pipes that must correspond to a certain level of height requirement to function properly. Although not commonly used, the hydrostatic loops provide a much-controlled speed and direction of the water flow. 

How to maintain my backflow preventer 

A backflow preventer is maintained by: 

  • Making sure that the system is working properly by removing debris or dirt from it from time to time 
  • Checking the sealing it has and whether its seals and sealing surfaces are in perfect condition 
  • Regularly schedule preventive maintenance to avoid potential damage to your water system 
  • Test your backflow preventer devices at required times

Since backflow preventers are important in your water system, keep in mind that a professional plumber should inspect and maintain your device from time to time. How often you need such service depends on the type of backflow preventer that you have. On average, you should have these backflow preventers checked at least once a year. But if you are noticing changes in your water system such as the color, taste, or smell, then immediately call your local plumbers and drainage experts to avoid further damage costs. 

Do you want to ensure the quality of your drinking water? Our team at MidCity Plumbers offers a full-service of plumbing and drainage services even in times of emergency. We can assure you quality service with an experienced team of plumbers that can provide you with expert advice, too, when it comes to maintaining your backflow preventer. So, if you need a backflow preventer device installed or repaired, give us a call on 📞 (778)-772-8676 today and we are more than happy to help you out! We service the Greater Vancouver area, so we will be there in no time!

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