A rainwater to mains water switch is a highly recommended device that can be setup when plumbing in your rainwater to your house.
Have you wondered what might happen if you have a power failure, and the pressure pump that delivers water from your tank into your house stops working? Or what if your tank water runs dry and can’t supply water to your toilets, washing machine and where you need it?
During such circumstances, it is important that you be able to switch from your rainwater supply to your mains water. This is where a rainwater to mains water switch, also known by others names like mains changeover or mains water backup system, is a valuable addition.
The actual switching device sits between your pressure pump, your mains supply and your house water inlet.
- An automatic mains water switch detects the tank level then switches to mains water if the tank is low or empty. It can also automatically switch back to mains water if there is a power outage or a pump failure.
- A manual mains water switch is controlled by hand levers. You simply turn the lever to open the tank valve when you have rainwater in your tank. If you run out of water, you turn the lever to close the tank valve and open the mains water valve.
If you install a water switching device, regulations require you to also install a backflow prevention device. This prevents water from your tank flowing back into the mains water supply. Due to the risk of mains water contamination, you will require backflow prevention devices with a hazard rating of high or medium which provide greater reliability. They will need to be installed and periodically checked by a licensed plumber.
When it comes to automatic and manual switches, keep in mind that automatic switches require electricity to work. Automatic switches are more efficient with water usage, and manufacturers claim they can provide water savings of up to 40% since:
- they make more efficient use of water in your tank, allowing you to collect more water when it next rains
- they decrease the use of your mains water usage which decreases your mains water bill.
While manual switches may lead to less efficient rainwater use, they provide you with greater control over your water usage. However they are also less convenient since you must manually switch over to one water source or the other.
In South Australian and parts of Queensland, it is often a requirement that you install an automatic switching device. So if unsure it important to check your local council requirements.
When your rainwater tank is plumbed in, and you install a rainwater to mains switching device, ensure it is installed by a plumber licensed in your state. They will be able to set up the switching device to comply with regulations including installing an appropriate backflow prevention device.
For more information about rainwater to mains water switching devices for your water tank, contact our friendly staff today.