This page will teach you everything you need to know about backflow cages and why they might not be the right fit for keeping backflow devices safe.
As the name implies, a backflow enclosure surrounds and covers backflow preventer equipment. It may or may not come with a securing or locking mechanism, and can be anything from a cage or fiberglass box, to a faux rock.
Yes! Your backflow preventer should be enclosed, in many municipalities, it is required by local ordinance or building code. In addition, and as mentioned above, backflow preventer theft remains a prevalent issue around the country, as thieves take these assemblies and try to sell them as scrap. Finally, your backflow should be protected from the elements, whether it’s oppressive summer heat or harsh winter cold.
With any backflow enclosure, if a backflow preventer fails, the enclosure should either be able to be removed or have adequate space for inspection or servicing. Any enclosure should be able to be removed, and for this reason, we do not recommend (and numerous local governments have prohibited) below-ground installation in vaults.
In a word: Yes!
You should have a backflow enclosure for the following reasons:
Compliance: Many municipalities require the installation of backflow preventer enclosures to comply with local codes and regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines, legal liability and risk to public health.
Protection: A backflow enclosure protects backflow prevention assemblies from physical damage, vandalism, theft and exposure to the elements. It ensures that the equipment functions properly, maintaining water supply safety.
Convenience: Backflow enclosures provide convenient access for maintenance, inspection and testing of backflow preventer devices. They also make it easier to locate and identify the assemblies in case of emergency or repair.
Durability: Backflow enclosures are typically made of sturdy materials such as steel or aluminum and are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, wear and tear, and tampering. They are built to last for many years and require minimal maintenance. A rugged aluminum enclosure is as important an investment as it is in your backflow prevention equipment itself.
Using a backflow enclosure is a practical and necessary solution to protect the water supply, comply with regulations, ensure convenience and durability, and enhance the aesthetics of the property.
A cage alone will not conceal its contents, it would require the use of an insulated, opaque bag, which still does not necessarily disguise its contents. A secured fiberglass or aluminum enclosure, or even a fake rock, will keep thieves from seeing what's inside.
Regardless of standard climate conditions, we recommend the use of a slab-mounted heater with any backflow enclosure. With freeze events happening everywhere from Texas to Florida and throughout the Sun Belt, it can no longer be assumed that an enclosure, even an insulated enclosure, is itself adequate protection from the weather.
While enclosure manufacturers provide a range of standard, in-stock and ready-to-ship enclosures or enclosure components, many also provide for custom orders made to exact specifications. Safe-T-Cover’s design professionals are always available to discuss your specific needs and develop a tailor-made solution from durable, insulated aluminum panels.