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A Frankenstein Backflow Assembly

May 21, 2015

350ADA converted to an RPBA KCWD No. 20_1 of3350ADA converted to an RPBA KCWD No. 20_2 of3350ADA converted to an RPBA KCWD No. 20_3 of3Frankenstein

Pics 1 through 3:

Here’s one for the good bad and the ugly. This is a 350ADA which the installer had converted to a Frankenstein RPBA/DCDA? I don’t know what you’d call this thing.

It was installed in 2013 and the CCS at the water district inspected the assembly at that time, but because the vault is small the relief valve went unnoticed.

The 1st tester tested it is a double check and got acceptable values in 2013. In 2014 I tested it as a double check and got good values. This year I go to test the assembly and suddenly my feet get soaked. I bend down and discovered the relief valve. The relief valve must have been stuck closed for the 1st two testing sessions.

I immediately put the system back online and went to see the CCS at the water Department. I explained what had happened and he was pretty surprised as he also initially inspected the assembly. I asked him if I can legally return the assembly to factory specifications? Because it still had the factory DC check modules installed it would only require a bulkhead assembly, cover plate, etc. Of course the CCS told me that it did have to go back to factory specifications.

Bottom pic:

I wanted to know why the relief valve did not vent for two different testers with 2 different companies for the 1st two years.

Turns out someone had stuffed paper in the relief valve stem to keep it forced closed. Over time the paper must have compress and degraded, this explains why the relief valve did not dump normally when it finally did open. Obviously it could not open fully.

Click on photos to enlarge

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