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View Full Version : What type of compressor is everyone using 4 blowouts


Mdirrigation
10-25-2004, 08:01 PM
I was wondering what others are using , and if they rent or buy? I have been running a smith 45 cfm , and a ingersol rand 125 cfm , and just picked up a linsey 80 cfm , all tow behinds .

JeffY
10-25-2004, 09:57 PM
Rent ours, use two Ingersol Rand 185s for a month, and Smith 150 for a temporarly 3rd for just a week. The IngersolRand was a cadillac compared to the Smith 150. The IngersolRand had no problems with a 4" main that was 2500 feet long. Had the psi at 140, and took about 20 mins to blow just the main line.

aquamtic
10-26-2004, 11:09 AM
After also renting - We finally made a decision to invest in an IR Gas Compressor with a 13hp Honda, 30 gallon tank. pushing 27cfm's. FOr the past 2 years many guys in my area have gone this way verses the big investment in tow behinds. It has been proven that these work well. We keep the pressure at 80 psi and we are able to blow out runs up to 1500' of 1 1/4 pipe.

Rotor-Man
10-26-2004, 01:41 PM
Rented for years, and 2 years ago bought a GrimmerSchmidt 125 cfm tow behind. Was only 2 yrs. old with only 90 hrs., I can't imagine winterizing without it versus renting and trying to jam them all into a certain time frame! Just finished a large cemetary system with 2" main this morning and it works like a charm, regulate psi at about 50-55 psi and let it do it's thing!

Mdirrigation
10-26-2004, 09:22 PM
Aquamatic , the towbehinds can be found at a good price at auctions , my 125 ingersol with a diesel and 700 hours was $ 1100.00 , my linsey has 800 hours on a gas for $ 600.00 , and my smith was 500.00 . They pay for themselves in a day or two at the most . A hose reel is a must , I have 200 feet on each machine , it saves a lot of time . i have a Ingersol like you described on a sealcoat machine , I have used it to blow out sprinklers when we are swamped , but it is very slow compared to the tow behinds .

aquamtic
10-27-2004, 08:38 AM
MD- You have been lucky to find those at them prices. Unfortuntely here in RI and MA I cant seem to even find an auction that has them The rental centers at times will sell out, but they are all beat up equipment just under what they cost new.

jcom
02-20-2005, 01:44 PM
We use a 17gal. Dewalt with 8 h.p. Honda and put in the pickup box. 18 cfm and works great.

kipcom
02-25-2005, 06:38 AM
We use a 17gal. Dewalt with 8 h.p. Honda and put in the pickup box. 18 cfm and works great.

Ditto..almost, I have never used anything larger than an 8hp w/20gal tank. No need to tow anything...just load it in the truck and go. If needed we can take it out and walk it right up to the connector and "Get-Er-Done".

I dont get why people have to use like the IR tow units..seems like major over kill to me.

Mdirrigation
02-25-2005, 08:52 AM
I dont get why people have to use like the IR tow units..seems like major over kill to me.

Why? electric start and I can blow out 6 zones at once on a residential , any size commercial . Plus the sight and sound of the machine gets me the neighbors on either side . Its another billboard for advertising also.

kipcom
02-27-2005, 07:38 AM
Why? electric start and I can blow out 6 zones at once on a residential , any size commercial . Plus the sight and sound of the machine gets me the neighbors on either side . Its another billboard for advertising also.

You kidding me right ?? You have a tow behind for residential systems ??

Im not knocking what you have ok, just seems like way too much power for small residential work that does not net $$$ like commercial accounts would.

kipcom
02-27-2005, 07:44 AM
Why? electric start and I can blow out 6 zones at once on a residential , any size commercial . Plus the sight and sound of the machine gets me the neighbors on either side . Its another billboard for advertising also.

You kidding me right ?? You have a tow behind for residential systems ??

Im not knocking what you have ok, just seems like way too much power for small residential work that does not net $$$ like commercial accounts would.

aquamtic
02-27-2005, 08:31 AM
Indy- WHat MD is saying is that with a tow behind one is able to blow out multiple zone at once and get out of that job quicker.

FOr instance. If you blow out a zone for 5 minutes each
indiviually on a 10 zone system = 50 min

Blow out 5 zones at once with a tow behind, = 10 min

Time is everything especially if you have a few hundred customers with a small window at the end of the season to blow out. If you have a small list of customers than a small one will do.

Mdirrigation
02-27-2005, 10:54 AM
Well I actually have 2 tow behinds , and use them for residential and commercial . Time is money , I had a 15 cfm about 20 years ago , way too slow . Plus the tow behinds I find for less money , My 80 cfm cost me $ 600.00 its gas powered , and my diesel 125 cfm cost $ 1100.00 . Every contractor around here either rents or has their own tow behind

Critical Care
02-28-2005, 02:46 PM
This last season I used a Sullair 185 cfm compressor, and mostly for residential. I keep hearing over and over again how people can blow out lines with their low cfm high pressure shop compressors, but that sure sounds like a gamble to me. Nothing like blowing a little bit of air over the top of the water within the pipes and hoping that the remaining water doesn't cause problems...

Rotor-Man
02-28-2005, 03:10 PM
Need high C.F.M.'s [100-125 c.f.m.]and pressure regulated at 45-60 p.s.i. to winterize a system properly whether a residental or commercial system[up to 2" mainline] and this way it is done properly and efficently. Low c.f.m. and high pressure wheeled air compressors are designed for using air tools,etc, not winterizing irrigation systems properly. Will they work, maybe, or maybe not, depends how much time you have on your hands when everyone wants it done before the Big Chill sets in in the fall. I know what I'll use.

kipcom
03-02-2005, 07:01 AM
Ask yourself this question...and answer if you can.

How many CF air does a 3/4" ID x 10' pvc pipe hold ?

Think about this also....If a compressor delivers 100-125cfm @ 50psi in a 3/4" pvc pipe 100' long.... How long does it take to move the H20 out ?

CFM vs. PSI = ? Bigger is not always more efficient.

Its not rocket science....just basic math....... :cool2:

Broker
03-02-2005, 09:20 AM
About 4 years ago I purchased a IR 100CFM from Nations Rent when they were upgrading all of their AC's to 185CFM. At the time it had 300hrs and I paid $2,200 for it, since then I averaged $125 in annual maintenance plus gas. Last year I got bored of seeing the old Nations Rent stickers on it so I spent around $1000 to have it sand blasted and repainted with spec paint and new decals, I will try to get a pic up to show you guys. I also had a reel fabricated to fit on the tongue and it has the ability to swivel 360 degrees and can lock into any angle which makes running the hose and retracting it cake. It has been hands down the best investment I have ever made. Winterizations is one of the few things I like to do by myself. This past year we did just over 700 and the most I (I had another guy that day helping) did in a day was 32 and during October through mid November I would not schedule a work day unless I had atleast ten in a day. Around here the going price is 45-60 per residential. We raised our prices from 48.50 to 55 this year and went from 450 winterizations in 2003 to just over 700 (I also did some marketing in 04 that I did not do in 03.)

Sprinkler Doc
08-21-2005, 01:48 AM
I spent around $1000 to have it sand blasted and repainted with spec paint and new decals, I will try to get a pic up to show you guys.

I'd love to see a photo.

I just got a 100cfm compressor at an auction today. Also got a 300' reel of hose on another trailer. They hook together (you can pull 2 trailers in Idaho) but I probably won't be doing that... too many cul-de-sacs around here.

Sprinkler Doc
08-21-2005, 01:50 AM
I'm going to try to cover all bases with the adaptors.
What does everybody carry?

Wet_Boots
08-21-2005, 05:21 AM
I always thought the most universal blowout connector was a standard 3/4" garden hose. Spare me the various air compressor quick-connects. Nipples and bushings and couplings, and a couple of boiler drains can get you through any winterizing. My favorite winterizings {NOT} are the ones where there are no air connections whatsoever (those systems that substituted an atmospheric vacuum breaker for a PVB, so not even any test cocks to connect to) and the only way to complete the job is to use the house plumbing through a hose bibb, after shutting off the supply at the meter.

bicmudpuppy
08-21-2005, 11:23 PM
I always thought the most universal blowout connector was a standard 3/4" garden hose. Spare me the various air compressor quick-connects. Nipples and bushings and couplings, and a couple of boiler drains can get you through any winterizing. My favorite winterizings {NOT} are the ones where there are no air connections whatsoever (those systems that substituted an atmospheric vacuum breaker for a PVB, so not even any test cocks to connect to) and the only way to complete the job is to use the house plumbing through a hose bibb, after shutting off the supply at the meter.
Now there is a nightmare I haven't had to see in a long time. Fortunately, most of the things done that backward around here are also done in PVC instead of copper. A glue on snap saddle, hot glue, and drill it tomorrow works better than shutting the house down and blowing everything.

As to compressors, for residentials, I've worked for outfits w/ 80cfm units and they work. They even get it done with small commercials. You get a 2" main, and you better be pushing 100cfm. If it's bigger than 2", the 185 or two smaller units or your not going to dry it out. 140psi?? do you like warranty work?? I never put more than 80psi to a system for winterizing, and I never let it switch zones with more than 60 unless I'm pushing a commercial with large pipe. Even then, I don't like more than 60psi. Blow every zone 3 times. I like a 1 or 2 minute run the first time through, then you can short cycle them until no water comes out of any head when the zone first comes on. I carry a couple of 18ga jumper wires in my pocket during winterizations. I will jump one from the MV or hot post (depending on clock) and one from the zone that is currently running. If the controller isn't rated for that kind of valve load, then run the jumpers from the transformer directly. Blow two or three at a time. Twenty to thirty winterizations a day is very possible if the route is good and you don't mind working a long day (and at $50 each, I'll work as long a day as possible) Getting rousted because someone called in a gas leak when they heard the air rushing in the dark is just another thrill you've got to experience. If you can get a large HOA or just the majority of a neighborhood, you can set the controller to run while you prep the next yard for hook up. Low PSI means you can use lighter (and cheaper) hose for your blow outs. I like a good 3/4" garden hose that is actually 3/4" hose. I own enough 1" hose to reach the commercial jobs I have that need the better volume. Yes, you can do winterizations with a small compressor, but your not going to get more than 6-10 per day. That 125 or 185 cfm compressor pays for itself every day if you have the work for it. I have had excellent luck in the past using a compressor that can't or doesn't normally work when the weather is right for winterizations. Construction, blacktop companies, etc. are normally real slow around winterization time. Find someone you can do some trading with. A couple of years ago, I traded 3 winterizations on properties the compressor owner owned and then I had his compressor for about 3 weeks. Sure made my attitude more laid back about cramming them all in. I still want to do 20 a day, but it's nice to know I can do 60 now and 60 next week and get something else done in between.

Wet_Boots
08-22-2005, 12:11 AM
I'm glad the point is getting made that it is possible to get by with a smaller compressor for blowouts, even if it's counterproductive on larger jobs. There's lots of better things to do than blowing out a zone over and over. But if the tank and hose are large enough, a small compressor can do more than one might think. Something about the surface tension between air and water makes even a modest airflow sweep the water along with it. But bring a lunch.

Sight unseen, I would never recommend a pressure setting above 60 psi. There were some old impact heads that would break apart with much more than that. Some do-it-yourselfer heads are suspect at high blowout pressures, not that I shed any tears over them. (Someday, I'll winterize some deadbeat's sprinkler system at a pressure of 150 psi)

bicmudpuppy
08-22-2005, 12:21 AM
I'm glad the point is getting made that it is possible to get by with a smaller compressor for blowouts, even if it's counterproductive on larger jobs. There's lots of better things to do than blowing out a zone over and over. But if the tank and hose are large enough, a small compressor can do more than one might think. Something about the surface tension between air and water makes even a modest airflow sweep the water along with it. But bring a lunch.

Sight unseen, I would never recommend a pressure setting above 60 psi. There were some old impact heads that would break apart with much more than that. Some do-it-yourselfer heads are suspect at high blowout pressures, not that I shed any tears over them. (Someday, I'll winterize some deadbeat's sprinkler system at a pressure of 150 psi)

I have a few home owners who baulk at paying for winterization. I have explained in great detail to them how to do it without me by using what they have for a compressor. But, I like your comment.....bring a lunch. Actually, the procedure I recomend for them usually involves using every program and start time the controller has. You blow one station per program and we discuss which zones are last from the tap. Set the compressor to 55psi and put enough distance between starts so that the compressor can recover each time. For a six zone system, it is an all day affair, but it can be done. That first year though, just figure it as part of the cost, you don't want me voiding the warranty.

BSME
08-27-2005, 05:58 PM
I was going to buy this compressor new before the salesman raised his price a thousand bucks when he came out here from what he originally told me..
http://www.kaeser.com/Current_Affairs/Press/press-C-Mobilair26.asp

anyway... We are now looking for at least a 100cfm tow behind compressor...
looking at atlas copco, sullair, ingersoll rand, and grimmer schmidt... probably not going to want to invest in a brand new one but have been looking for a reliable used... anyone can point me in a direction as far as auctions or good deals? I haven't had much luck finding decent used machines..

Hose reels: our current compressor can mount in the back of the truck so we didn't need one. what do you guys do? somebody suggested hannay reels so I ordered a catalog from them. They got some really cool ones in there... would like one that can power retract... how do the air retract work?

also... I think my goal is to do 500 winterizations but I dont yet have that many customers... any of you use winterizations as a good way to leave your sticker on the timers and add to the customer list? I've been thinking about flyering easy subs to winterize in saying "we'll be here this weekend winterizing for this much $..." any ideas?

anyway.. thanks for the info on the compressors before this

Wet_Boots
08-27-2005, 06:52 PM
There's always eBay......or you can google equipment names and models, and maybe find an auction. That Kaeser looks pretty good, too bad about the price rise (stupid Euro!)

Mdirrigation
08-28-2005, 09:31 AM
Look for richie Brothers auctions on the web they are world wide equip auctioneers, usually the local paper has auctions