What is an RPZ Backflow Preventer and Do I Need One?

Backflow is the undesired flow of water or other fluid substances in the opposite direction of the intended flow. It occurs when the fluid pressure in the system is greater on the downstream side of a valve or fitting than on the upstream side. Backflow can cause water supply contamination and is a common cause of waterborne disease.

Backflow prevention is the practice of installing devices and procedures to protect the quality of the water supply. These devices include backflow preventers, which are mechanical or physical devices that stop backflow and protect the water system from contamination. Today, we’ll be looking at one of these devices, the Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) backflow preventer, also known as an RPZ valve, and whether or not you may need an RPZ backflow preventer.


What is an RPZ backflow preventer?

What is an RPZ Backflow Preventer and Do I Need One?

A backflow preventer is a device installed on the water supply line to a house or commercial building to prevent water from flowing back into the water supply line. This is important because it helps protect the public water supply from contamination.

There are a few different types of backflow preventers, but the most common type is the RPZ backflow preventer. This type of backflow preventer is typically used in commercial applications but can also be used in residential applications.

Contamination of the public water supply can occur in many ways, but one of the most common is through backflow. When contaminated water from residential, industrial, or commercial settings flows back into the water supply, it can contaminate the entire supply with everything from chemical pollutants to raw sewage.

This can have serious health consequences for anyone who drinks or uses the water. Backflow can be caused by several things, such as broken pipes, faulty valves, or even user error.

Where are RPZ backflow preventers usually installed?

What is an RPZ Backflow Preventer and Do I Need One?


RPZ backflow preventers are most commonly installed for buildings with large boilers, fire suppression systems, or irrigation systems. These systems are susceptible to backflow and can contaminate the building’s water supply with dangerous chemicals or pollutants.

RPZ backflow preventers help protect the water supply by automatically closing off if there is a backflow event. This ensures that the contaminated water does not enter the building or the public water supply.

RPZ valves are most frequently used in commercial settings, such as offices, schools, and hospitals. This is because they can handle a higher volume of water than other backflow preventers, making them ideal for larger facilities. Additionally, RPZ valves can withstand higher pressure, making them more reliable in areas with high water pressure.

Do I need an RPZ valve for my home?

As we mentioned, RPZs are typically used in commercial or industrial applications. However, that doesn’t mean that homeowners will never need this efficient backflow preventer. Several instances exist when a person might need an RPZ valve for a residential house.

The most common reason is when the homeowner has a private well cross-connected with a municipal water supply. In this case, the RPZ protects the water supply from contamination. Another common reason a homeowner might need an RPZ is when they have a sprinkler system that cross-connects with the drinking water system.

If the sprinkler system is not properly maintained, it could introduce contaminants into the drinking water system. An RPZ valve is the best way to protect the drinking water from being contaminated.

Protect your drinking water and public water with an RPZ backflow device.

RPZ backflow devices perform a vital job when it comes to drinking water. Without these devices, the risk of pollution in drinking water would skyrocket. So, if you think your home or business needs an RPZ backflow device, contact a licensed plumber today.


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