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Will a sprinkler system work without a vacuum breaker (backflow preventer)?
Saturday, July 13, 2019
A vacuum breaker is required when the sprinkler system is connected to the same potable water system that serves the house, which could be either municipal water or a private well. Its purpose is to prevent dirt, bits of debris, and bacteria from being sucked from the sprinklers into the the home water pipes due to a vacuum created during a loss of water pressure.
Here is how the requirement is stated in the Residential Edition of the Florida Building Code (FBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC):
It is not necessary for the function of a sprinkler system, and also is not required when the water supply is not potable (not used for drinking), such as when the sprinkler system is on a separate well, or is served by separate recycled water piping by the municipal system.
Also, see our blog post What devices are code approved for backflow prevention at a sprinkler (lawn irrigation) system?
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