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  1. #1
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    Backflow preventer removed...

    After draining a good majority of my swimming pool into my basement last night, i decided to remove my backflow preventer from my hose bib on the side of the house. That was all well and good but it appears that they put fine threads on the bib so you can't attach a hose directly to it!!

    Anyone have any ideas for getting around this?

  2. #2
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    What is the connection between the pool and backflow preventer?
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  3. #3
    Hazardous Taerom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis View Post
    it appears that they put fine threads on the bib so you can't attach a hose directly to it!!
    Is it pipe thread? If so, an adapter should be easy to find.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    What is the connection between the pool and backflow preventer?

    I left the garden hose in the pool over night after turning it off. I didn't even think about it. Anyway it is an above ground pool, and when i woke up this morning and looked into the back yard, i saw the level had dropped about 2 feet. I couldn't figure out what had happened until it dawned on me.

    The bib (faucet) on the side of the house has a backflow preventer, that keeps the water in the hose/etc. from re-entering the public water supply. It basically bleeds the water off onto the ground. Trouble was that with the faucet being on the side of the house near the foundation, it all ran right down the wall and into my basement bathroom.

    So I unsrewed the backflow preventer from the faucet tonight. That leaves a normal looking bib except for the fact that the threads are fine threaded as opposed to a garden hose, which is coarse. They did this on purpose i assume to make me use the preventer.

    The faucet on the front of the house is old and doesn't have a backflow preventer so why should the back?

  5. #5
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    maybe code, had to retrofit to backflow preventer when the pool was installed? Or if the faucet has been replaced or added recently, maybe had to comply to code? You could probably go to a plumbing supply house and come up with a work around for the threadiing issue.

    my theory is confirmed here:

    http://home.flash.net/~carlton2/construc.htm

    It tells that new exterior hose bibbs have fine thread to attach breaker to prevent "accidental hookup of a hose to the bibb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  6. #6
    almost kosher
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    i hate backflow prevention, especially after tequilla.

  7. #7
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    There's gotta be a mod for this.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    maybe code, had to retrofit to backflow preventer when the pool was installed? Or if the faucet has been replaced or added recently, maybe had to comply to code? You could probably go to a plumbing supply house and come up with a work around for the threadiing issue.

    my theory is confirmed here:

    http://home.flash.net/~carlton2/construc.htm

    It tells that new exterior hose bibbs have fine thread to attach breaker to prevent "accidental hookup of a hose to the bibb.
    Yep. That's the ticket. That looks exactly like mine. Now to find a workaround.


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    Here is the deal. You have only removed 1/2 of the vacuum breaker. If you look around where the rest of it is still connected to the hose bibb, you will see a locking screw that has a head that is purposely made to be broken off for a 'tamper proof' fit. You have actually dismantled the vacuum breaker and 1/2 of it remains. Code requires a tamper proof fit so people do not remove them like you did. Now the fix. Either with a small drill bit, drill out the remainder of the busted thread and the rest of the vacuum breaker will be easily removed. OR...If the hose bibb is soldered on at the wall or inside the wall you will need to remove it and replace. OR...reinstall the part you took of and quit messing with plumbing.

  10. #10
    toothless
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    So, to prevent your basement from flooding again should a similar situation be inadvertently repeated, you want to remove the back flow preventer to allow the excess chlorinated pool water to re-enter the public, treated water supply?

  11. #11
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    How big of a problem is this backflow really? What we had worked for years. I can see where it makes sense on an irrigation system, but residential hose bibs seems a bit excessive to me. I do not have them on my older house. My brother does, as he is in a new house. Every time you turn a hose on at his place, it seems like the vacuum breaker gives you a nice spritz, or sits there and leaks, wasting water. Almost seems like a fix to a barely existent problem.

    Sort of like the city in my area who had a playground spontaneously combust because of the wood mulch used as a cushion composted and generated enough heat to ignite. Freak, 1 in a million event. The city though shut every playground and is having all the wood mulch removed.

    Bureacratic stupidity costs this country millions if not billions of dollars every year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by veganaise View Post
    So, to prevent your basement from flooding again should a similar situation be inadvertently repeated, you want to remove the back flow preventer to allow the excess chlorinated pool water to re-enter the public, treated water supply?
    Pretty much. Look, the hose on the other side of the house already has that potential, because there is no device on it. On top of that, I don't get how this water will mix with the water supply? The valve was CLOSED when all of the water dumped out the vacuum breaker and into my basement.


    Quote Originally Posted by wfin
    Here is the deal. You have only removed 1/2 of the vacuum breaker. If you look around where the rest of it is still connected to the hose bibb, you will see a locking screw that has a head that is purposely made to be broken off for a 'tamper proof' fit. You have actually dismantled the vacuum breaker and 1/2 of it remains. Code requires a tamper proof fit so people do not remove them like you did. Now the fix. Either with a small drill bit, drill out the remainder of the busted thread and the rest of the vacuum breaker will be easily removed. OR...If the hose bibb is soldered on at the wall or inside the wall you will need to remove it and replace. OR...reinstall the part you took of and quit messing with plumbing.
    Mine is the type that you can actually unsrew the whole mechanism. I was able to do that successfully. I just used a couple pipe wrenches. They use special threads to secure the one that I have. This makes it impossible to attach a garden hose to the bib without the thread adaptation provided by the vacuum breaker.

    I would gladly put the old one back on and go about my business, but i ruined it in the process by trying to "drill it out." Now I can't find a new one, to replace the old one. I was just figuring there was a widely known work-around like there is for everything else.

    Looks like the best solution might be to replace the whole damned sill cock and leave the vacuum breaker OFF!

  13. #13
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis View Post
    Looks like the best solution might be to replace the whole damned sill cock and leave the vacuum breaker OFF!
    Or find a good machinist to take a bit of brass and turn you an adapter with the correct threads on each end. Seems like in an agricultural community like yours there should be a buddy with a lathe and some thread cutters who would do it for a case of beer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  14. #14
    toothless
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis View Post
    Pretty much. Look, the hose on the other side of the house already has that potential, because there is no device on it. On top of that, I don't get how this water will mix with the water supply? The valve was CLOSED when all of the water dumped out the vacuum breaker and into my basement.
    I guess I don't know how the backflow preventer works. Is it on the supply side or discharge side of the valve? If on the supply side, would it even matter if the valve was closed?

    But, hey, on the bright side, at least it was chlorinated water that got in the basement rather than rain water. We've had a few floods and the smell was horrendous.

    And as far as pool water getting into the water supply, I'd be cautious because much of it could remain localized depending on how far your line branches off the main.

  15. #15
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portis View Post
    Pretty much. Look, the hose on the other side of the house already has that potential, because there is no device on it. On top of that, I don't get how this water will mix with the water supply? The valve was CLOSED when all of the water dumped out the vacuum breaker and into my basement.
    I had a building inspector explain it to me this way.

    The idea of this is that if the municipal water system looses pressure (creates suction from draining), AND the hose bibb is left open AND if the hose is in contaminated water then there will be reverse flow through the hose in to the muni water system and thus contaminate it.

    One heck of a sequence of conditions need met before a problem exists. IMHO, if the muni system is damaged and looses pressure it's pretty well screwed anyhow. Any coincidental contamination that is caused by a hose that meets all of the above conditions is miniscule.

    Dollars to donuts says there is some politico on the BCOA board who has a nephew who came up with this grandiose solution to a nonexistent problem, and had Uncle Hector mandate the use of the vacuum breaker in all new & retrofit construction and they both become millionaires.

  16. #16
    just for randya gaston_45's Avatar
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    Uhhhhh... have you thought about just not leaving the hose in the pool?

  17. #17
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaston_45 View Post
    Uhhhhh... have you thought about just not leaving the hose in the pool?
    That is just crazy talk!
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  18. #18
    Senior Member -VELOCITY-'s Avatar
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    Please for the love of uncontaminated water, never, ever remove a backflow prevention device. It's there for a very important reason. You wouldn't want to drink the water that just came out of your pool. My goodness.

    (By the way, I can certify the backflow preventer if needed. Just sayin)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post

    Dollars to donuts says there is some politico on the BCOA board who has a nephew who came up with this grandiose solution to a nonexistent problem, and had Uncle Hector mandate the use of the vacuum breaker in all new & retrofit construction and they both become millionaires.
    My thoughts exactly. It works too, because i just had to order a new one from the supplier. Creating fear and panic is not only a political ploy, but also a very effective business model.

  20. #20
    "The Veiled Male" Zorba's Avatar
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    Oh just change the ****ing hose bib! Backflow preventors are an utterly stupid solution to a non-existent problem - they're even on shower heads for Goddess's sake!
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  21. #21
    Senior Member -VELOCITY-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    Oh just change the ****ing hose bib! Backflow preventors are an utterly stupid solution to a non-existent problem - they're even on shower heads for Goddess's sake!
    You're kidding right? Contamination, hello?

  22. #22
    Killing Rabbits
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    Quote Originally Posted by -VELOCITY- View Post
    Please for the love of uncontaminated water, never, ever remove a backflow prevention device. It's there for a very important reason. You wouldn't want to drink the water that just came out of your pool. My goodness.

    (By the way, I can certify the backflow preventer if needed. Just sayin)
    +1

    These are the same people who remove the catalytic converters from their cars because what is the chance that pollution will f’ up the world, like one in a million? Must be a get rich quick scheme started by a fear-mongering environmentalist.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
    Oh just change the ****ing hose bib! Backflow preventors are an utterly stupid solution to a non-existent problem - they're even on shower heads for Goddess's sake!
    They are on shower heads so you do not take the hose from the hand held and drop it in the dirty water for all the above reasons.

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    Doesn't anyone remember Legionaires Disease???

  25. #25
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    Plumbers protect the health of the nation.

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