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Frozen Back Flow Preventers

Backflow Preventer/Vacuum Breaker

Backflow preventers are also known as a pressure vacuum breakers, your backflow allows water to flow from your household water supply to fill your sprinkler system, and prevents water from flowing from your sprinkler system back into your household water supply. This prevents fertilizer, chemicals and residual water that seep into your sprinkler heads from flowing back into your household water supply.

When the Temperature Drops

During cold spells, let a trickle of water run from faucets that might freeze. Letting warm water drip overnight from a faucet on an outside wall may prevent a frozen pipe. Open cabinet doors to heat pipes under sinks and near appliances. Set the thermostat no lower than 55° F.

Frozen Back Flow Preventers

Frigid temperatures can freeze and damage backflow preventers at customers’ homes. Backflow preventers, also known as vacuum breakers, are typically located outside the home as part of the outdoor irrigation system. They prevent water from your irrigation system from flowing back into your indoor water pipes.

If not fully drained, backflow preventers can freeze and burst during cold temperatures like the ones we’ve experienced. Customers are encouraged to check on the exposed portions of their irrigation systems outside the home, and look for any signs of a break such as accumulations of ice, or as temperatures warm, flowing or dripping water.

If you believe damage may have occurred, be sure the flow of water to the outdoor system is turned off. Look for the pipe in your basement or garage that leads to the outdoor system. Locate a lever or handle on that pipe. This is a valve that will stop water from flowing to the irrigation system. Be sure this valve is turned to the closed or off position. You can also close your home’s master shutoff valve located on the pipe where water enters your home.

*Note that the master shutoff valve will stop the flow of water to your entire home.

Customers are encouraged to contact a plumbing or irrigation system professional if they need assistance replacing a burst valve or any other damaged components of their irrigation system.