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backflow preventer on steam boiler

jw1848hjw1848h Member Posts: 8
My ten year old steam boiler (with a water feeder) does not have a backflow protector, which is required by code ("The potable supply to the boiler shall be equipped with a backflow preventer with an intermediate atmosphere vent complying with ASSE 1012 or CSA B64.3").

1) This was installed by a licensed plumber, paid for "on the books" and had a gas permit, so all should have been done properly. Is it common practice to ignore the backflow requirement, maybe because of the water feeder, or was he just lax? Note: this is in an unincorporated area of Nassau County, NY.

2) I'll soon be replacing the water feeder (because it flooded the boiler), so this is a good time, and time of year, to make any changes to the boiler supply. Or should I not bother adding a backflow preventer, with no plumbing inspections looming?

3) Given that I do put in a backflow preventer, can someone recommend a device? An inexpensive check valve such as

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Bluefin-SLCS050-1-2-Sweat-Spring-Loaded-Check-Valve-Lead-Free

does not seem to conform to the specs. Something more expensive does:

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Caleffi-573403A-1-2-NPT-Dual-Check-Backflow-Preventer-w-Atmospheric-Vent?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIotWggZ__6QIVDHiGCh15EgU3EAQYAyABEgLFYPD_BwE

Thanks

Comments

  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,421
    If the code in your area requires it, put it on. Use the Caleffi unit. A check valve is not a backflow preventer. Don't blame the plumber -- codes change with time, and it is quite possible that that is what has happened.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
    kcopp
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 7,316
    Back flow preventer's are not required on steam boilers unless you have an automatic feeder then they are required. Watts has back flow preventers that are fairly inexspensive
  • jw1848hjw1848h Member Posts: 8
    This Watts unit https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.supplyhouse.com/manuals/1339328998385/75075_PROD_FILE.pdf

    has a built-n strainer, the Caleffi instructions say to put in a separate strainer, so the Watts unit seems like the easier way to go.

    The NY Code published in 2002 required an ASSE 1012 (but doesn't mention CSA B64.3) compliant backflow preventor on a boiler, so one WAS required when the boiler was installed in 2010. I just wonder if it is common practice locally to ignore that.

    Looking at it now, I see that my sprinkler system (installed in 2006) has something like that in the line, but there is no discharge fitting (one "hump" not two). Both the 2002 and current codes say for sprinkler systems: "atmospheric-type vacuum breaker, a pressure-type vacuum breaker or a reduced pressure principle backflow preventer" but do not specify the ASSE or CSA standards. Why would the potable water protection for sprinklers be different than for boilers? Does it sound like what I have is compliant for sprinklers?
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 7,203
    Probably higher risk with pesticides applied to lawns.

    Although boiler treatments or glycol are not good for you either.
    I have had my hot water boiler have water sucked out of it when the city mains were worked on. I have a back flow preventer but keep water feeder off as there is a LWCO installed.
  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 13,421
    edited June 14
    Much higher risk with pesticides or herbicides, and the hassle and expense required to clear and test a water main if there is a suspicion that any may have gotten into it is truly mind-boggling. With some pesticides, you are looking at testing costs well into six figures (before the decimal point).

    Which, I might add, becomes the homeowner's responsibility, if he or she can't prove that he had an approved -- and tested -- air gap or rpz backflow preventer installed at the time of the incident.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • jw1848hjw1848h Member Posts: 8
    Thanks to all for responding.
  • dopey27177dopey27177 Member Posts: 402
    You can install an atmospheric back flow preventor for the boiler. As far as the sprinkler system for the lawn I personally would install an RPZ. Some service people pump fertilizer or insecticide through the lawn sprinkler system system.

    Jake
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