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A double check valve is a backflow preventer which is designed to protect water sources from contamination. It is also a valve which is used in compressed air braking systems on heavy trucks. It consists of two non-return valves connected in series. This uses two principles of operation: on the one hand, a check valve will always act, even if the other is blocked in open position, secondly the closing one valve, reduces the pressure differential across the other, allowing for a more reliable seal and even preventing minor leaks. The small valves can be so barely noticeable, mainly when integrated into existing valve bodies. Larger check valves may be installed with end ball valves for insulation and testing. Often, test valves are in place to attach the test equipment to assess whether the double check assembly is still functional. The double check valve is suitable for the prevention of backpressure and siphoning but is not suitable for high-risk applications. It is commonly used on lawn irrigation systems, fire sprinklers, and mixed boilers. If the hazard is higher, even a relatively low risk such as the use of antifreeze in the sprinkler system, a more reliable sanitary check valve such as a reduced pressure zone device may be mandatory.
Backflow is the reversal of the flow of a liquid, gas, or solid into the clean or potable water supply. Backflow happens due to back pressure or due to back siphoning of the plumbing system. If the water is pure, backflow is not a serious concern. But if the water is contaminated and it contains chemicals and harmful bacteria, backflow can pose serious health and safety hazards.
A backflow preventer is quite effective in preventing this. It helps protect potable water supplies from contamination or pollution due to backflow. A backflow preventer though simple in design is ingenious in its working.
Preventing backflow is essential and your first line of defense is to install a backflow preventer.