Outdoor spigot vacuum breaker/backflow preventer question


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Old 05-09-10, 08:04 AM
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Outdoor spigot vacuum breaker/backflow preventer question

Couple of questions i need help on.
I have a spigot on the outside of my house that has a non-removable Watts 8p backflow preventer/vacuum breaker.

Couple of issues
1) The 8p seems to be drip dripping when i have the spigot on and when not using the hose attached. I would like to replace it, but it's "not removable". Do i need to dremel this off cutting the plastic to break it? That seems crazy. How does one replace/repair these things!?

2) I'm running a remote spigot from this spigot using 160psi flex tubing, so i would like to leave the 1st spigot on all permanently. This will run to an automatic watering system. The vacuum breakers from Watts say they are not design for permanent pressure. What can i use that would screw onto the spigot and allow permanent pressure (well, 4-6 months a year, it would be drained in winter and the spigot shut off)?

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-09-10, 10:00 AM
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They are tamper proof. You could try cutting it off but you might damage the threads on the faucet. You could just replace the whole faucet unit.
 
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Old 05-09-10, 10:31 AM
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I agree with the other post, just replace the hose bib with one with the vacuum breaker on the top, that way you can screw your flex tubing on and still have protection.
 
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Old 05-09-10, 05:49 PM
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Hose Bib w/Vacuum Breaker

I was attempting to remove the vacuum breaker from my hose bib because I leave that faucet on all the time, with the drip irrigation controlled by a timer. As I was attempting to remove the breaker, a small white ring between two sections broke and fell off. I cannot get the breaker off the bib, and now it makes a groaning noise when the flow starts. Two questions...is there some place to get the white plastic replacement ring, and is it possible that the vacuum breaker is built into the bib....I can't get the darn thing to budge, and I'm afraid I'll end up with a broken hose bib. Thanks for any advice.
 
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Old 05-09-10, 06:35 PM
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I think you broke it already. I don't understand why you think that you needed to remove the vacuum breaker. Probably time to replace the entire faucet.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 03:58 AM
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I can't eeasily replace the whole bibb as it's inside a wall...i didn't want to tear the wall apart.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jasonmolinari View Post
I can't eeasily replace the whole bibb as it's inside a wall...i didn't want to tear the wall apart.
I don't think you have any course but to replace the hose bib.
You have a vacuum breaker on it thats designed to destroy the threads if you remove it, highly doubtful that type of breaker has any parts available, and you probably need to take if off to fix it, looks like a lose, lose situation.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 02:37 PM
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One has to wonder why a tamper proof breaker would be installed on a residential spigot. Seems rather stupid.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jasonmolinari View Post
One has to wonder why a tamper proof breaker would be installed on a residential spigot. Seems rather stupid.
Its the law in most states. You wouldn't believe how many people working on their lawns have gotten sick or died because there wasn't a breaker on their hose bib, it's a safety device.
 
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Old 05-10-10, 05:04 PM
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Interesting. But why make it non-removable.
 
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Old 05-11-10, 09:10 AM
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Before replacing the whole thing..I'd cut partway though with a hacksaw blade or dremel, then try to split it by inserting a screwdriver and twisting. You could then install a new brass unit.

Because hose fittings seal by a washer at the end..even if you cut into the threads a bit it won't leak..as long as the sealing end is ok.
 
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Old 05-11-10, 09:18 AM
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Thanks Gunguy, that's pretty much what i was thinking. Although, it seems to have stopped leaking, so maybe it's fine for now!
I ran the remote spigot on Sunday, and it's been on since then, and no puddle, so so far so good.
 
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Old 07-03-10, 05:03 PM
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> shacko wrote:
> You wouldn't believe how many people working on their
> lawns have gotten sick or died because there wasn't a
> breaker on their hose bib, it's a safety device.

You're right, I don't. Backflow preventors / vacuum breakers seem like a fix that causes far more trouble than it prevents. Both of mine do much more than "drip" - after 15 years, they are now spewing about 5% of the water running through the hose, spraying everything within an 8 foot radius. This is very irritating to me - all the more because the nanny's break-off set screw won't let me repair it.

But to the point: What problem do these devices actually solve?

As I understand it, six conditions must be met for there to be any civic benefit at all. (let's agree that the food I buy at the grocery store, and the way I cook and serve it within my own house to my own family is my responsibility - not the Government's. This includes beverages I serve)

1) Hose or hose-device must contain large quantities of unlikely pathogens: probability ~ 1 in 100,000 hoses? 1: 10,000,000? I've consumed water from hoses for more than 50 years, sometimes daily, and never identified an illness... So have dozens of other people I know...

2) Hose must have positive pressure at the bib: p =~ 1 : 2

3) House plumbing pressure must drop below pressure in hose: p =~ once per year (at my house, which is typical in Atlanta)

4) To affect anyone beyond my house, the volume of pathogen-bearing backflow must fill be great enough to traverse the shortest possible route from my hose bib, through my house, and out to the main in the street: p =~ 1 : 100,000

5) Pathogen concentration when diluted in the main must remain high enough to produce illness after dilution with all the other water in the main, and the hypothetical victim's household plumbing: p = ~ 1 : 1,000,000

6) Pathogen must not be rendered biologically inert by the low concentration of chorine in the municipal water supply before reaching a victim: p =~ 1 : 1,000 (maybe there are realistic pathogens unaffected by chorine? Chlorination is a recommended preventative for Legionairre's disease, and almost all bacteria)

So this water-wasting nuisance device, which annoys virtually 100% of the people on whom it is forced, and fails in a very expensive manner (tear open the wall and re-solder the hose bib) prevents an illness once in every 10**19 house-years? If there are 100,000,000 million homes on which it is installed (10**8), that means once in every 10,000,000,000 years?

Maybe my math is off by a factor of 10. Maybe - but to argue, please provide a plausible correction, or better yet, actual evidence. My googling has not found any...

But even allowing for a factor of a million, how are these devices a good idea?

I expect that the probability of somebody getting sick from the dirt that enters the main during the city's dig-up-the-street-and-repair-the-broken-pipe job is a million times greater.

There are situations that tremendously increase the chances of significant backflow - such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods. But most homeowners tend to notice these events, and therefore realize that tap water cannot be assumed to be potable.
 
 

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