Why not blow air through RPZ's ??

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Green Sweep, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts: 322

    The other day, I was leaving a house that I was working on. While driving through the plan, I noticed 4 houses in a row that still had RPZ's outside. My first thought was - Wow, did all of these people not winterize yet? I pulled my van over & decided to take a look. They all had Febco 3/4" RPZ's with no unions to remove for the winter. Just out of curiosity, I knocked on one of the doors & told the woman that I noticed her backflow was still outside & asked if she had her system winterized yet. She said that she did. I explained to her that typically, backflow preventers are removed for the winter & that is why I stopped. I gave her (& her neighbors) business cards & left.
    So, obviously, this irrigation contractor does not remove RPZ's for the winter - he just blows through them. Thinking back, I have blown air through RPZ's in the past that someone else installed because I had no other choice. Any RPZ's that I blew air through were fine the following spring.
    So, apparently doing this does not cause immediate damage to the RPZ like it would a water meter. Does it lessen the life span? Why are we told not to blow air through RPZ's & go to great lengths to install unions & remove & reinstall every year? Have any of you guys seen RPZ's damaged from air pressure?

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  2. Midlo Snow Maker

    Midlo Snow Maker LawnSite Member
    Posts: 183

    90% of all bf's here are blown through, and are outside and left there for the winter
     
  3. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

    I can just image the possible up roar you caused with trying to be nice.

    Installation Contractor " Hello"

    Lady "YOU NEVER WINTERIZED OUR SYSTEM CORRECTLY, YOU DID NOT REMOVE THE THING ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE"

    Contractor " What are you talking about"

    Lady " SO AND SO FROM X COMPANY SAID YOU DID NOT DO IT RIGHT, NOW MY SYSTEM IS GOING TO BREAK AND YOU ARE GOING TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING A NEW ONE IN"

    Contractor "Who the Fudge??, What a ?>!"

    Nice :dancing:
     
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    ditto - I've taken off 2 or 3 in 11 years now. Not many unions on ours. We blow through them. you'll find different opinions on this.
     
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,014

    Have you never read the instructions that come with an RPZ? The Febco 825Y series include instructions for the partial dismantling of the device, to clear out all the water. No removal required or recommended. The same procedure would apply to any RPZ with the relief assembly located so as to retain water. No need to remove the devices. Not ever.

    The presence of the RPZ does not imply that air was blown through it, since there is the last testcock available to blow air through. I'm more apt to have a downstream hose bib for winterizing.

    This visit and 'explanation' was not only unnecessary, it betrayed some ignorance about some winterizing procedures.

    The Watts 009 RPZ seems to have the works all on one level, and I have blown air through them and saw nothing remaining.
     
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,014

    Another winterizing practice that I question the necessity of, is the bringing indoors of an above-ground sprinkler pump, since they all possess sufficient drain openings to prevent freezing. I'd rather see them bolted to a platform, and hard-wired with a cutoff switch.
     
  8. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

    Totally agree with your statement.
     
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    I pull the suction line out of the water, drain the pump/pressure tank and pull the breaker.

    No problem yet.
     
  10. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    We never pull backflows or pumps.
     

Share This Page