It is always important to remember that improperly disconnecting a hose to a hose bibb can potentially create a hazardous scenario. Remember to connect an anti-siphon coupler to your hose bibb(s) before connecting your hose.
Many water customers use garden hoses connected to bibbs for outdoor watering needs. But did you know plumbing code requires hose bibbs to have a vacuum breaker? This device helps protect water quality in your plumbing and in the drinking water supply.
Hose Bibb Vacuum Breakers (HBVB) help prevent potentially contaminated water in a hose from flowing back into your home pipes and the public water supply. This is known as backsiphonage. It occurs when water pressure in the plumbing system drops, and contaminated water is sucked back from the hose. Any contaminates in the water such as bacteria, fertilizer, pesticides, or dirt move along with the water. A HBVB prevents backsiphonage by opening to the atmosphere and allowing air, not contaminated water into the plumbing system. However, HBVB do have limitations. To help protect yours and everyone’s water, follow these simple steps:
- Check your outside hose bibbs to ensure HBVB are installed. If the devices aren’t there, install one.
- Over time HBVBs wear out and should be replaced. The Department of Water Management Cross Connection Control (CCC) group recommends replacing HBVB annually.
- Never leave your hose bibb running for extended periods. A HBVB pressurized for more than 12 hours can fail.
- Never install valves downstream of a HBVB. Pressure in the hose from a closed spray nozzle or other valve will prevent the HBVB from functioning properly.
- Hose bibbs are intended for uses such as temporary above-ground sprayers. You should never connect a permanent irrigation system to a bibb. Irrigation system connections require permits and have additional requirements to ensure protection of the public water system.