They are to prevent backflow from the washing machine to the domestic
water supply if the supply pressure fails.
Remove them, clean them in CLR (or equal), replace the washers.
Just replace them with new ones.
I've never been anywhere that required backflow preventers on a
washing machine. The control valves on washing machines are right
where the hoses hookup. And the fill to the tub is above it. You
might be able to simply replace the rubber washer to fix your leak.
The fittings are the same as garden hoses. Personally I'd probably
remove the backflow preventers.
I took apart the leaking one and found that the rubber/plastic
"diaphragm"(?) was a sticky black mess, so fixing it would require
getting the appropriate replacement part.
I cannot find such a device on Lowe's Web site, and Menards (regional
home improvement chain) shows it a s a special-order item, so I conclude
that they are not widely used. Home Depot sells them, but our local
store closed recently.
Since HD describes the item as for a garden hose, it is presumably not
intended for hot water.
I think I might just remove them.
I agree that I've never seen them on a washing machine. They aren't
on mine and I'll sleep soundly at night. It would be almost
for dirty washing machine water to make it back into the fresh water
supply. For starters, the washing machine solenoid valves would have
to fail to close at the same time the water pressure went to zero.
On 7/12/2011 06:49, email@example.com wrote:
If the things are meant for garden hoses I wouldn't sleep soundly at
night if they were on the washing machine lines because:
- They aren't intended for use under continuous pressure
- They aren't intended for use with hot water
- They're intended for outdoor use where water dripping from does no harm
Local codes may require them to be retrofitted on garden hose spigots
prior to an inspection, such as when a property is sold. I suspect that
the seller may have erroneously considered the washing machine taps to
be garden hose taps.
I also think washers have anti-siphon built in.
Could be the backflow preventers at the faucets are in case a hose is
connected instead of the washer. Could be local practice. The OP could
ask a plumbing inspector if they want a backflow preventer. I would
leave it off, and install one if flagged at home sale.
When some plumbing work was done here, a backflow preventer was
installed on the laundry tub faucet that is threaded for a hose. They
were not installed on washer faucet connections.
If they are not exactly like the Home Depot unit, then they are
probably some disaster mitigating device. The HD thing is for power
washers, not laundry. Check with City Hall to see if they are some
code required device, and if not, toss them. If there was a diaphragm
internally, it might have been a pressure control or water hammer
calming widget. If it turns out to have some merit, let us know.
Most responders in this thread are correct. Backflow preventers are
not needed on a washer because there is already a siphon break
component within the machine itselft. And in my experience as a major
appliance repairman, it is very hard to make backflow preventers not
leak, at the point they connect to your faucet, and at the point your
hoses connect to them.
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