Choosing a Backflow Preventer

Backflow preventers are a very important part of a lawn sprinkler system. Think of a backflow preventer as a one-way gate for water. The water goes out but does not go back in from where it came.

Backflow preventers are often used to keep unsafe water from reversing flow and entering a clean water supply. This is why it is so important to have backflow preventer on your irrigation system if your water comes from a drinkable (potable) sources. In many homes, a lawn irrigation system and a potable water system will be one and the same.

There are different kinds of backflow preventers. Some backflow preventers are just a single check valve that closes when water flow reverses. Other backflow preventers are much more elaborate with multiple check valves, water release valves, air vents and other moving parts. In many places, if your irrigation system is connected to a potable source, it is illegal not to have a backflow preventer.

Backflow preventers are designed to prevent contamination of a drinkable water system from things like pesticides, sewage and other hazardous materials. There are two basic types of backflow: Back pressure and back siphonage. Back pressure occurs when pressure downstream of the device is greater than the pressure upstream. Back siphonage occurs when a vacuum is created upstream and the water gets sucked backwards.

These are some of the reasons there are some many backflow preventers to choose from. Sprinkler System Store offers a completed selection of Orbit Anti-Syphon Valves and many other backflow preventers for a lawn sprinkler system.