Backflow prevention is used in all Commercial buildings and many residential applications. It is necessary to keep the water that flows to structures to be maintained within the structure and not sent back into the city’s water source.
The reason for backflow preventers is every commercial building or residential home has different contaminants within the domestic water piping and if they have a boiler system the possible contaminants are too numerous to think of.
Residential homes that do not have a boiler system do not require a backflow device due to the water leading to the home being of such a high pressure that the Minnesota code does not see anything within the home as being able to overcome that pressure and force the water back into the city’s water source. However with a boiler system it is deemed a requirement due to the fact that if the Steam or hot water boiler severely malfunctions and the relief valve does not release the pressure built up, it is possible that the water could be forced back into the city’s water source. In this instance the backflow preventer is simply a secondary safety measure.
In commercial applications backflow prevention is always used due to the larger scale of the mechanical equipment typically involved. As stated above backflow preventers or RPZ’s for short as they are known in commercial applications are simply required as an additional safety measure to ensure the protection of the city’s water source from any possible contaminants.
It is Minnesota code to have your RPZ tested every year to make sure it is operating as designed and also re-built every five years. This is required in all commercial applications and also all residential buildings with over 3 individual families living under one roof. So if you have a RPZ call Cities1 Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning to make sure it is in good working order yearly. Also, if your not exactly sure if you have an RPZ or not we will be happy to come out and take a look for you.