Thanks to the wonderfully designed sprinkler systems found in almost every lawn across America, the grass and gardens around our homes and neighborhoods are well-kept and green. However, they do not come without problems. When it is cold outside, the sprinkler system has the potential for expanding and cracking under freezing temperatures. If you want to avoid this problem with your sprinkler system, we suggest you follow the following preparatory steps to blow out your sprinkler system before the arrival of each winter season.
Tools & Equipment Needed
- Air compressor
- Air compressor water blowout adapter
Shut Down and Drain the Water Line
Begin by shutting down the isolation valve to the sprinkler system. This will keep the water from the main line from flowing into the sprinkler’s pipes. Place a bucket underneath the faucet that is located near the isolation valve. Open the faucet and let all the water drain out completely into the bucket.
Turn off the Sprinkler System’s Timer
If your sprinkler works on a preset timer, you will need to turn it off before you begin the blow out process. This will help prevent electrical damage to the timer and preserve its mechanical functions. If you have the option on your system, simply turn on the rain mode to signify the rainy season and the sprinkler’s timer will be put on pause. When you’re done with the blow out, you’ll be able to turn rain mode off and resume the water scheduling.
Connect the Air Compressor
With the sprinkler’s time off, you are now ready to begin the blow out. Make sure your compressor is powerful enough to produce at a 30 to 50 cubic feet per minute volume. Using the blowout adapter, attach the compressor to the irrigation system.
Open the Sprinklers
Next, open each zone of sprinklers one at a time. This step is essential to the process because it will help prevent damage that can potentially be caused by an air compressor. Doing so will allow any remaining water to escape out of the pipes instead of building in pressure. If the pressure goes up in the pipes, they can potentially burst and create a big problem in your entire system.
Blow Out the Sprinkler Line
Once all the sprinklers are opened, you can begin blowing out the sprinkler line. Begin by closing the backflow lines, which will help the flow of air to go in the opposite direction. Turn on the compressor and gradually add the air into the sprinkler system. Make sure to go slowly, so as to prevent damage that can be caused when too much pressure is added at a time. You will know that there is enough pressure going through the system when water begins to flow out of the sprinkler’s head. Do not exceed 80 PSI for PVC piping or 50 PSI for polyethylene pipe. Once the water stops flowing, you can move on to the next sprinkler zone until you’ve blown out all of them.
Release Remaining Air Pressure
Lastly, release and remaining pressure from the system by opening and closing the valves located on the backflow preventer and drain valves.
And there we go! With these easy steps, your sprinkler system will be ready for the winter’s freezing temperatures! If this process is too difficult for you to follow, contact Erica’s Plumbing for professional help!
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