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pass1

Active Member

Posts: 34

Location: east coast

11

Sunday, April 10th 2011, 6:43pm

Seems to me you should look at what is causing the backflow device to dump, rather than just replace it with one that would not readily show a pressure loss problem in its operation. Even if you put the DCVA in, the problem is still there and will just show up elsewhere , maybe in a different fashion. Sufficient information on your set up has not been given to really diagnose this problem. Are you on a well or city water? Are you watering steep slopes ? There are lots of possibilities.
For every area that allows a DCVA in an irrigation system there is one that does not. You have to check with your local authorities. In my area it is a properly installed AVB, PVB, or an RP Assy. I believe the National Irrigation Association views irrigation systems as high hazard in their standards. I would agree with Todd that you are taking a step back in protection by installing a DCVA over a properly installed PVB.

wsommariva

Supreme Member

Posts: 332

Location: Northern New Jersey

12

Sunday, April 10th 2011, 6:46pm

Thanks for your reply and help.

I live in Northern New Jersey. I have a small system so the water loss isn't great.

I used poly tube and auto drain valves, so I think I'm safe for winter? I'll try to blow out the system myself with my compressor in the Fall. If I can't I'll get a pro to do it.

wsommariva

Supreme Member

Posts: 332

Location: Northern New Jersey

13

Sunday, April 10th 2011, 6:53pm

To pass1. IThanks for your reply . I think the problem was with the auto drains I have installed. My town allows the double check valves. Some additional info. I just installed this system. Small, just for my pool area. Three zones and 5 sprinklers. No slopes. I was quite happy with the PVB and I know it's used alot. But the potential for a major problem - that is water gushing out when I am not home to stop it - right or wrong - is very disconcerting to me. For peace of mind I disconnected the PVB and ordered a Febco double check unit.

hi.todd

Supreme Member

Posts: 417

Location: Houston, Texas

14

Sunday, April 10th 2011, 10:48pm

Mitchgo thanks for the reinformation.

I did not realize you have read all of the regional health codes. I have not.

I think you are just wrong in your view!! How can you encourage somebody to go from a High hazard device to a Low hazard device with out first understanding why there was a High hazard device in the first place?
:thumbup: :thumbsup:

Mitchgo

Supreme Member

Posts: 502

Location: Seattle

15

Sunday, April 10th 2011, 11:31pm

Well, I've been in this argument before.

I'm not encouraging someone to go from high to low. I never told the guy to get a double check, I actually said he pvb is working correctly and doing it's job. However when the potential of a problem from a irrigation system is low, I don't see a problem in saying it's okay to use a double check.

My main reason why I support double checks is because they are rated to go below ground.. Which in my opinion a green box in the ground looks sooo much better then a piece of copper pipe and brass assembly sticking above the ground somewhere around the yard/ house.. rp's can go underground too as long as they have proper drainage.. Which for a rp could be difficult

My second reason is because I personally feel double checks are completely fine for irrigation systems. I think All back flow devices should be tested Annually, or every 2 years to ensure they are properly working.

I was just in hawaii and saw Many many Rp's and PVB's next to street curbs and meters . horrible and ugly installs . Soo many potential hazards.. not to mention crack heads can easily steal them.

wsommariva

Supreme Member

Posts: 332

Location: Northern New Jersey

16

Monday, April 11th 2011, 8:37am

Op here again. I plan to install the double check in my basement vertically. I will have easy access to check the unit before each season. I also have a three filter whole house filter that may catch any contaminents. BTW I have city water. I hope the instructions tell me how to check it. If not can you tell me how now?

I appreciate the help and comments.

EDIT: The maintanance instructions say to get testing procedures from associations such as AWWA or ASSE. Can anyone help me with this?

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "wsommariva" (Apr 11th 2011, 9:52am)


Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,072

Location: Metro NYC

17

Monday, April 11th 2011, 9:58am

Well, I've been in this argument before.

I'm not encouraging someone to go from high to low. I never told the guy to get a double check, I actually said he pvb is working correctly and doing it's job. However when the potential of a problem from a irrigation system is low, I don't see a problem in saying it's okay to use a double check.

My main reason why I support double checks is because they are rated to go below ground.. Which in my opinion a green box in the ground looks sooo much better then a piece of copper pipe and brass assembly sticking above the ground somewhere around the yard/ house.. rp's can go underground too as long as they have proper drainage.. Which for a rp could be difficult

My second reason is because I personally feel double checks are completely fine for irrigation systems. I think All back flow devices should be tested Annually, or every 2 years to ensure they are properly working.

I was just in hawaii and saw Many many Rp's and PVB's next to street curbs and meters . horrible and ugly installs . Soo many potential hazards.. not to mention crack heads can easily steal them.
Below-grade mounting is absolutely, positively, no reason to downgrade system protection. In the giving of advice, location must be pinpointed. Then advice can follow. Conjecture and aesthetics need not apply to a question on backflow.

Op here. Why am I wrong for getting a dcva? From what I've read, it works. My town seems to require "a" backflow preventer device. EDIT: my town allows anti siphon valves, double check valves, PBV and one other type that I can't remember. Secondly that PBV, from what I've read can open up and cause floods. Why take that chance?

Not that it matters now, but noone answered my comment about the auto drain plugs that I have installed and if that can cause a PBV to gush water.

BTW, my system works great.

I bought a Febco DCV

Anyone want a free slightly used Toro PBV?
You have received incorrect information from your town. The state of New Jersey requires toxic-rated backflow prevention for lawn sprinkler systems. This has been the law for over 20 years. That a municipal office hands out incorrect information is not all that unusual, especially if their learning comes from before 1990.

no Double Check Valve Assembly is fit for lawn sprinkler use in New Jersey. Even older systems with them became code violations when the law was changed. No grandfathering was a part of the law. If it happens that you can find a DCVA at a big-box store, understand that they are not founts of correct information.

If you still have doubts about this (I certainly don't, since I've done work in the area, and am obligated to know what's what) go to your library and read up on the codes. When New Jersey changed the rules, they took their new plumbing rules from the National Standard Plumbing Code and made it a part of the state's building codes. This is state-wide. The only discretion allowed to any municipality, is for them to make the rules even more stringent.

Keep the PVB. Lose the auto-drain valves. Later on, maybe take another look at the supply plumbing, because sometimes the chief cause of lowered pressure is pressure loss in the supply plumbing.

wsommariva

Supreme Member

Posts: 332

Location: Northern New Jersey

18

Monday, April 11th 2011, 10:52am

Thanks for that info. Actually Lowes in my town sells the double valve units. I also got the code from my town's website. EDIT - In the early stages of my planning I spoke to the plumbing inspector who said that anti-syphon valves are ok. I switched to in-line subsequently.

Codes aside, do the double check valve units work? According to what I have read, they do. They are subject to clogging, the only downside I have read about. I'll test the system yearly and I have that three filter whole house system. Bottom line, in your opinion, am I protected?

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "wsommariva" (Apr 11th 2011, 11:13am)


Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,072

Location: Metro NYC

19

Monday, April 11th 2011, 4:05pm

Again, forget the DCVA - they were all the rage in the 1980's - not any more, especially in any state that adopted a regional plumbing code like the NSPC. When the code changed, many sprinkler guys, including me, were angry, because we were thinking nothing could be more convenient than a basement installation of a DCVA. We could even have the supply plumbing exit the house below grade, and have protection from overnight freezing.

Turns out, though that it was a change for the good. We learned that the most popular model of DVCA turned out to have a problem with internal parts sticking. All those DCVA installs were trouble waiting to happen, especially since there was not any requirement for the devices to be inspected on a yearly basis. That a DCVA can fail with no indication of malfunction is why they are not rated to protect against toxic backfow.

Any properly installed vacuum breaker gives you protection based on gravity. As long as gravity is still around, water cannot flow uphill in an open pipe, and your (and your town's) drinking water is protected. Gravity beats check valves, hands down.

pass1

Active Member

Posts: 34

Location: east coast

20

Monday, April 11th 2011, 4:37pm

No way should a RPA assy be put in an irrigation box below grade. Besides the possibility of flooding the box and submerging the device,there certainly would be a difficulty in testing and making repairs. No one is going to set up some elaborate drainage system within a valve box to allow for its relief valve opening.
New Jersey has very specific regulations on the installation of sprinkler systems and I too am doubtful that your getting good info on what is an appropriate backflow device. High hazard devices are only appropriate. If your still questioning the recommendations of three on this board, contact the Irrigation Association of New Jersey and they will verify the requirements. Fix the pressure problem and stick with the PVB.

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