Looking for information on backflow cages and not sure where to find the most accurate information? This is the most complete guide to backflow cages on the web in 2023!
In this guide we will teach you everything you need to know including what a cage is, how they work, the best places to buy a new cage and a review of the top enclosure models.
What is a Backflow Cage?
A backflow cage is an anti-theft cage that fits around the backflow preventer valve. They protect against thieves and physical damage to the valve. Since a quality backflow prevention device can cost thousands of dollars they are a popular target of thieves looking for an ‘easy score’ in an unsecured garage.
A protective cage around the backflow prevention assembly keeps the valve from being stolen since the enclosure is locked shut!
How Does a Backflow Cage Work?
Backflow cages work by securely locking the valve into the surrounding concrete pad or wall. Most cages fully surround the backflow enclosure and lock with a built-in locking system or padlock.
Need a High Quality Padlock?
Padlocks – both combination and key-based designs – can be used to secure some cage designs.
Make sure to invest in a quality lock and don’t try to use a cheap bike lock! Thieves carry powerful handheld drills that can instantly break apart cheap locks – that is why it is important to invest in a heavy-duty lock.
Cages made of stainless steel also offer your backflow device protection from physical damage that can cause leaks and permanently damage the valve. In cold weather environments, cages can also be outfitted with insulation for protection in freezing temperatures.
Want to use a small locking system to guard your vacuum breaker?
Many people trying to save some money only use a bike lock or chain to secure their valves. This only offers basic protection because handheld drills are much more powerful and can cut right through the chains. You need a cage built into the surrounding concrete for total protection
Where to Buy a Backflow Cage
Backflow cages can be bought locally from hardware stores like Home Depot or Lowes, from a local plumbing company that will also install the backflow preventer cage for a small extra fee or online from a site like Amazon.
We think the best place to buy a new cage is from Amazon. They have a large selection and great prices – plus the best delivery and return options on the internet. The only downside is that you will need to install it yourself – but you will save at least a couple hundred dollars in installations fees.
Steel vs Fiberglass Enclosures
Two of the most common materials for cages are stainless steel and fiberglass. Both materials have pros and cons for different installation locations and levels of security. some more expensive models include additional features like a door, backflow cover.
Steel enclosures offer the highest level of protection from thieves and physical damage. The downside of steel is that is it more expensive to install, heavily than fiberglass, and often needs to be installed when the nearby concrete is poured for maximum protection.
Fiberglass backflow cages are a cheaper alternative that work well on a patio. They do not provide as much protection against thieves or physical damage so they are not recommended outside the fence line or other high-risk areas but they can provide a lightweight, cost effective backflow preventer enclosure.
Backflow Cage and Enclosure Brands
If you are shopping for a new cage or enclosure there are a few name brands to be aware of – as well as many smaller local brands.
Guardian Enclosures is one of our favorite brands. Their backflow cages offer a high level of protection against being stolen and physical damage – plus they are affordable n any household budget.
Another quality choice is this enclosure from Dekorra. The enclosure provides almost total protection from weather and being stolen – the only downside is that it is made of polyethylene instead of steel.