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3 Types of Backflow Preventer Valves & Signs of Issues 

The main purpose of backflow preventer valves is to prevent water contamination, these are usually installed in apartments, condominium units, and commercial facilities. But many homes don’t prefer to require a backflow preventer because you need to install a valve if you have a sprinkler system or an outdoor pool.

Sprinkler systems may result in water pressure fluctuations in the pipes behind your walls or ceiling. There are 3 types of backflow preventer valves to prevent water contamination and health issues such as nausea. Without proper safety standards don’t think that the sink water is safe to consume.

The water is delivered by a main water supply line that is connected to the water pipes on your property. The sanitary water is passed through the pipes in a single direction to each fixture in your kitchen and bathroom. The movement of water in the pipes is due to water pressure.

Types of backflow preventer valves

Double check valves

The main purpose of double check valves is to keep toxic chemicals out of the sanitary water in your pipes. It comes with two check valves that remove the negative consequences of a drastic change in water pressure. The second check valve can be utilized when the other valve is stuck open.

The double check valves are connected with ball valves for troubleshooting. This type of backflow preventer valve can be well integrated with test cocks which allow the professionals to ensure whether the double check valve is operating.These valves are usually utilized to prevent water contamination in fire, lawn, and boiler systems.

Reduced pressure zones

These are similar to double check backflow prevention devices as it comes with two check valves. There is a relief valve which is fixed to open and release contaminated water. If water is flushed from the pipes by the relief valve, then it’s a sign of damage to the main water supply pipes or check valves. If the reduced pressure zones are fixed, the valve will not push water out. This type of preventer will be mostly popular in cities as they remove the contaminants such as pesticides, fertilizers, and toxic chemicals from entering the sanitary water.

Pressure vacuum breakers

Pressure vacuum breakers connect to the lawn systems. This type of valve can be fixed on the outdoor wall or inside of a recessed box below the ground. It stops the entry of contaminated water into the sanitary systems. If you can’t find the pressure vacuum backflow preventer on the exterior of your house, perform an inspection of your basement.

Signs of a broken backflow valve

Water leaks

What causes the water leaks? Dirt, thermal expansion, or a fluctuation in water pressure can make the system abnormal and form a water leak. Detecting and resolving the water leak issue as soon as possible is good, don’t wait until it gets serious. Call a professional plumber to inspect and replace the valve. Even a small leak can cause mold, water damage, and odors.

Slow drainage

If the water level in your bathtub gets increased when the sink is on it might be the sign of a backflow preventer valve. If the backflow valve in a pipe is broken, water will not flow properly. This issue will cause water backups and create damage to other fixtures, drains, and sinks in your house. Improper valves can cause slow drainage in your kitchen or bathroom sinks.

Discolored water

If the water from your sink or shower is discolored, this is a sign of a broken backflow valve in your pipes. If the water color is yellow or brown water, call a plumber to avoid health issues. If you consume unhealthy water it can lead to a lot of health issues such as nausea, diarrhea, gastrointestinal issues, stomach aches, or dehydration.