F.A.Q. about Backflow Prevention

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1. How do I comply?

You must hire a Registered Architect or a Professional Engineer to prepare the plans for the backflow prevention (BFP) device. The plans are then submitted, along with application forms, to the DEP’s Cross Connection Control Unit for approval. Once approval is received, a Licensed Master Plumber must install the device. 

2. What are the different types of backflow prevention devices?
There are multiple types of BFP devices available from which to choose depending on the type of backflow situation you are trying to prevent, below are some of the more common types:
o Double Check Valve (“DCV”) or Double Check Assembly (“DCA”). A double check valve or double check assembly (DCA) is a backflow prevention device designed to protect water supplies from contamination. It consists of two check valves assembled in series for isolation purposes. These devices are not suitable for high hazard applications, and as such are typically used for lawn sprinkler systems or fire sprinkler systems.

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  • Reduced Pressure Zone Device (RPZD or simply “RPZ”)
This device is specifically designed for high–level hazards. High–level hazards are situations in which the water backflow could seriously harm individuals. The RPZ has a chamber between two independent check valves where pressure is monitored.
  • Air Gap
This type of device is something found in almost all homes. It is literally a gap between the faucet head and the sink itself. Water can easily flow from the faucet into the sink, but there is no way that water can flow from the sink into the faucet without modifying the system. It relieves pressure by providing the water a place to go if pressure builds in the pipes from partial freezing. This arrangement will prevent any contaminants in the sink from flowing into the potable water system.

3. Who Is Responsible For Installing A Backflow Prevention Device?
As per the New York City and NY State codes, the water “customer” has the primary responsibility of preventing contaminants from entering the potable water piping system and subsequently, the public water supply.

4. How much will installation of a backflow prevention device cost?
Costs associated with installing backflow prevention devices fluctuate depending on the type of device, building and other variables. Call M&M Plumbing & Heating, Inc. at (718) 752-0083 to get an estimate on your property.

5. Do you need to do maintenance on your backflow prevention device?
Yes. The law dictates that a NY State Certified Backflow Prevention Device Tester must execute an official test on your device and file the appropriate forms with the DEP annually. Call M&M Plumbing & Heating, Inc. at (718) 752-0083 to schedule your testing with one of our certified testers.

6. What if I have a backflow prevention device but the DEP has no record of its installation?
You’ll have to get your Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) to send a record drawing of the backflow preventer along with an Initial Test report of the device to the DEP. Call M&M Plumbing & Heating, Inc. at (718) 752-0083 and we’ll assist you through the process.