Backflow water valves are everywhere. If you own industrial property, are a property manager or work in facilities/Building maintenance, chances are, you know what a backflow is. However, no one knows them better than copper and brass thieves. Why? Because they’re made of brass and can weigh up to 60 pounds. Depending on scrap metal recycling values, brass can vary between $1.20 to $2.00 a pound. A backflow weighing 60 lbs can pay out in upwards of $100 at the scrap yard, and more likely than not, said thief will have more than one with him. More like a barrel full!
Backflows are easy to steal. Anyone with basic plumbing knowhow and a Sawzall can make quick time running around town cutting these valves out. This leaves businesses stuck without water until a new backflow is installed. For the property owner, this can be an expensive ordeal. If your building, such a restaurant is without water? You can imagine the losses incurred. Cost to install new backflow, customers turned away, employees sent home…plus the STRESS! No thank you!
So, as the title of the blog suggests, here are
6 Ways to Keep Your Backflow Valve From Being Stolen :
Step 1 – Paint your backflow valve or spray with a truck bed liner coating to decrease its scrap value. Stamp, label (multiple places), or identify the metal with a recognizable code.
Step 2 – Enclose the backflow valve within a protective cage or metal box. The cage should be secured or mounted to the ground.
Step 3 – Put a high-quality lock on the cage. Lock guards protect locks from bolt cutters.
Step 4 – Post a visible warning sign mentioning security and prosecution.
Step 5 – Consider plastic options since they are considered less valuable to thieves due to the minimal amount of brass and copper contained in the device.
Step 6 – Disguise your backflow valve by covering and grouping with other natural landscape surroundings.