What Does a Backflow Preventer Do?

September 12, 2023

A backflow preventer is a device that is connected to your home’s pipes in order to stop water from flowing back into the main (city) water supply. This prevents the water supply from being contaminated in the event of a plumbing failure somewhere in your home.

Backflow preventers are also sometimes called vacuum breakers or pressure vacuum breaker (which is one of the types of backflow preventers).

Backflow Testing

In Wichita, and most communities a backflow preventer is required for all well, sprinkler and irrigation systems to ensure water flows in one direction only. Annual testing and certification of these devices is required and should be submitted to the city. Typically your sprinkler service company will submit this paperwork on your behalf.

If you’ve received a letter from your city about testing and backflow rebuild requirements give us a call to schedule your certification. Lean more about backflow testing in the Wichita area.

Sprinkler Technician Testing a Backflow  Device

What Causes Backflow?

Water always wants to move from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure. Back-siphonage can result when the water pressure in the line drops, or when there’s a broken water line, or when a large amount of water is used, like for fighting fires. If a sprinkler system isn’t installed correctly, backflow can result from having too much back-pressure from the pump.


Backflow preventers need to be drained of water to prevent damage from freezing temperatures in Kansas winters. Be sure to winterizer your device every winter.

Resources found on our website are provided as general guidelines, and Reddi Industries does not assume any liability resulting from the provided information.

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