What is a Backflow Preventer in Construction?
Definition: What Does the Term Backflow Preventer Mean?
A device that is engineered mechanically to stop the flow of a fluid backward in a piping system.
This eliminates the possibility of contaminating a fluid system, by the siphoning of fluids back into the system. Normally a backflow preventer is simply a flap, within a valve, that swings to shut the flow of fluid, if the flow is reversed from the intended direction.
The proper backflow preventer is extremely important to the Town and City water utility. The utilities will normally specify the proper backflow preventer, dependent upon the piping arrangement of the water systems.
In some cases, the sprinkler water, and the domestic water, enter the site in one transmission pipe, and is split in a water vault, normally located in the front of the structure. In other piping schemes, the domestic and the sprinkler water are totally separate taps into the primary water line in the street. In either case, different backflow preventers are normally specified, and their installation is critical to the proper functioning of the systems.
Many times, if the backflow preventer is not functioning properly, the total pressure and flow of the system is reduced, and will not meet the required specifications for the building. A backflow preventer, will, if improperly installed, or becomes clogged or dirty, negatively affect the clear flow of fluid in the water systems. Backflow prevention is an important element to the connection of any domestic water or sewer system.