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Sprinkler Blowout First DIY - Advice

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  • Dec 7th, 2017 2:52 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 6, 2015
83 posts
47 upvotes
SW Ontario

Sprinkler Blowout First DIY - Advice

Will u guys agree ,or need some corrections .

Close water supply valve inside house - adapter on to garden faucet outside ( that goes in sprinkler box in the ground ) -hook it with compressor air hose - open the valve on garden faucet - take the 50 feet pipe to compressor in garage - now you r close to sprinkler controller and compressor- set out psi to 50 - switch on compressor once full - switch zone 1 open on controller for 2-3 mts - once compressor looses air - close the zone - once compressor refills do same with other zones . Repeat the whole thing twice .
Did thought of buying 4 feet of hose and take the compressor to the sprinkler box ,but then keep going back to garage to manually operate sprinkler controller .
17 replies
Deal Addict
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May 28, 2009
1004 posts
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Belleville
You can do that leaving the compressor in the garage and operate the sprinkler system as well from there. Make sure you look at the zone running to see the water coming out. Maybe need to blow certain zones more than 2 times to get all the water out. Don't let the zones be blown out for an extended time as it may hurt the heads with no water.

I put my compressor on the porch. Ran the air line to the garden faucet with the attachment guy I built. Let the compressor get to full pressure and set the PSI to 40-50PSI. Open the garden faucet to allow air into the lines. I turned on each zone individually via the manual knob beneath the green plastic lid. Counter close wise. I watched the sprinkler heads come up giving off water/air. After a min or two, close the lines and let the compressor refill. Did the other 3 zones in the box then restart with the first zone for a 2nd blow out.

You are waiting pretty late in the season for blowing out the lines. I hope you have a decent compressor to do it. I have a 6.5 CFM @40psi and it works well.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 6, 2015
83 posts
47 upvotes
SW Ontario
Tx Flash Fyre
Does it matter that you manually close and open zones or use the electronic pad in garage ..?
For years the guy who came to do mine will ask me to just shut main line off from inside of house ,and he will do his stuff .
Hmmm he moved to other province .
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2006
1691 posts
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Montreal
How much does a compressor cost? Right now I am paying $85 every year to winterize my irrigation system.
Deal Addict
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May 28, 2009
1004 posts
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Belleville
Mastero wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 8:54 pm
Tx Flash Fyre
Does it matter that you manually close and open zones or use the electronic pad in garage ..?
For years the guy who came to do mine will ask me to just shut main line off from inside of house ,and he will do his stuff .
Hmmm he moved to other province .

Nope. Doesn't matter. I like doing it at the green box because I am closer to the sprinkler head. Beats having to run to the back yard from the garage to watch the sprinklers.

The guy who was doing it previously was most likely using the manual valves like I do.

Did you make a compressor to garden faucet attachment? I brought in the 1/4 compressor fitting to lowes and found the two pieces I needed make the connection. Used plumbers tape on the threads and it was all good.
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May 28, 2009
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Belleville
Germack wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 9:13 pm
How much does a compressor cost? Right now I am paying $85 every year to winterize my irrigation system.
It depends, I paid a little under $400 for mine but I have other uses for it. Framing/brad/finisher nailers. I am sure you can find something adequate at crappy tire for $200 or less. CFM is the big key. PSI not so much.
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May 28, 2009
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Belleville
Germack wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 9:13 pm
How much does a compressor cost? Right now I am paying $85 every year to winterize my irrigation system.
Here are two decent ones at crappy tire:
- 4.8 CFM @ 40 PSI on sale for $150: http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/maste ... p.html#srp
- 5.0 CFM @ 40 PSI, not on sale for $420: http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/maste ... p.html#srp
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
11021 posts
2260 upvotes
Mastero wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 7:53 pm
Will u guys agree ,or need some corrections .

Close water supply valve inside house - adapter on to garden faucet outside ( that goes in sprinkler box in the ground ) -hook it with compressor air hose - open the valve on garden faucet - take the 50 feet pipe to compressor in garage - now you r close to sprinkler controller and compressor- set out psi to 50 - switch on compressor once full - switch zone 1 open on controller for 2-3 mts - once compressor looses air - close the zone - once compressor refills do same with other zones . Repeat the whole thing twice .
Did thought of buying 4 feet of hose and take the compressor to the sprinkler box ,but then keep going back to garage to manually operate sprinkler controller .
I use my air compressor to do pretty well what you are describing every year. I run the compressor up to about 90 psi though, then go to the sprinkler box and open one of the valves but find that the compressor looses the air within about 10 seconds so I then close the valve, wait until the compressor is back up to pressure and open it again. I only have a compressor that I use with my air tools so maybe that is why I don't get a long continuous burst of air. I notice that the sprinkler companies that do it for a fee for the neighbours on the street have huge compressors and then can push air for many minutes. Maybe that's what you have. I find I have to this about 4-5 times per valve in order to clear the water totally. Using 90 psi hasn't damaged my system but I just did some research as a result of reading this thread and it appears it is much too high as I have a poly pipe system so I will lower it next year to 50. They say about 50 psi for poly pipe system or 80 psi for PVC pipe systems. It seems higher psi places too much stress on the system.
Last edited by eonibm on Dec 6th, 2017 12:16 am, edited 4 times in total.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2010
11021 posts
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Germack wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 9:13 pm
How much does a compressor cost? Right now I am paying $85 every year to winterize my irrigation system.
I bought a compressor about 10 years ago at HD which included a brad nailer for about $225. I've been using it ever since for my brad nailer, air rivet gun and to blow out my sprinkler lines. It has paid for itself multiple times over just by being able to blow out my lines. I can't believe people pay to have someone do that given what it costs and how easily and quickly you can do it. Another advantage is that you can wait until very late in the season to blow out your lines. I find the sprinkler companies go around clearing out the lines very early in the fall and it is too early. I asked one why they do that and they told me that they have so many to do they have to start early in order to get them all done. That is not good for your garden, especially for your everygreens. They like to be watered right until the ground freezes. I blew out my lines this year just last Friday.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
7469 posts
404 upvotes
I have been paying $70 for winterization. I have thought about DIY eventually, but just worry that I screw up something and ruin the whole system. Anyway, I have skipped the "season opening" after the first couple years, which is basically the same price for paying someone to turn on the water valve.

By the way, I am not sure if all systems are installed equally though. My neighbour was telling me that they couldn't turn it on by themselves, but at the end they had to call the company to do so. Note: It was installed by the previous owner, thus they have no clue what system it is.

eonibm wrote:
Dec 6th, 2017 12:22 am
I bought a compressor about 10 years ago at HD which included a brad nailer for about $225. I've been using it ever since for my brad nailer, air rivet gun and to blow out my sprinkler lines. It has paid for itself multiple times over just by being able to blow out my lines. I can't believe people pay to have someone do that given what it costs and how easily and quickly you can do it. Another advantage is that you can wait until very late in the season to blow out your lines. I find the sprinkler companies go around clearing out the lines very early in the fall and it is too early. I asked one why they do that and they told me that they have so many to do they have to start early in order to get them all done. That is not good for your garden, especially for your everygreens. They like to be watered right until the ground freezes. I blew out my lines this year just last Friday.
Last edited by rdx on Dec 7th, 2017 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Feb 25, 2007
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rdx wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 9:12 am
I have been paying $70 for winterization. I have thought about DIY eventually, but just worry that I screw up something and ruin the whole system. Anyway, I have skipped the "season opening" after the first couple years, which is basically the same price for paying someone to turn on the water valve.

By the way, I am not if all season are installed equally though. My neighbour was telling me that they couldn't turn it on by themselves, but at the end they had to call the company to do so. Note: It was installed by the previous owner, thus they have no clue what system it is.
definitely do it yourself, we only bought a husky 3 gallon on sale for $99 and have been winterizing ourselves for few years. just be careful not to set the PSI over 50 as it can blow out your sprinkler head. The first year we did blow out one of our sprinkler heads, but its a pretty easy DIY replacement. If I have to do it again, I would buy a bigger gallon compressor, because the 3 gallon is not enough air, so I have to repeat the process couple of times and we have two zones.


As for opening, I seriously wonder what those guys do to charge $100, because my system and all others I know its just literally opening the water valve and just hit the program key on the sprinkler system
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
7469 posts
404 upvotes
Mine is a six zones though. If I DIY, it is going to take me a long time to blow clean all six.
rogerrabbit168 wrote:
Dec 7th, 2017 9:33 am
definitely do it yourself, we only bought a husky 3 gallon on sale for $99 and have been winterizing ourselves for few years. just be careful not to set the PSI over 50 as it can blow out your sprinkler head. The first year we did blow out one of our sprinkler heads, but its a pretty easy DIY replacement. If I have to do it again, I would buy a bigger gallon compressor, because the 3 gallon is not enough air, so I have to repeat the process couple of times and we have two zones.


As for opening, I seriously wonder what those guys do to charge $100, because my system and all others I know its just literally opening the water valve and just hit the program key on the sprinkler system
Sr. Member
Mar 19, 2013
603 posts
172 upvotes
Prince Albert, Sask.
Others have said easy DIY project. I been blowing my system out for 33 years. Never had a problem. I have a 4 gal. compressor, does the job. I blow each zone 3 times. Once you have a compressor, you will find many other uses for it.

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