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Febco 765 Febco 825Y Febco 825YA Febco Double Check Valves
Febco Reduced Pressure Assemblies

Sprinkler System Backflow Prevention Devices

Irrigation backflow prevention devices are safety mechanisms to prevent contaminants from entering water supplies. These devices connect to your sprinkler system and are an important safety feature. They are required by law in many areas, but even if not required, they are still a good idea. The on and off valves included in sprinkler systems are not enough to prevent backflow. These valves can break or develop leaks, and if this happens to a sprinkler system without a backflow preventer device, all the chemicals from the irrigation water (fertilizers, pesticides, animal wastes, etc.) will flow back into the water supply. The chemicals in irrigation systems are potentially toxic and can be hazardous or even deadly. Our Sprinkler School is a great source for additional information on backflow prevention and devices and how they protect our water supply.

Sprinkler Warehouse offers three types of Febco backflow prevention valves: Double Check Assemblies, Pressure Vacuum Breakers, and Reduced Pressure Assemblies. Each is specifically tailored to the needs of different water systems. When shopping for a sprinkler backflow preventer valve, it is important to first check with your local authorities and find out what type of backflow prevention device you need to meet building codes and restrictions. For additional information on selecting backflow valves, visit our Sprinkler School tutorials on choosing a backflow device and what types of devices are available.

Febco Double Check Valve Assemblies:

Febco double check valve assemblies (DCVA) are the most commonly approved type of device for inline underground sprinkler systems, and a good choice for interior or underground installations. These backflow preventers are less susceptible to frost damage because they are usually installed below ground or in a basement. This makes sprinkler system winterization much simpler. Febco double check assemblies are also less expensive than Febco reduced pressure zone assemblies. However, Febco double check valve assemblies are not approved as a backflow prevention device for water systems containing hazardous substances. There is some debate as to whether irrigation systems contain ‘hazardous’ substances (chemicals or toxins which pose a serious health risk), or water which is merely ‘objectionable’ (looks, tastes, or smells bad, but doesn’t pose a health risk). Febco double check assemblies are generally considered safe for sprinkler systems which do not have chemicals injected into the water.

Febco Pressure Vacuum Breaker Assemblies:

Febco pressure vacuum breaker assemblies (PVBA) are the most commonly used and least expensive type of whole-system backflow prevention valve. The benefits of this type of sprinkler backflow preventer are its low cost and simplicity. These assemblies are easy to install, maintain, and repair. Some models of Febco pressure vacuum breaker assemblies include built-in freeze protection valves; however, pressure vacuum breakers only protect the assembly itself, not the water lines. These breakers will also occasionally eject some water, so it is important to purchase a spill-resistant model for indoor installation, or for any area where water spillage would create a nuisance. Air gap drains are also required when installing indoors.

Febco Reduced Pressure Zone Assemblies:

Febco reduced pressure zone assemblies (RPZ), also sometimes called reduced pressure principle assemblies, are the industry standard for any type of commercial property, including apartment buildings and condominiums, because they provide the highest level of protection against pollutants and toxins. Febco reduced pressure zone assemblies are the most expensive and complicated backflow valves to install; however, when installed correctly, these are the safest and most reliable backflow valves available. They are also usable for any type of plumbing or water system which requires a backflow device, not just irrigation systems.

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