Before aluminum and fiberglass enclosures were an option, backflow preventers were covered with some type of box or building, often made of wood or brick and block. As if often the case, necessity became the mother of invention and the founders of Safe-T-Cover™ and Hot Box® knew there had to be a better way to cover a backflow preventer. The aluminum backflow enclosure was born.
Protection: A brick and block building with locking mechanism provides protection from thieves, vandals and accidents. Heaters provide protection from freezing.
Sizes: customized to the dimensions of the device and its clearances
Materials: brick, painted cement block, wood
Prices: $300 to $10,000 for single backflow preventer without meter
Important to Note: These enclosures may not comply with the intentions of ASSE 1060 standards. The materials used are not on the approved list provided by the ASSE. This means they are not subjected to the same rigorous testing as aluminum, fiberglass, or steel backflow enclosures. Most municipalities require or recommend all enclosures for backflow preventers be ASSE 1060 certified. If freeze protection is important, a design engineer would need to certify that the backflow device would not freeze during winter conditions.
A brick and block enclosure performs the same function as an aluminum enclosure; namely protection from vandalism, protection from the elements, and if necessary protection from freezing by using some type of heating system.
A brick enclosure can be built to match the look of its surroundings. Some look rather attractive and could be mistaken for garden sheds or storage houses, which are a commonly accepted site in our country. If someone wanted a customized brick, block, or wooden backflow shelter, they could choose the materials used to build it. The problem with that sentiment is that most of the time, the commercial or industrial building owner is not involved in the choosing and designing of a backflow enclosure. If the people designing the system don't really care how the end result looks, it can be pretty unsightly as can be seen in some of these pictures