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Vacuum Breaker Issue

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  • Vacuum Breaker Issue

    I recently installed a new vacuum breaker on one of my outside faucets feeding the irrigation system (which is also new). The irrigation system consists of one line to a hose bib and the other branch feeds the valves via a 25PSI pressure regulator and a backflow preventer.

    In any case I’m been noticing that when I turn some of the indoor faucets on I hear a loud noise from the outside faucet and sometimes I see water that appears to have sprayed out. I have not been able to watch what happens but I assume the spray is coming from the vacuum breaker.

    I’m trying to understand what is going on. One possibility is that the house pressure regulator has become faulty and the house pressure drops when an indoor faucet is turned on causing the pressure on the other side of the vacuum breaker to be higher and so it kicks in to relive the back pressure.

    Any ideas? I have not hooked up my pressure gauge yet as I need to get someone to watch the gauge on an outside hose bob while I turn the faucet on inside.

  • #2
    Re: Vacuum Breaker Issue

    If you really only have 25 psi of pressure
    when you turn on a faucet it might be enough to fool the vac breaker
    Why dont you turn it up to 50 psi and see if it goes away


    • #3
      Re: Vacuum Breaker Issue

      Sorry I guess my description was not clear. There are two pressure regulators involved - one is the house pressure regulator which is set to around 50PSI. Going to the outside hose bib it is at 50PSI past the vacuum breaker and the initial run of the irrigation system (PVC) all at 50PSI. One branch then goes to another remote hose bib at 50PSI while the other branch goes to blockflow preventer and a 25PSI non-adjustable pressure regulator and then onto the valves and the different zones. The irrigation system (drip) requires the pressure be at 25PSI.

      I think my theory is probably correct since I notice it does not happen when the inside faucet is turned on slowly.If it is turned on fast (mainly like flushing or turning the shower on) I hear the noise and sometimes see the water that has sprayed out.

      I will need to confirm this with a pressure guage and then possibly replace the house pressure regulator.


      • #4
        Re: Vacuum Breaker Issue

        It is the vacumnn breker . Disconnect the hose bibb and vacumnn breaker and install a back flow device for irragation. The noise is like a humming noise and a slight vibration or groan. You will have this noise with a hose that has a nozzle and using the nozzle to turn water on and off instead of the hose bibb.The vacumnn breaker is not designed to leave water on or act as a backflow device.


        • #5
          Re: Vacuum Breaker Issue

          Thanks for the reply. Yes it does sound like a vibration/groan - actually pretty loud. I have now removed the vacuum breaker and moved it to the remote hose bib. The irrigation system does have another backflow preventer further down in the irrgation branch as mentioned so I have left the primary hose bib unchanged. The irrigation backflow preveter and the vacuum breaker in the new location should provide protection.

          There are no noises now while using water inside the house.