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Backflow preventer freezing and breaking

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by m249saw, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. m249saw

    m249saw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Hello all,

    I have a Febco 1" back flow preventer and twice it has frozen over (a rare thing but quite common this year in Florida). Both times the bonnet and poppet have cracked (my guess due to being submerged in frozen water).

    The first time I didn't have my irrigation valve off and it flowed for about 5-10 minutes before my neighbor noticed it and shut it off. This time my water is off and I found it in pieces on the ground.

    My question, the obvious: how do I prevent this from happening? Siphon out all the remaining water in the preventer valve or somehow insulate the brass body?

    Thanks all,
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,184

    If you are in FLA., insulating should be sufficient. the problem arises because the water INSIDE the PVB freezes, and EXPANDS, and pushes up the bonnet and poppet.

    Best solution is turn the water off and drain as much water out as you can. Maybe still insulate during cold times in Jan. and Feb.
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,243

    Other means of protection would involve running a tiny flow of water through the device, if you manage to make it happen BEFORE the freezing temperatures.
  4. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,930

    Just cut that sucker out of there completely. As the TV ad used to say, this is Florida, the rules are different here.
  5. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    I typically install a freeze protection valve along with insulating the pipes.
    Ummm, you mention that the device may be submerged in freezing water. Is it installed below grade?
  6. m249saw

    m249saw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I think I might just go with a cover for the 6-7 nights it actually goes below freezing. Thanks all!
  7. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,607

    If you plan to not use it for a few months , you can degut it.
  8. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,184

    But then it must be re-tested!! :)
  9. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,607

    In fla, I thought down there inspectors are just so happy to see ya have one , they will go down on ya. no?
  10. m249saw

    m249saw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    That might explain why my neighbor has 5 of them.

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