Backflow preventer
13 Jul

Backflow Prevention 101 for Boston MA Residents

For newbies and those who aren’t aware of what a backflow is, it’s when fresh water supply is contaminated. This happens when your system’s water pressure drops and the flow of water reverses. When that happens, dirty water (fecal matter, toilet tanks, gutters, garbage and sewage particles) can be cross connected into your fresh, clean water. Then all these would get into your drinking water. Not a pretty picture, right?
This is obviously a huge health hazard and it is an emergency situation which requires urgent professional attention so that accidents can be prevented. Some causes of backflow are water line breaks, fire fighting activities, turning on a water tap in another location in the home and a drop in the city water pressure to below that of people’s homes.
Types of Backflow Preventers
There are several types of backflow prevention assemblage and choosing one depends on some considerations you have to determine. Considerations such as local building regulation codes for backflow preventers, the size of the area to be irrigated, and location where the backflow preventer will be installed has to be taken into account. Some of the most common ones include:

Pressure Vacuum Breaker

This is ordinarily the most popular assembly because it is economical and is fairly simple in design. The assembly is composed of an underlying inlet shutoff valve, a valve with a backflow preventer, check valve, an outlet shutoff valve and two test cocks. Pressure vacuum breakers are also easy to install, maintain, and repair.

Reduced Pressure Zone

Being most commonly used in households, RPZ is a cost-effective assembly which is rather more complicated than a PVB. They are comparatively simple in design and can be installed, maintained, or repaired easily. Most homeowners use them with their underground sprinkler system which waters the garden and lawn.

One of the inconveniences of an RPZ is it occasionally dumps some water. So, when having one installed, make sure to ask our licensed Boston plumbers a spill-resistant model if you are having it set up indoors.

Hose Bib Vacuum Breakers

Most homeowners have a hose bib set up on their properties so they can use the garden hose to water their gardens, or use it for other essential tasks such as cleaning the car and any other chore that needs the use of water. Our local plumbing specialists in Boston can install a newer model in your house with a built-in vacuum breaker that can hamper backflows.

Although if you have an old type of faucet, it needs to be covered by a hose bib vacuum breaker that can be attached to the hose bib and screwed to the vacuum breaker. Our certified technicians can help you install a hose bib vacuum breaker inside your home and help prevent backflow in case there is a loss of water pressure.

Air Gaps

Mostly built into a sink, air gaps are the most common way of protection against a backflow. They also offer the best defense in case a backsiphonage happens. Air gap is a simple physical barrier between the water source and the vessel through which water is flowing.

Air gaps are usually built in most houses and can be found in places such as the bathroom, kitchen, showers, bathtubs, washing machines, and dishwashers. These appliances are installed with an air gap to secure the supply of water.

There are various types of backflow preventers assembly that it can be daunting to know which one fits your needs. Our certified plumbers can recommend the appropriate assembly that suits your preference and needs.

What To Do

Schedule a yearly inspection for backflow prevention with our local Boston plumbers in order to check for any contamination.
This is also to ensure that your backflow preventer is working correctly. Water flows in one direction and therefore, it isn’t contaminated. If there is any reversal in the direction of the flow, the device prevents it from entering your water supply system.
For immediate repairs and quotes, call Plumbers 911 Boston at (855) 550-9911 for service today!

To all our friends and customers regarding COVID-19

We will get through this together To say we are living in “unprecedented” challenging times would be an understatement. We hope this finds you and your family safe and healthy. We would like to list a few pieces of information and websites that we think will be helpful for you during this time.

  • To get the most current information on the COVID-19 virus, please check the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) website at:
  • icon showing hand under faucet with large water droplets falling on hand Please wash your hands frequently. Washing with soap and water for twenty seconds is the preferred method, however when water is not available, please use an alcohol based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • icon of person covering mouth while coughing and a border separating from displeased person close by Practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from another person.
  • For those of you with children that are looking for something fun to do, there are virtual field trips you can take with your kids that are fun and educational. Here is a link:

Plumbers are considered essential workers during this time and we will continue to work as our number one priority is to “protect the health of the nation.” Stay well, stay safe and we will get through this together.

Your Friends at Plumbers 911

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