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blowout with electric air compressor

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Crabtree, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. Crabtree

    Crabtree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Wondering if I could blowout with a 4.5hp/135psi electric air compressor? Anybody tried? If so, how would I connect it? Only have 3 small systems to blowout, trying to avoid the whole rental/pickup/return thing without subbing to someone else. Think it would really take that much longer vs. using towable 100 cfm? I haven't a clue, just lookin for advice...
  2. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,248

    I would think you should be fine with that in Tennessee.
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,673

    And you know for a fact that the compressor won't trip any circuit breakers at these homes? Obviously, the motor isn't really anything near four-and-a-half horsepower, which would calculate to about 28 amps on 120 volts.
  4. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Depends a lot on the number of sprinklers/volume output per zone. I can get by with my garege compressor just fine for systems with 6 rotors MAX per zone. Still gets pretty iffy getting the last one on the line to blow clean before the air volume is gone. Worst part is the waiting for it to build back up again to do the next zone... Mine is a 165 PSI in the tank, but I obviously regulate the output DOWN to around 80. That amount of pressure, plus it's a 33 gallon tank.
  5. Crabtree

    Crabtree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Shouldn't trip any breakers, fairly new homes. Surely the outside plugs are run on their own circuit--no Christmas lights up yet, I hope.
    But how would I hook it up? All 3 have a main shut off and backflow. There's no way to get in without taking off the backflows. Is there an adapter to look for or would I have to rig it myself?
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,673

    No low-point drain? Exposed outdoor pipe that will still have water remaining in it? Enjoy.
  7. justgeorge

    justgeorge LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    Your compressor probably has 1/4" threads (take off any fittings). Go to the hardware store and buy enough adaptors to get it up to 3/4" thread, and thread it on where you remove the backflow. It will take you awhile for each one, I would let the pressure build back up in the tank between each zone, but for only 3 you will be fine.

  8. Crabtree

    Crabtree LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    even easier, I used the male ended quick coupler end and threaded it directly into one of the 4 small ball valves(?) in the middle of the backflow. Pressured up and then opened the valve. Worked pretty well but wouldn't recommend it because of the time it took and once the water came out the first time, couldn't get enough pressure to build up to blow a 2nd time. Luckily we don't have severe cold very often here in TN and some systems have gone years without blowout and no busted pipes yet.
    Anyway, it worked but i wasn't too impressed in case anyone else is thinking of trying it...
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,673

    To get the most use from a dinky, you have to remove any flow restrictions you can, hence the advice to bush up to 3/4 threads on the compressor itself, and to then use a garden hose between compressor and system. That makes it easier for repeats, as the air charge in the tank (and the hose) pushes through the zones.
  10. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 562

    my goodness. this is a funny joke.

    i give a guarantee on all pipes and sprnklers for freeze damage. I use a 200 cfm compressor.

    You would go broke giving such a guarantee with an electric cmpressor. Do you mow lawns with an electric lawn mower?

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