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What's a Backflow Cage?

Have you ever wondered what this is?

backflow device protected by backflow cage in salt lake city utah

It's a backflow cage! Do you know what it's for?

Backflow cages and enclosures are essential components in protecting backflow preventers, which are crucial for maintaining the safety of water supplies. Here's an overview of their uses, benefits, and differences:

Both cages and enclosures are designed to protect backflow preventers. Backflow devices are vital for preventing contaminated water from flowing back into the clean water supply. They play a significant role in public health by ensuring that the drinking water remains uncontaminated. The cages protect the devices from being stripped for parts.

Backflow cages have been used to provide some level of protection against vandalism, accidental damage, or theft. They are typically made of materials like steel or aluminum, providing durability and resilience against weather and tampering. However, they offer no insulation against frost or freezing. Cages became especially popular during the economic downturn in 2008 as a cost-effective measure against theft. Despite their use, cages have limitations, particularly in terms of visibility (thieves can see what is inside) and lack of environmental protection.

In contrast to cages, backflow enclosures offer a higher level of protection. These are often made from materials like aluminum and are designed to meet industry standards for freeze protection, structural design, drainage performance, testing, and maintenance access. Enclosures are less visible to potential thieves and provide better protection against the elements, including freezing temperatures.

Is There a Difference Between Choosing Between Cages and Enclosures?

The choice between using a cage or an enclosure depends on various factors, including the environmental conditions and the specific requirements of the area where the backflow preventer is installed. While cages might be suitable for areas with milder climates, enclosures are generally recommended for places with harsher weather conditions due to their superior protection against freezing and theft. Your backflow testing professional can give the best advice for your specific area and device, whilst keeping up with any specific regulations regarding the protection of backflow preventers in your city jurisdiction. Backflow cages are often mandated to prevent tampering and contamination. It's important to consider local laws and specific regulations when choosing a backflow protection solution. Your local backflow tester will be up-to-date on these laws and can give sound recommendations.

In summary, while backflow cages offer basic protection and are more suitable for milder climates, backflow enclosures provide enhanced security against theft, vandalism, and extreme weather conditions. The choice between the two should be based on local climate, regulatory requirements, and the level of protection needed for the backflow preventer.

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