It used to be that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. I’m going to add a third thing: someone wants your backflow. Not in the manner of “I want to buy Girl Scout cookies.” This is in the line of “I want to steal that backflow and sell it for money.” Someone is looking to you to pay their bills. After all, charity starts at home. Your home, your backflow, your expense.
Three things are combining to cause trouble. The economy is down, which means unemployment is up. Besides the standard, everyday crook, people who would never consider theft before now turn to it to pay bills. The second thing is continuing global population growth. More people means more resources are needed to support them. That means metal for tools. The final thing is the growth of formerly agricultural economies into modern, technology driven countries. Technology requires metals of all sorts. Roll all this together and prices for scrap metals are high and rising. Your backflow is worth noticeable money to someone.
You lose in two ways. The most obvious is you have to pay to get the backflow replaced, parts and labor. The second is the water you have to pay for when they steal the backflow and your system starts pouring thousands of gallons out to the street. Not to mention the inconvenience of going without household water if you don’t have a cut off valve on your system. The best thing to do is stop the theft from ever happening.
One way is to use the Jedi mind trick: “you only thought you saw a backflow here…you are obviously wrong…there is no backflow here…” This trick works best if you supplement it with a Dekorra rock enclosure. These are fake boulders designed to cover your backflow and make it blend into the landscaping. Who notices a rock? There’s not a lot of demand for stolen boulders. The enclosures cover the backflow, are available in standard, insulated and heated options, two finishes and a multitude of sizes. Since rocks are used in landscaping already it doesn’t scream out “hidden backflow.” It says “landscaping feature.”
If you want the cover and/or insulation but aren’t a Jedi you can use the standard backflow enclosure. They provide the same weather protection as the rock enclosures without the camouflage effect. They do add the option of a side grid for quick visual inspections.
These also add one more step to getting to your backflow. This adds time and your average thief wants a short, quick job. Adding time discourages theft.
If adding time and effort discourages theft, then the other option is making the backflow very hard to get. Use the Gorilla Cage. Sounds like a visit to the zoo, doesn’t it? Except this cage keeps animals (crooks) out and peace and serenity in. The cage is made of strong steel tubing, angle and expanded metal with a guard to prevent the padlock from be cut by bolt cutters. Notice how the lock guard completely surrounds the lock? You don’t The cage is bolted down to a concrete pad making for strong unitized construction. The form is even provided with the cage. Once unlocked they allow easy access for servicing or testing of the back flow.
No one will open these with a simple hammer or hacksaw. Bolt cutters won’t work. A cutting torch will but that’s a little more obvious than crooks want to be. Most crooks will pass these by and go to the next unprotected backflow they can find.
Whether you protect your backflow by hiding it or locking it away, the important things is that it stays in your yard, not someone’s truck.