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Blowing out sprinkler system 101

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Blades of Steel, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. Blades of Steel

    Blades of Steel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599


    I picked up a new client this season (12 resaurants) and they all heave sprinkler systems. This is not part of my normal maintenance or contract so I wasn't planning on doing it. However, they have called me to have it done so I guess it's time to learn. I lived in San Diego for 15 years and intstalled my own 6 zone system but never had to blow it out for winter.

    If anyone knows of a wesite with a down and dirty instructions or just some good advise. Please advise.

    Oh I did a search and came up with a ton of stuff that had nothing to do with this topic and didn't want to read a bunch of old threads..

  2. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    I never got into irrigation. I have about 40 maintenance customers with irrigation, but I found it much easier to sub out the work. I make a little, the irrigation man makes a little, and the customer gets good work. Everyones happy.
  3. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    Sprinkler winterization is not hard but you do need the right equipment; A large compressor with the right fittings and an understanding of sprinkler systems with the ability to trouble shoot and get creative!

    In your current situation I would rec. subbing this job out this year.
  4. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    This is how ya do it.

    1) Turn on the system, see which ones are clogged.
    2) Mark each clogged head with a flag
    3) Turn off system
    4) Go back to each flagged head, unscrew/take off each nozzle.
    5) Put all the nozzles in a plastic baggy, or your pocket so you won't lose them.
    6) Once nozzles are off, go back and turn on the system, the water will shoot straight up, (as you would hopefully already know this).
    7) Turn system off.
    8) Take a paper clip and carefully pick out the clogged heads. Or use something else to quickly remove the debris.
    9) Put nozzles back on, remove flags.
    10) get paid

    you don't need special fittings to do this job, sprinkler systems are the easiest thing in the world. If you have any trouble, just msg me.
  5. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    Maybe I misunderstood. I thought you were talking about using compressed air to winterize (blowout) the system.
  6. Blades of Steel

    Blades of Steel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599

    I am. I am not sure how these systems were installed therefore I will need to use compressed air.

    It sounds as if I need to rent a compressor or sub the entire thing out.

  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I don't know what jwingfield2keaglescoutlawncare was talking about. But that's definitely not protocol for winterizing an irrigation system.

    There is a recent thread about this very thing in the irrigation forum - which is where this subject belongs.
  8. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    All I know that if you are up here in the North those sprinklers should have been winterized about a month ago.
  9. Nw. Shadesofgreen

    Nw. Shadesofgreen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    I have blow out several systems with a small 3gallon compresser every year for a long time. It can be donevery easy and after you have one under your belt you will have very few problems.
    The first thing to do is locate the double check valve. Turn the handle on the d/c closets to the water conection off. Sometimes there will be a ball valve or a gate valve before the d/c. If so turn those off too. at the top of the d/c there will be some small peacocks. You want to hook your compressor to the fartherst one away from the water. In some places there will be a place where you can use a quick coupler that is normally used to hook a hose to for the blow out. If you have to hook up to the peacocks follow these steps.
    Before starting up the compressor go to the sprinkler control valve box and set it on manual and turn on valve number one. Now go back to the d/c and look at the peacock that you have hooked up to. using a small regular screw driver you will need to turn the small gate valve on peacock. Now gofire up the compressor. Be carefull not to set pressure to high, You run the risk of burning up the gears in any large rotors anr replacement on your dime can get expensive. Go back to controler and run through all of the zones until wateris all blown out.
    When done close peacock back up because main line will still have alot of air in it. remove compressor line, open peacock and let out the air/ watch out for the water that will also back flush out with the air. I don't want you to get hit inthe face. After air outyou can close peacock or leave open and close during your spring start-up. Make sure control is turned to off, valve box cover is back on tight. Put things away and head on to the next job.

    Good luck Mike
    If you need some more info e-mail me
  10. WildSide

    WildSide LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    He is from Texas, no ice down there.

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