quick sprinkler question

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by tntstinomite, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. tntstinomite

    tntstinomite LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    hey guys i was wondering what would be the best air compressor to buy for blowing out sprinklers? Also, what is a good starting point for price? Im in michigan for the record.
  2. nightshutter

    nightshutter LawnSite Senior Member
    from UT
    Posts: 513

    Ive only had good luck with the tow behinds.
  3. Daily Lawn/Landscape

    Daily Lawn/Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 694

    Rent a tow behind and get a regulator, 2 way radios and another guy and go make a ton of money. As for price, call a local company and see how much they charge. I charge dispatch fee plus $ per zone. Some just charge a flat rate.
    Before you do the above though, do you know how to properly winterize a system? Up there it gets really cold. If not done properly, could cause you a lot of problems.

  4. metro36

    metro36 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    It depends on what size system you are blowing out. For small residential systems you can get by with a 13hp 30 gallon compressor. For larger commercial systems you will probably need a large diesel tow behind.

    Just make sure you know what you are doing. A tow behind compressor used improperly can do tons of damage to a system.
  5. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Posts: 2,869

    If you want to make money rent or buy a diesel tow behind. If your just starting out a 185cfm compressor will work for residentials. I rent a 250 to 375 cfm but I do some big properties where a 185 won't even raise the heads. Make sure you know what your doing before you start.
  6. eastportstar

    eastportstar LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    i use a gas powered wheel-barrow type (5.5 honda i think). way smaller than what the other posters are mentioning. i do have an extra 20 gallon tank hooked up in-line. i've never had any problems, seems to be plenty of volume at 50 or so psi. i know some homeowners that say they use small 110v craftsman tire inflator types.
  7. eastportstar

    eastportstar LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    you psi, not cfm, right?
  8. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Posts: 2,869

    The problems usually start if water drains back to the lowest point. Not having enough air volumn will leave more moisture in the pipe, which if enough will drain back to the low point freeze and break when it thaws out.

    I've done it that way too in the past on smaller sprinkler system. But now I have a lot more to do and many have 20 plus heads per station, so I get the big compressor. I use it on the small ones to by opening up 3 or 4 stations at 1 time. You can blowout a lot of properties that way of all sizes, but you have to cover the added expense of the rental. So if what your doing works for now, there is nothing wrong with that, but a 185 tow behind would speed things up so you can do more per day.
  9. Why 2 men? Get a rain master remote and set your controllers up with pigtails.
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  10. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Posts: 2,869

    Not psi. You need a compressor that puts out more volumn, and equals the pressure from your water source usually 60 psi. A tow behind has both so you need to be careful. Where the little one you use you pump up as high as you can and let it go, it loses pressure quickly as the water disperses from the pipe. Then you don't have enough volumn to keep the heads up for long, which will leave more water behind as it drains back to the low spots.

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