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Discussion Starter #1
So in the City of Vancouver, for their cross connections program they now require a backflow preventer upstream of a supply (fixture isolation) for a water filter. The reason is, if a water filter is not changed regularly, it can harbour bacteriological growth and if a backflow condition occurred obviously this bacteria could get pulled into the water mains/lines.

So we are doing a "tour" at a restaurant I'm running with some of the people who are in charge of makin the decisions, as well as the kitchen equipment/stainless guys and they have added a wait station sink near some of the tables with a cold water only line. So I ask what the purpose of this line is for and I'm told it's for cold drinking water. I ask if it will have a filter and I'm told yes. So I mention that it will require a backflow preventer, and the Kitchen design guy agrees with me and says they get busted on that one a lot by inspectors now. So the people in charge, think that they will just tell the inspector that they will make sure the kitchen guys change it regularly, but I mention that that is not good enough, and so they then say that they will just add it after we get our plumbing inspection final.

So what do you do? What do you say?
 

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So in the City of Vancouver, for their cross connections program they now require a backflow preventer upstream of a supply (fixture isolation) for a water filter.

So the people in charge, think that they will just tell the inspector that they will make sure the kitchen guys change it regularly, but I mention that that is not good enough, and so they then say that they will just add it after we get our plumbing inspection final.

So what do you do? What do you say?
I think my reply would be, "And just how are you expecting to pass the final plumbing inspection with a code violation in place? You've been told of the requirement and that means that ignorance isn't a viable plead, but they might for for stubborn."
 

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Wait and see what the inspector says, it seems to be so hit and miss with them. I had an inspector in abbotsford tell me its not necessary for backflow prevention on an ice maker....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The thing that drives me nuts is I go do a Surrey restaurant (Mr. Mikes) a few monthes ago and the Inspector tells me every backflow preventer off of the top of his ***** up front, without referencing anything, because they have the god of backflow/cross connections in BC working for the city of Surrey apparently and they got their sh*t together, yet the Vancouver inspector won't tell me anything and doesn't want to committ to anything and infers that I should be able to figure it out myself, yet Vancouver does have a list, but it's not THAT clear in a lot of cases, plus some backflow preventers I had from previous jobs weren't listed there yet I know I would get nailed on them if I didn't install them.

And the funny thing is, then I go out to Langley (we have another Mr. Mikes we're working on out there that I got started for another guy) and after getting raped over the coals in Surrey about exactly how high or low my BFP's should be off the floor, how high the stand pipes need to be for the drains and of what size for the RP's, and side, and front, and back clearances to each backflow preventers, I ask the Langley inspector what they require and all I get is "they just need to be accessible." I really wish they would put this stuff in the BC code. I realize each municipality is responsible for their own but put it in the bloody BC code.

What did you tell him when he said it wasn't neccessary for an ice maker?
 

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Surrey has a really good cross connections program, so does Chilliwack. Nobody else really enforces like them.

I was just doing testing for the restaurant where the inspector said no preventor for the ice machine. So I couldn't really enforce it. The restaurant had over 16 BFP's. I always carry my BCCWA book with me so I can show the inspector/engineer what the code actually says.
 

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Hi Guys,
I am a plumbing inspector in the Toronto area. We don't have a rule that requires a b.f.p. for a water filter. In our plumbing inspection department all 11 of us are licensed plumbers including our supervisor. I think a lot of the variables in plumbing inspection are a result of semi qualified people are getting jobs as plumbing inspectors. I am of the opinion that you need to be a licensed plumber before you can be a plumbing inspector. It only makes sense. How can you be an authority giving direction to trained professionals when you have taken a two week course? Many municipalties have adopted this mindset thinking that they can save money in salaries. Also some inspectors have this attitude and think they are always right which is obviously not true. When it comes to back flow prevention there is not always a clear answer. If the inspector is unsure if back flow prevention is required he should go and find out the right answer and then make a decision. Many feel embarrassed by not knowing the right answer immediately and will error on the side of caution and ask for something that may not be required. His thinking is he would rather be safe than sorry.
When doing finals I can only inspect what is there at the time. If things are changed after that it is out of my control. If a complaint is registered to our office I would then go back out and then deal with the changes to determine if there is any code violations.
On the ice makers I look for a couple of things. On I drain we like to see a trap on the indirect waste with a cleanout discharging to the sanitary drain with an indirect connection. If the water supply has an air gap to the tray that makes the ice and there is no direct connection between the ice in the bin and the water supply I don't see a need for a back flow preventer. If I cannot confirm an air gap on the water supply I would ask for a back flow preventer.
As an inspector I don't like to play a game where I want the plumber to figure out what I want him to do. It is far better to let the plumber know what is required up front . It saves time and agrrevation for the both of us.
Roger
 

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It is important to remember that in British Columbia, backflow prevention is regulated at the municipal level (except for the Capital Regional District, there it is regional). Many jurisdictions are of the opinion that a plumbing inspector's responsibility for inspection in relation to backflow prevention ends at the connection point to equipment (such as ice makers). These jurisdictions will have a prescribed hazard level for the equipment type and will determine the minimum acceptable backflow preventer based on that hazard level and the possibility of backpressure.

The rationale behind this approach is that the equipment itself is not required to meet any standard in relation to backflow prevention, the integral air gaps are for the most part hidden deep inside the machine and are often modified after the fact by service technicians when nuisance spillage occurs. Some manufacturers even provide replacement "improved" parts that eliminate the original air gap. In addition, a pluming permit is not required for the replacement of equipment supplied with water. A piece of equipment that may have been equipped with aa acceptable means of backflow prevention can be swapped out for a direct connection at a later date. It is not reasonable for the municipality to track each and every piece of equipment.

You can expect things to be different when you cross a municipal boundary. It's the nature of the beast. To avoid confusion, always submit an accurate and detailed equipment list with your plans to the municipal building department. It doesn't hurt to request a discussion about the required backflow prevention measures at that time.
 
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