A backflow preventer is a means or mechanism to prevent backflow. The basic means is an air gap, which either eliminates a cross-connection or provides a barrier to backflow. The basic mechanism is a mechanical backflow preventer, which provides a physical barrier to backflow. The principal types of mechanical backflow preventers are the reduced-pressure principle assembly, the pressure vacuum breaker assembly, and the double check valve assembly. A secondary type of mechanical backflow preventer is the residential dual check valve.