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How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE

    So the International Building Code (IRC) has the following requirement:

  1. P2902.5.3 Lawn irrigation systems. The potable water supply to lawn irrigation systems shall be protected against backflow by an atmospheric-type vacuum breaker, a pressure-type vacuum breaker or a reduced pressure principle backflow preventer. A valve shall not be installed downstream from an atmospheric vacuum breaker. Where chemicals are introduced into the system, the potable water supply shall be protected against backflow by a reduced pressure principle backflow preventer.

    The most common backflow prevention device is an pressure-type vacuum breaker, as shown below. Insulation for the above-ground piping is recommended for colder climates, where pipe fractures might be caused by a hard winter freeze. Also, some jurisdictions require an annual inspection of residential backflow preventers to confirm that they are still functional.


     Sprinklers that are professionally installed by a licensed contractor always have a backflow preventer, but a homeowner-installed sprinkler system with no vacuum breaker is a fairly common defect we find during our home inspections.

    To learn more about cross connections, see our blog post “What is a ‘cross connection’ in a home’s plumbing system?”


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
© McGarry and Madsen Inspection

 


More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

  1. Does the septic tank have to be re-certified if the house has been vacant for a while?

  2. Do I have to get a larger septic tank when I build a home addition?

  3. Do you check the plumbing under the floor slab?

  4. Should I call a plumber or septic tank contractor when my septic tank backs up into the house?

  5. What is well pump “short cycling”?

  6. How much does it cost to replace the plumbing pipe in a house?

  7. This home has galvanized water pipe. Is that a problem?

  8. What’s the flip-up handle on the water heater for?

  9. How come the water has a rotten-egg smell in some empty houses?

  10. My well water test came back positive for bacteria. What should I do?

  11. How old is that water heater?

  12. Do you test the well water?

  13. What is the difference between a regular water heater and a power vent water heater?

  14. How can I tell what type of plumbing pipe I have?

  15. How do you test a shower pan for leaks?

  16. What is a grinder pump?

  17. Why are rubber washing machine hoses a safety risk?

  18. What is a dielectric union?

  19. What is a heat pump water heater?

  20. What is an auto vent, air admittance valve, or check vent?

  21. Why is a European-style bottle trap not approved by the plumbing codes in the U.S.?

  22. What is the average life expectancy of CPVC pipe?

  23. What is an escutcheon plate?

  24. How can I locate my septic tank?

  25. What do the ABS, PVC, CPVC, PB, and PEX plumbing pipe names mean?

  26. Are plastic pipes (PVC, CPVC, and PEX) safe for drinking water?

  27. What is a sediment trap or dirt leg?

  28. Which plumbing fixtures require water shut off valves in a home?

  29. What is the purpose of a thermostatic mixing valve above a water heater?

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