Maintenance is very important when it comes to your irrigation system. When the winter months come, it is important to make sure that you are winterizing your sprinkler system. That means doing more than turning off the water. Even if you drain the water from the system, there is some water that will remain and this water can freeze. When water freezes it expands and can crack the pipes.
Blow Out Methods Winterizing Your Sprinkler System
When winterizing your lawn sprinkler system it is important to make sure it is done properly. In locations where it is mandatory to winterize, an irrigation system will be installed using either an auto drain, a manual drain, or a blowout. Using the blowout method is the best choice if you do not know what type of system you have.
Manual Drain Method
When the manual drain valves are located near the low points of the irrigation piping or on the ends all you will need to do is shut the water supply off and then open up the drain valves. When the water is out of the mainline, open up the drain cap and drain out the water that remains. If there are check valves you need to pull the sprinklers up so the water can flow out of the bottom of the body. There can be water left in the piping, sprinklers, and backflow. When the water is fully drained, close the manual valves.
Blow Out Method
In order to use the blow-out method, you will need an air compressor that has a cubic foot per minute rating of eighty to 100 for mainlines of two inches or less. You can rent this type of compressor at most hardware stores. It is important to note that a shop compressor of one to three HP is not going to have enough air to winterize your system. You should not fully charge the holding tank and then release it to compensate for the lack of cubic foot per minute.
To begin the blow out process you need to shut off the water supply to the irrigation system. The compressor valve should be in the closed position. Attach the hose of the compressor to the fitting. Next, you will activate the station of the controller that is the highest elevation of the sprinklers and the farthest away from the sprinklers. Close the isolation valves and then slowly open the compressor valve. This should slowly put air into the system. The pressure of the blow out should not exceed 80 PSI.
Once you remove the water from the system, disconnect the air compressor, and then release the air pressure that might be present. If the backflow device has ball valves, make sure that you open and close these isolation valves several times to ensure that any water that might be trapped can escape.
It is important to make sure that you wear eye protection when you are performing a blow out of your sprinkler system. Compressed air can be dangerous, so it is important to make sure that you are taking precautions.
Make sure that the pressure does not exceed 80 PSI for systems with PVC piping and 50 PSI for any system using polyethylene piping.
Flow sensors need to be removed before a blowout is done as this can cause damage to the sensor.
Make sure that you do not stand over any sprinkler heads or other parts while they are filled with pressurized air and never leave the compressor unattended. Do not blow out through a pump or backflow, first blow out the system and then drain the backflow.
Pioneer Underground Lawn Sprinklers | Omaha’s Best Commercial & Residential Sprinkler Systems
Contact Pioneer Underground Lawn Sprinklers to schedule a free estimate on a system install or to find out what you can do to make your existing system more efficient. We welcome commercial and residential clients. And remember, whether you need our services now… or later in the season, Your Healthy Lawn is Our Passion and we are only a phone call away! Call 402-934-7900 to schedule your service.