Backflow preventers are a vital part of any commercial fire protection or plumbing system, but they are often overlooked or forgotten after installation. In most jurisdictions, the type of backflow preventer required for a building is determined by local codes and regulations, and backflow preventers play a crucial role in the safety of the public water supply. Before installing a backflow preventer, there are a few things you should know about their use and upkeep. Here are three things to know before you arrange for backflow preventer installation.
1. Why You Need One
Backflow preventers are necessary to ensure that contaminated water does not get into the water supply. When the pressure in a water system drops, water can flow back into the public water system. Having a backflow preventer is especially necessary when fire protection systems are involved, as the use of fire hydrants and sprinklers can drop water pressure enough to cause backflow. If your facility has any pipelines or systems that transport wastewater or water that has been contaminated by hazardous materials, backflow preventers are especially necessary.
2. They are Prime Targets for Theft
Once you have decided to go ahead with backflow preventer installation, it is important to consider how you will protect your investment. Backflow preventers can be prime targets for theft since their parts are easily sold and recycled. There are a few different ways to protect your backflow preventer from theft. One way is to camouflage it. Some manufacturers make plastic covers that look like artificial rocks or unassuming plastic fixtures. You can also put a metal mesh cage around your backflow preventer. These cages come with locks and can be very secure. Nearly all of these protective measures are cheaper than replacing your backflow preventer, so seriously consider purchasing one at the time of installation.
3. Backflow Preventers Must be Winterized and Maintained
Like any other appliance or fixture that deals with water, backflow preventers must be winterized each year. While backflow preventers being used for irrigation systems can often be disconnected during the winterization process, backflow preventers that transport water to fire sprinkler systems or other systems that are used year round cannot. Various insulation tools and specialized valves are available to help you winterize your system, and your local fire protection service can help you determine which tools and accessories are right for you.
Questions? Biles Fire Protection is Here to Help
If you need commercial fire prevention service, the trained professionals at Biles FPS are here to help you. We have the equipment and expertise to install sprinkler systems for the best prices. We are known for our superb customer service and reliable support; just ask our customers! Call us with your questions at 443-701-8330 or visit us online. For more tips, information, and to see what we have been up to, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.