Do I need a back flow preventor or check valve?

Old 01-14-11, 06:12 AM
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Do I need a back flow preventor or check valve?

My well is going out and I am converting to rural water. Do I need a back flow preventer somewhere ahead of my water softner and/or hot water heater? If so what would you recommend. I vaguely remember a requirement when I signed up for rural water.

Also since the rural water is run all over the county the pressure and flow is somewhat low. Can I install a booster pump to rectify this?
Old 01-14-11, 08:26 AM
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Your rural water provider should be able to tell you if they require a backflow preventer or not. If they do, they either will provide it themselves or provide a list of approved brands and models. If you do end up having a backflow preventer installed, you will need to install an expansion tank at your water heater to prevent nuisance discharges of your TP valve as well as reducing the risk of overpressure bursting the hoses of your washing machine.

As for the pressure problems, most plumbing codes and public water supply regulations require a minimum of 20 pounds inlet pressure. Don't install a booster pump without consulting the water company, as a booster pump can rob other customers of their water pressure and create backflow situations of its own.

If the rural water system's flows and pressures are unusually low, you might have to install a cistern or holding tank, which is filled by the rural water supply via a float valve, then your own pump and pressure tank supplies the pressure and volume to your house plumbing. As a general rule, rural water district service often doesn't have the flows and pressures of a municipal water system, as distribution lines are typically rather small diameter plastic piping.

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