Wilkins Backflow Preventer The Ultimate Guide

By | November 3, 2016

As the irrigation systems all over the world were developed, there arises another set of need and dangers that we have to address. Before we go there, we must first recognize the main reasons for such system’s existence. The first one is to provide a more systematic water delivery process to the citizens, thus ensuring a constant sizeable rations all the time. The second and more important one, is to ensure that the water is potable. At all costs, you want to avoid potentially dangerous backflow because it can contaminate water, making them unusable. To impede the drastic effects of such event, you would need Wilkins backflow preventer.

Why do you need a Wilkins backflow preventer?

Your water supply system must always be at an equilibrium. A significant pressure must be maintained in order to enable water flow from different fixtures. However, like everything else, it is also prone to problems like frozen pipes, busted water main, and sudden increase of demand from the water system. All of these are sure to tip the pressure and the system off the equilibrium, resulting to backflow. Wilkins backflow preventers are meant to counter the effects of any disruption to the norm, thus protecting water from contaminants.

The dangers are so real that in many countries including the United States, approved backflow preventers like Wilkins are required by law. Because of that, they must be installed in accordance to building codes. In fact, in accordance to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), local water suppliers are to be held responsible of assuring that the purity of the contents of the water system is of an agreeable amount.

As expected, only qualified experts can install your Wilkins backflow preventer. It must also pass a series of checking to make sure that it has met the set standards. Aside from that, all your Wilkins backflow preventer parts must be checked annually. This would incur a certain fee, but is often automatically charged to your utility bill. The fact that the government (tasked with ensuring the public’s welfare) has provided certain measures to guarantee the backflow phenomenon is prevented, proves the gravity of damages from such.

Types of Wilkins backflow preventer

If you are unaware yet of your options, it is high time that is changed. There are four common types of backflow preventer from Wilkins: double check valves, pressure vacuum breaker, reduced pressure zone assembly, and atmospheric vacuum breaker. Which of the four will best serve your purposes are dependent on different factors, something that would be discussed later on.

  1. Double Check Valves

Also known as the double check assembly, this type is meant for non-hazardous applications such as fire sprinkler, irrigation, and tankless heaters. Consisting of two check valves, they operate and regulate the pressure of the non-working one to prevent leakages and backflows. Double check valves are considered a good choice for either in-line or underground installation.

  1. Pressure Vacuum Breakers

PVBs are designed especially to keep non-potable water or other contaminated liquids form the supply. It is like an atmospheric vacuum breaker (AVB), but this is more able to handle continuous pressure. In fact, this is perfectly acceptable in instances where the valves are downstream. The performance of this Wilkins backflow preventer can be gauged through test cocks, unlike the AVB which is completely non-testable.

  1. Reduced Pressure Zone Assemblies

The effectivity of device is highly optimized when used for significantly hazardous applications such as preventing contamination through human waste. Like double check valves, it has two check valves. However, this type comes with a pressure monitored chamber in the middle. This chamber is maintained at a lower pressure compared to the two check valves through differential pressure relief valve. Considering that RPZA is relied to impede something as harmful as human waste, two of it are required for facilities that deal with constant pressure.

  1. Atmospheric Vacuum Breakers

An AVB is especially designed to block the passage and mixing of non-potable liquids in the water system. As it works on atmospheric principles, this device allows air to enter when a siphon starts to form. Like RPZA, it can also be used for high hazard situations. However, this device can never be for those having continuous pressure as this would cause the poppet to stick and the entire AVB to malfunction.

What type of Wilkins backflow preventer should you buy?

Although this is a well-researched guide, it must be emphasized that the consequences of the choice must be burdened entirely by the reader. Moreover, it is also your duty to check the guidelines and the legality of using the preferred backflow preventer in your area. Below is a table showing what can be used depending on the scenario, helping you decide what backflow preventer from Wilkins must be purchased.

Good for commercial site? Using non-pure water for your irrigation system? Installing the device in a valve box below ground? Can’t install it at least 150 mm above drippers? Dealing with a relatively large irrigated area? Against having the device visible?
Double Check Valves
Pressure Vacuum Breakers
Reduced Pressure Zone Assemblies
Atmospheric Vacuum Breakers

Reduced pressure zone assemblies are the industry standard, thus deemed usable for almost all projects. On the other hand, double check valves are seen to have many applications as well for single family residential uses. Pressure vacuum breakers and atmosphere vacuum breakers are seen to have almost the same level of functionality, with only the former able to handle constant pressure. However, the latter is more economically viable when dealing with five or less valves.

Whatever your needs may be, there will always be a Wilkins backflow preventer that will be perfect for you. Wilkins has continuously proven itself to be reliable in preventing harmful contaminants from reaching your water supply. Don’t settle for anything less than an established name in the market. Purchase a device most suitable for your system, and order your top-quality wilkins backflow preventer now.