Reduced Pressure Zone (RPZ) devices are a little known – but very important – plumbing device. Why? Because these devices prevent contamination, bacteria, and pollution from contaminating the water coming into your home. On a larger scale, they also prevent these contaminants from entering the municipal water supply.
Do You Need an RPZ Device?
You need an RPZ device if you have any of the following in your home:
- A large boiler (more than 200,000 BTUh). Large boilers can present a hazard when the pressure inside gets too high and pushes dirty water inside back up into the clear water system.
- An irrigation system, including a lawn sprinkler system. If water from these systems enter your water supply, they will bring in fertilizers and lawn chemicals such as pesticides.
- Fire suppression system. These can also create pressure differences that can lead to backflow.
- Manufacturing equipment connected to the water supply (this usually would not apply to an individual residence).
If you are buying a home that has any of these systems, make sure there is an RPZ device installed as well.
How Water Becomes Contaminated
You need an RPZ backflow preventer device if you have any of the several systems mentioned above that can potentially allow contaminants to enter your water supply. These contaminants can infiltrate your water supply when reduced pressure exists in the piping that carries water into your home, causing potentially contaminated water to back into the main water supply. This reduced pressure can be caused by:
- A water leak in your house
- A break in a building water service
- A municipal water main break
- A fire hydrant flushing
- Uneven water usage from one neighborhood to the next
This is where the RPZ device comes in. When the water pressure drops, the RPZ device (sometimes called the RPZ valve) opens and dumps the impure water out of the bottom of the device, preventing potentially contaminated water from entering your drinking water and municipal or city water supply.
Illinois law requires that your RPZ device is tested annually by a licensed plumber with a Cross Connection Certification License. After a successful inspection, the plumber will forward certification paperwork to the municipality.
Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric about RPZ Valves
Ravinia Plumbing has licensed plumbers with a Cross Connection Certification License that can install an RPZ device and conduct the annual inspection. We’ve been in business since 1928, and we’ve made a name for ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical companies in Chicagoland. Visit Ravinia Plumbing today to learn more.