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Backflow prevention devices

September 8, 2021

Mitchel Plumbing Gas

Backflow prevention devices

Today we will be discussing the various types of backflow prevention devices on the market, as well as their relative merits and drawbacks. We will also explore how to choose the right device for your needs, and consider the cost of each option. So strap in and let's get started!


First, let's discuss backflow for those who may not be familiar with the term. Backflow occurs when water from an upstream source flow backwards into your home or business's plumbing system. Water supply sources could be anything from a garden hose to an irrigation system.


This can happen for a variety of reasons but is most often caused by a change in water pressure. Backflow can introduce contaminants into your water supply, which can be dangerous to your health.

What is the difference between a backflow prevention device and a backflow valve?

A backflow prevention device is installed on your property to prevent backflow from happening.

A backflow valve is installed on your property to allow backflow to happen. This is usually done to allow water to be drained from your property in the event of a power outage or other emergency.

Benefits of Backflow preventer irrigation

Water supply system and reservoirs such as underground rainwater tank are typically under constant pressure. This pressure keeps the water flowing through water supply pipes in one direction only – from the supply source to your property.


However, if there is a drop in water pressure on the main supply side – for example, during a fire fighting operation when all the water pumps in fire hose reels are operating at the same time – the water pressure in your property's pipes may drop below that of the main water supply. This is because of the reverse flow of water.


In an unwanted reverse flow situation, the water in your property's pipes will start to backflow towards the main water supply. If this happens, it is possible for dirty water and contaminated fluids to into the main water supply –  contaminating it for everyone.


Rainwater tank backflow can also occur if there is a power outage and the water pumps that supply your private property with water are not working. swimming pools, spa pools, and hot tubs are all common examples of where backflow can occur.


This is why it's important to have plumbing and drainage tested annually. Plus backflow prevention testing on your main water supply system. In addition, having a backflow prevention device installed in your property will help to keep your drinking water safe.


Backflow prevention devices are designed to stop the flow of water back into the main water supply. There are a few different types of devices on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Common backflow prevention device types

There are a few types of backflow prevention devices:

- mechanical backflow prevention devices

- Reduced Pressure Backflow Preventer

- backflow prevention valve

- Pressure Vacuum Breaker


Each type of device works in a slightly different way, but they all ultimately achieve the same goal – to prevent backflow from happening.

Mechanical backflow prevention devices

Mechanical devices use physical barriers to prevent backflow. These devices are typically less expensive than valves, but require more maintenance and are not as reliable.

Reduced pressure backflow prevention device

A Reduced Pressure Backflow Preventer is a type of mechanical backflow prevention device. It works by using a series of check valves to keep water flowing in one direction only.


These devices are more expensive than mechanical devices, but are more reliable and require less maintenance.


The device is installed inline with your property's water supply pipes. It has two ports – one for the incoming water supply, and one for the outgoing water.


The check valves in the device allow water to flow through in one direction only.

RPZ valves or double check velves

The most reliable type of backflow prevention device is the dual check valve or RPZ velves. This device uses two check valves to prevent backflow. Dual check valves are more expensive than other types of devices, but they are more reliable and require less maintenance.

testable backflow prevention device

If you are looking for testable device, we recommend the Pressure Vacuum Breaker. This device is installed inline with your property's water supply pipes. It has a port for the incoming water supply, and a port for the outgoing water.


Best Backflow preventer residential

If you are looking for a backflow prevention device for your home, we recommend the Reduced Pressure Backflow Preventer. This device is more reliable than mechanical devices, and requires less maintenance.

residential properties such as unit complexes and apartments, we recommend the double Check Valve. This device is more expensive than the Reduced Pressure Backflow Preventer, but it is more reliable and will require less maintenance.

Commercial or industrial activity

If you are running a commercial or industrial activity, it is important to have a backflow prevention device installed on your property. This will help to keep your drinking water safe and prevent backflow from happening. Especially If you have machinery connected to your water supply.

What is the most reliable backflow prevention device?

The most reliable type of backflow prevention device for commercial and industrial activities is the RPZ valve. This device uses two check valves to prevent backflow. It is more expensive than other types of devices, but it is more reliable and requires less maintenance.


For laundries hospitals and factories, we also recommend the RPZ valve. This is the most reliable type of backflow prevention device, and will require less maintenance.


How often should I have my backflow prevention device serviced?

It is important to have your backflow


backflow prevention device cost

The cost of a backflow prevention device will depend on the type of device and the size of your property.


For a small private properties, mechanical new devices may cost around $200, and a Reduced Pressure Backflow Preventer may cost around $500.


for residential customers with swimming pools and rainwater tanks, the cost may be higher.


For commercial and industrial properties, where chemical injection area is present, the cost of a backflow prevention device can be $1,000 or more.


Backflow prevention device bunnings

You can purchase backflow prevention devices from hardware stores such as Bunnings.


When purchasing a backflow prevention device, it is important to make sure that you get the right size for your property.


You should also make sure that the device is approved by your local council and water authority.


If you need advice make sure to consult some backflow plumbers. A licensed plumbing contractor can also help you with the installation of your backflow prevention device.



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