My water sprinkler system guy tells me that my "Pressure Vacuum
Breaker" may have to be replaced. Unknown to me, it has been leaking.
He tells me this is a "backflow" device that keeps the irrigation
water separated from the home-use water. This concerns me from a heath
perspective. Can the two water supplies mix if the backflow is not
working properly? He say it costs about $200 (including labor) to
replace the entire device. Is this price reasonable? Would appreciate
responses from posters familiar with such systems and this backflow
device. Thanks in advance -- Brian.
Yes, there can be a real danger if the sprinkler system is
fed from the domestic water supply.
Helpful .pdf here:
It's also possible that the mfr of the valve offers a
repair kit, better than replacement usually.
These valves have metal exteriors and plastic working parts. I know
of one which failed and needed replacement. The replacement plastic
parts kit, from a nearby ACE Hardware, slipped right in at a cost of
less than $50. No metal needed replacement (i.e. no soldering,
cutting, etc). In fact, if the fellow who did the job had had
stronger fingers, he wouldn't have needed tools either.
Of course, in my town it is illegal for anyone but a licensed and
certified plumber to adjust or do any type of maintenance on these
Backflow devices protect the municipal water supply from contamination
by any chemicals sitting around on your lawn if and when a vacuum is
produced in the municipal water pipes. The most common cause of such
a vacuum would be a fire department Pumper hooked up to a nearby
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