Backflow insulation bags and pouches can be a great option for protecting backflow prevention valves from freezing during the cold spring, fall and winter months.
These polar parkas are slid over the backflow valve and attached piping to produce a blanket of warmth.
Does A Backflow Insulation Blanket Or Bag Offer Enough Protection?
It really depends on a number of factors. Temperature is, of course, a big one. It’s important to consider how cold it gets at night, and for how long the temperature moves below the freezing point. Wind is another major factor. Wind robs heat, so the windier the area the more protection will be needed.
The type of backflow device is also a factor. Many irrigation valves sit dormant for days or weeks on end without any water moving through them. Stagnant water will freeze much faster than moving water in a potable water device, for example. Sometimes leaving the water valve on just a bit to create a trickle of water can keep the water moving enough to prevent freeze during really cold spells.
Backflow insulation bags and blankets are best used in conjunction with a hard-sided backflow enclosure in most scenarios. What’s nice about the hard sided fiberglass or resin backflow enclosures is that they cut the amount of wind reaching the valve body and piping way down. Without the wind, it’s much easier keeping things warm and the backflow insulation bags can work more effectively. The hardcover will also protect the insulation from U.V. damage.
If you plan to use a backflow insulation pouch or blanket alone without a cover, consider an installation method which allows you to remove it easily so it can be brought indoors during the day when it is warmer outside. This way the insulation material will not be baking out in the sun all day. U.V. damage can break down the insulating materials and lessen the R-Value it provides.