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pnschi 09-08-2012 09:54 PM

Backflow preventer on water heater in well-water system
My house water is from a private well.

When I was changing my whole-house sediment filter, the relief valve on the water heater popped. I guess this is due to the fact that I closed the valves on either side of the filter housing to swap out the filter, and pressure that would normally be taken up in my pressure tank had no where to go. (This hasn't happened before, but this is only about the 3rd time I've changed the filter since I had a new water heater installed last fall.)

Anyway, reading up on what happened led me to discover that backflow preventers are required in many locales for water heaters. Is this true for private well systems? Or, if not required, is it a good idea? Could the backflow from my water heater be providing a steady stream of nasty little bugs that love to hang out in my pressure tank? It seems like the hot water tank would be the last place to worry about causing contamination upstream, but then why is backflow prevention often required for hot water tanks?

Thanks much!

Javiles 09-09-2012 07:21 AM

I can only speak for well systems i have worked on in Florida, check valve required on water heater when the unit is bottom fed.

pnschi 09-09-2012 10:33 PM

Thanks for you reply. The water heater is top-fed.

AllanJ 09-10-2012 08:21 AM

Add a small expansion tank above the water heater (or anywhere in the system with no valve or check valve between it and the water heater) to stop the popping of the relief valve.

Alan 09-10-2012 08:59 AM

You do not need a backflow preventer on your water heater.


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