New Zurn Wilkins ZWFR Backflow Preventer Freeze Protection Device Ideal for Regions that Experience Freeze/Thaw Events

One Success Story Involves a Customer with a Family-Owned Backflow Systems Company

Publish Date: Monday, October 14, 2013

ERIE, PA – The new Zurn Wilkins ZWFR Backflow Preventer Freeze Protection Device from Zurn Industries, LLC is making news in Lake Elsinore, CA for ending a persistent problem of freeze-damaged backflow preventers because of frequent freeze/thaw events.

The ZWFR Freeze Protection Device monitors the water temperature within the valve. When the temperature-regulating thermostat senses that water is nearing the freezing point (35°F/1.6°C), the valve opens, allowing warmer supply water to flow into the system. As the system reaches 40°F/4.4°C, the valve closes.

The new device is ideal for regions where occasional (and unexpected) freeze/thaw cycles occur, yet winterization (e.g., draining the system) is not common.

David Ochoa, a senior water protection technician for the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, installed the new ZWFR device on an outdoor backflow preventer that frequently was damaged by freezing weather (despite numerous preventive measures attempted in the past by the water district).

In one week of February 2013, Lake Elsinore experienced a freeze/thaw event every day. Ochoa says the backflow preventer equipped with the Zurn Wilkins ZWFR Freeze Protection Device never had a problem, although the weather caused 15 other backflow preventers (NOT equipped with the ZWFR device) to blow out.

Ochoa, whose father is the principal owner of Ochoa’s Backflow Systems in Riverside, CA (founded in 1981), says, “Our water district considers these new freeze protection devices as comparatively inexpensive insurance, especially when you consider both the replacement costs and labor costs.”

The Zurn Wilkins ZWFR Freeze Protection Device threads into any standard ¼” test cock. Its compact design makes it easy to install on new and existing installations on virtually any brand of backflow preventer without the need to shut down or drain the system. Its bronze body is corrosion resistant and requires no periodic maintenance. It is suited for double-check and reduced pressure assemblies, vacuum breakers and bypass detector assemblies on large backflow products. It also can be used to protect other mechanical equipment, including any smaller diameter commercial or residential outdoor plumbing system to prevent pipes, pressure-reducing valves, shut-off valves or fixtures from freezing.