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Question to my plumber friends on BFP installation

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DZoro
DZoro Member Posts: 1,048
In regards to a back flow preventer. Technically, who is responsible for the installation. Heating guy, or Plumber. I'm a heating guy, and understand that if I don't install it the plumbers around here wont either. But technically isn't it on the plumbing side of the system and should be the plumber?
Second how many ALWAYS install the vent tube.
D

Comments

  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,426
    edited March 2017
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    "Technically," its domestic water so I suppose it's the licensed plumber's responsibility. I install Wilkins 700 without vent, as that's what my local code allows.
  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,048
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    That's what I was thinking also. I installed one on a remodel house project from h....., because there never originally was one on the 20 year old boiler installed, and yes the old boiler is still there. But, I did not hook it up to the plumbing (there wasn't any). Long story but this "Special H O" Has now filed a complaint to DSPS for not installing a vent. So just curious out there who technically is responsible. In this case being I started the install of the BFP. I also should have ran a vent.?. I have been inspected many, many, many times by licensed boiler inspectors and never once has any of them asked for the vent installation.....Hmmm
    So this is why I ask " technically".
    D
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,436
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    Local jurisdiction issue -- and it sounds as though your precious client (or his lawyer) is just looking for some money.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,701
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    I'm a plumber. In mass you're supposed to be a plumber to touch the water line, install the backflow preventer. What the national plumbing code says...I'd assume the same

    Why on God's green earth is the man filing a complaint because you don't have the vent piped? What harm was caused?

    We aways install the puker but sometimes I will purposely run the Boiler water feed a bit closer to the cellar floor so I don't have to. Within 12" is the code here . In this example I'm talking wall hung boiler
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    gary@wilsonph.com
  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,048
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    This person is special,,, The local inspector put it down on his report, but only because she insisted. I technically didn't install the BFP to the plumbing. The plumber did that later when he installed the plumbing. H O complaint is now, that I left her with a unsafe boiler.... :/
    D
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,256
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    There seems to be a movement towards RP or RPZ type back flows on boilers.
    This is from a city in Illinois that I visited last week. Rumor is the the State of Illinois is looking to adopt this requirement. Other States that I have visited recently have upgraded the back flow device requirement, from dual or vented dual checks to RP type.



    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
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    Is it installed in a way that dripping water could damage electronics or something?
    I agree with GW. It needs to be installed in a manor that will prevent dripping water from damaging something.
    Perhaps the owner is confusing this with a pressure relief valve which could rapidly release boiling water.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
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    hot rod said:

    There seems to be a movement towards RP or RPZ type back flows on boilers.
    This is from a city in Illinois that I visited last week. Rumor is the the State of Illinois is looking to adopt this requirement. Other States that I have visited recently have upgraded the back flow device requirement, from dual or vented dual checks to RP type.



    This is absolutely a trend. I see my local water districts struggle to comply with new state regulations.
    The other day I heard a news report about a water main break a few blocks from a property I own.
    The next time I stopped by the faucets all coughed up air. Negative pressure does occasionally happen in city water distribution systems. Back flow preventors are important.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,256
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    Zman said:

    Is it installed in a way that dripping water could damage electronics or something?
    I agree with GW. It needs to be installed in a manor that will prevent dripping water from damaging something.
    Perhaps the owner is confusing this with a pressure relief valve which could rapidly release boiling water.


    Ideally the tapped vent ports should be piped to the floor, some inspectors check that.

    Also the air gap is part of the ASSE 1013 listing and needs to be installed. Some manufacturers offer that as an expensive option. Caleffi includes it. Low lead brass may be required also.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,048
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    Bfp is installed where nothing is below it but the old dirt/concrete floor. Old house basement, not used for anything but the boiler and water heater.
    Pressure relief is installed within 6" of the floor
    So from the info I'm getting it truly is a plumbing device. The plumber would be the responsible party for the proper installation. Correct?
    Normally I'm not so concerned about this technicality, but this party is leaning on me and my license hard.
    D
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,256
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    Do you have a local or state code for plumbing?

    I've worked under two different plumbing codes, both put BFDs under the plumbing code. A local plumbing inspector should be able to quote and supply you that code requirement from the codebook used in your area.

    A lot of plumbers get back flow testing certified, they should be up to speed on codes and responsibility also.

    Then again, box stores sell BFDs to DIYers.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
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    All of our commercial jobs in the Chicago area require an RPZ. I just hire a licensed plumber who is certified in RPZ backflow prevention, a requirement here.
    Steve Minnich
  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,048
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    I'm in central Wisconsin. From what I'm able to gather, it's technically on the plumbing side. After the BFP becomes "boiler".
    We don't have a local code, we are under the state code.
    D
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
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    hot rod said:

    There seems to be a movement towards RP or RPZ type back flows on boilers.
    This is from a city in Illinois that I visited last week. Rumor is the the State of Illinois is looking to adopt this requirement. Other States that I have visited recently have upgraded the back flow device requirement, from dual or vented dual checks to RP type.

    This kinda sucks, because the consumer is going to have to pay a minimum of $100 per year or more to have their device tested annually. I've never seen in ANY mechanical code where it requires a solid make up connection to potable water. We used to get around the BFP requirement by installing a PIG. No annual testing required there, and it is backed up by a pressure cut out switch AND a low water cutoff.

    Maybe Caleffi should start building different sizes of PIGs...

    ME

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
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    The nice thing about PIGs is you can track your leakage....
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,256
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    hot rod said:

    There seems to be a movement towards RP or RPZ type back flows on boilers.
    This is from a city in Illinois that I visited last week. Rumor is the the State of Illinois is looking to adopt this requirement. Other States that I have visited recently have upgraded the back flow device requirement, from dual or vented dual checks to RP type.

    This kinda sucks, because the consumer is going to have to pay a minimum of $100 per year or more to have their device tested annually. I've never seen in ANY mechanical code where it requires a solid make up connection to potable water. We used to get around the BFP requirement by installing a PIG. No annual testing required there, and it is backed up by a pressure cut out switch AND a low water cutoff.

    Maybe Caleffi should start building different sizes of PIGs...

    ME

    I've been trying to come up with an option to the typical fill tanks currently used. Seems pump life can be an issue, and they still incorporate a PRV of some sort.
    I'm not a proponent of glycol in an open to atmosphere container, the O2 ingress will ruin that fluid inhibitor quickly.

    With a PIG a method, to easily fill it and a sight glass would be required. Only a contractor with a pump would be able to recharge it. The transparent, open style fill tanks have that advantage. Let me know if you have any other ideas.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • 2x_Tom
    2x_Tom Member Posts: 12
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    Aside from the cost to have an RPZ tested. It has to discharge somewhere that can continuously take the full discharge of the device. That's going to mean a trap with a primer for some and a pump for others.

    As for the backflow preventer, I've put one on every boiler I've installed and tied it into the plumbing even when not doing the plumbing for the house. Not sure if I technically had to or not. For what the device cost I'd just go back, put one in and forget about it.