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Backflow Cages and Enclosures
All Strongbox Enclosures
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Pump Enclosures next to Backflow Cages
A Complete Guide To Understanding Backflow Covers
The backflow cover has been created to protect against vandals and the weather. When weather turns ugly, backflow covers will keep rain and snow off your equipment (enclosures will protect against weather, not cages). It will prevent your backflow preventer from freezing winter weather and keep it safe if a tree falls from a storm.
As long as it's covered, your backflow preventer is protected. Your equipment is made from valuable material including copper and brass that some people will try to steal and sell for scrap. A backflow cover will offer you great peace of mind knowing that someone cannot just come along and vandalize your equipment.
Engineers have provided a wide range of options for bags, cages, fake rocks, stock aluminum, and fiberglass enclosures for different applications such as above-ground valves.
We have included a complete list of all kinds of manufactured backflow enclosures that are available to you. You can find important information for each type including:
- Price Range
- Levels Of Protection
- Cosmetic Options
Blankets Or Bags
Protection - This R-13 thermal insulation offers frost protection to the pipes in the bag but there is no protection against vandals or thieves.
Sizes - You can get 24” x 24” to 60” x 60”
Colors - Blue, green, and tan
Pricing - $10 to $50
Please Note - These are sold together with a fake rock, cage, or plastic cover to offer frost protection while the outer cover offers other forms of protection.
Polar Barrier on RPZ
Protection - This marine-grade aluminum has locking mechanisms to protect it from vandals, thieves, or accidents. R-9 polyisocyanurate insulation offers protection from frost. The slab-mounted heater offers protection from freezing to both the pipes inside the shelter and the riser pipes underneath the slab.
Sizes - There is a large range of standard models from 9” x 26” x 25”, to 90” x 174” x 90”. There are larger custom enclosures available as well.
Colors - Gray, green, tan, or mill-finish
Pricing - $500 to $10,000+
Please Note - The panel design is used by several manufacturers making it easier to customize everything from the size and color to climate control, cutouts, and additions.
Newly Installed Backflow Cage
Protection - Some backflow enclosures offer freeze protection by using a ”positive means of heat” and R-8 thermal insulation. Others offer frost protection only through thermal insulation but most offer protection from freezing temperatures. These backflow covers are created to protect the equipment from vandals and thieves but do not have a locking mechanism. The covers are made of plastic or fiberglass depending on the manufacturer.
Sizes - The interior size of each rock will vary but all taper.
Colors - Comes in varying shades of tan and brown.
Pricing - $30 to $3,000
Please Note - These are typically sold together with an insulated bag so they can protect from frost. Their leading appeal, they blend into the landscape for aesthetic and theft protection. It's important to note the interior dimensions of these models throughout the enclosure tapers so people often buy one only to find out it's too small in some areas. They are only for backflow preventer assemblies of 2 inches or smaller.
Protection - These products do not have any insulation to protect against frost or freeze. They do, however, offer some vandal, accident, and theft protection. This product is powder-coated steel and has locking mechanisms.
Sizes - From 24” x 24” up to 60” x 609”
Colors - Green and tan
Pricing - $300 to $1,000+
Please Note - This product should only be used in temperatures that do not fall below 33 degrees Fahrenheit. They do not protect against frost or freeze but can be used along with an insulated bag. They are normally only sold for backflow assemblies 2 inches or smaller.
Protection - The fiberglass shelter with a locking mechanism offers protection from vandals, thieves, and accidents. The spray foam insulation provides frost protection and the wall-mounted heater can offer protection from pipes freezing inside the box.
Sizes - There is one leading manufacturer that sells models from 20”x 6.5” x 22” to 83” x 26” x 55”.
Colors - Beige
Pricing - $300 to $6,000+
Please Note - Even though fiberglass is able to withstand abrasive conditions, the covers are susceptible to fiber bloom and cracking due to UV rays. In larger sizes, fiberglass enclosures are comparable in price to aluminum but most people believe aluminum is far superior to fiberglass when the cost is the same.
Strongbox Backflow Enclosure
Protection - Some models of backflow enclosures provide protection from freezing by the use of “positive means of heat” and an insulated bag while others offer frost protection through the insulated bag. Most models do not offer protection from freezing conditions. These backflow covers are created to protect the equipment from thieves and vandals but they do not have a locking mechanism and keep in mind, they are made of plastic.
Sizes - 34” x 16.5” x 26.5” up to 48” x 16.5” x 26.5”
Colors - Green and tan
Pricing - $200 to $650+
Please Note - These covers are usually sold together with an insulated bag to protect from frost. They are created for backflow preventers 2” and smaller as well as for pressure vacuum breakers.
Aluminum Enclosure with Insulation
In many cases when project engineers are faced with deadlines this additional component will get a lot less attention than the core components of the job. While that's understandable, you will have to make the right choice for a long-term solution. Using this list, you should be able to make a pragmatic and informed decision regarding your industrial enclosure. Always keep one thing in mind, if it's worth protecting, then it's worth protecting the right way!
Do You Believe You Should Have A Backflow Cover?
Having a backflow enclosure outside the building in an above-ground enclosure is the right choice if the property offers enough space. You will need one if you are living in a cold-weather climate and your backflow preventer is installed outside where it should be. Backflow covers can be heated to keep your equipment from suffering from freezes. It will also protect your equipment from other elements such as rain and wind.
Again, backflow cages do not have insulation to protect them from frost and freeze. They do offer some vandal, theft, and accident protection due to their powder-coated steel and their locking mechanism. That said, your backflow preventer will be safer under a backflow cover.