Water is maintained at a certain pressure to allow water to flow from the tap, shower and other fixtures. However, this pressure may fail when a water main bursts, a pipe freezes or an unexpected high demand on the water system is experienced. When water pressure is reduced, contaminated water from the soil, from storage or from other sources can be drawn into the system. In order to protect potable water supplies from contamination or pollution due to backflow, a backflow prevention device is used.
Watts is one of those companies that make backflow preventers, and while they have good quality products, there are occasions when issues like leaks affect their products. So what do you do when your own device runs into trouble?
How to Fix a Leaking Backflow Preventer
There is no one reason for backflow preventer leaks. For instance, it may freeze during the winter and be damaged when it’s turned on afterwards. Another cause for leaking might be damage to certain parts, which can happen no matter how old the device is. All that said, how can leaks be fixed?
For one, you can try the backflow preventer repair kit. Some issues are easily solved with the kit. Then again, there are cases when the problem is too complex that you will need to call in a professional for a proper remedy.
Another thing to keep in mind regarding backflow preventers is this: there are occasions when replacing the entire device is preferable to just repairing one piece.
Check Parts First Before Calling for Help
Before calling in professional help, you can always check the problem out yourself. Doing this helps you save time and money because there are cases when the issue can easily be solved without needing a professional.
First, you can check whether there is debris in the first or second check valve. You can take both apart and look to see if the presence of debris is indeed the root of the problem.
You can also check the rubber parts and the seats to see if they are still in good condition. Taking out the relief valve to see its condition is also a good idea to see whether it is cracked or broken.
The diaphragm may also be the cause of the leak so you can check that as well.
Asking for Help Is Never Wrong
When you’ve exhausted all possible checks and still can’t figure out why you’re backflow preventer is leaking, it’s time to call in the professionals to do their job. While devices like these are meant to last a long time, we just cannot account for how outside factors would behave. Even a device that is a few months old can break down due to external conditions.
Keep in mind that some places do require a backflow prevention device to be installed. This is so the water is kept clean and safe for everyone in a particular household. But these devices may leak for various reasons and there are measures you can do yourself to fix them, but more complex issues need to be handled by a professional.