Reduced pressure zone (RPZ) backflow preventer assemblies are commonly used in commercial buildings. Unlike standard air gap, one-valve, and DCDA devices, RPZs often feature impulse lines that monitor internal pressure and activate the bypass valve in the event of backflowing conditions. However, this specific component can suffer from various problems over the course of operation. Read on to learn three tips for troubleshooting relief valve sensing line complications.
The most common complications related to sensing line issues often stem from debris interference. Backflow preventers, especially RPZs, accumulate debris over time—that’s one of the reasons why they feature a bypass relief valve. Sometimes, however, accumulated dirt and other contaminants stick around and negatively impact sensitive backflow prevention elements. Internal debris can affect the accuracy of your sensing line and delay essential transmissions responsible for operating valves. If your sensing line is lagging in performance following tumultuous internal pipeline conditions, consider inspecting it for lingering debris. Then, simply remove the obstacles and recalibrate your sensing equipment!
Relief Valve Issues
Sometimes, the underlying culprit of sensing line complications is an issue with the relief valve itself. These problems range from the aforementioned debris interference to acute mechanical malfunctions. Other causes of a faulty relief valve include misalignment stemming from improper installation or instances of aggressive water hammer. Regardless of the reason, it’s important that you promptly fix your relief valve to support your sensing line and ensure proper backflow protection. It’s recommended that you open the preventer’s chamber to inspect the relief valve. Ensure you fully drain your device before opening it up for inspections. Once inside, you can make adjustments to the bypass to rectify the problem.
Faulty Sensing Line
Unfortunately, plumbing equipment doesn’t last forever. As such, the underlying sensing line complication might simply be a faulty impulse sensor. You must remove the broken sensing equipment and install a quality replacement part in this situation. Ultimately, your relief valve should always have a sensing line to ensure proper backflow protection and device performance.
Troubleshooting various relief valve sensing line complications doesn’t have to be a challenging or confusing experience! But if you do have further concerns, never hesitate to contact a licensed master plumber for additional backflow prevention assistance.