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blow out tools

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by unit28, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,554

    I have
    5 gallon air compresser
    100psi max
    and 300 feet of hose and extension cord.
    I'm thinking 2 zones blow out before recharging the tank.

    Any suggestions,
    besides this:hammerhead:
    And no, I can't afford some big ol' honkin air compresser.
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,097

    Good luck, & I mean that. It's not the pressure that you want for proper
    winterizing..it's the VOLUME of air movement in a compressor that's
    the big deal. You've got to move that water & air...I've seen guys use those
    little compressors.....We can winterize an entire system with our 125 CFM
    while next door, they're, not even thru the first zone. Depending on the number of systems you winterize, a "honkin" compressor rented may be more cost effective, We bought ours from a rental outlet & had it modified
    to adjust the pressure while keeping the cubic feet a minute up. You don't
    want to put a big compressor with 125psi into a little system, you'll
    launch heads & melt fittings. Don't compressor/winterize any backflow
    assembly, a hand pump w/7 psi works great, leave the ball valves at a 45
    degree angle so any trapped water can escape. We use quick couple valves
    to plug the compressor into & brass swing joints & tee to absorb the heat on
    larger systems (over 12 zones) where the compressor is running longer. Stop blowing when a fine mist appears.:waving: I'd pull a valve bonnet after you notice misting & see if your compressor REALLY got
    the water out of the valve body..that's where freeze can give you springtime work!!!
  3. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    None of the info you gave us has anything to do with winterizing systems. 5 gallons won't even get you started for storage. You CAN winterize (if you have some patients and understanding of the how/why we winterize) with 12-15CFM, but your going to have to go slow. With 25CFM, you can winterize one zone at a time reliably on residential main lines. The tow behind compressor becomes invaluable the first time a valve doesn't close or when you have a manifold and blowing out multiple zones at once is available. A 100CFM compressor with a good blow out point can blow 3-4 zones at once on most residentials. The real suggestion is to schedule your blow outs in advance, route them well and schedule renting a tow behind compressor. Most areas seem to agree you can rent said compressor for around $100/day. Work a good 12+ hour pre-dawn to dusk day and you can make some change doing this RIGHT.
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,097

    Yep....winterize is "Ka Ching" if you invest in the quick way to do it......I've
    gotten into trouble with my per zone prices..dare I share what we charge for
    winterize? 2 trucks, 2 men + tow behind. Get your price in line, Bics..up, up.

    Messages: 18,668

  6. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,131

    im going to blow you all with pics of our Lindsay air compressor.....

    I walk every line when i winterize......Here is a horrible trick thats wicked sh!tty to do...turn all all the bleeders on..and when homeowner goes to activate water all zones fire up...Thats how the chesebags that we call
    "Fly By NIGHT" around here operate.....
  7. Greenguy1

    Greenguy1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    bleeders can be a spring problem, we often open a valve manually and leave it open to prevent the system from building up to much pressure on a small 3-4 zone system (we use 180cfm) and sometimes the guys will forget to turn it back off and in the spring we will get a call that the sprinkler will not shut off on one zone, I immediately know the prob. no charge though
  8. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,131

    no charge HALF THE TIME?
  9. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,554

    I'm just trying to get my ducks in a row. TY for all your help]

    This season will be my first to help out some of my lawn customers.

    I have a few that are dedicated to their guy that's been doing it for a few years. And I won't be lowballing just to get a job .......ever.

    I just moved to MN last year and this is all new to me, I just ask a lot of questions and will be doing some heavy research. It's a learning curve, and if I only do one this coming season so be it. I'm not out to be the one stealing jobs.

    So what can I do with my little tank?

    Any tips on where I can find more info on the process is greatly appreciated.


    unit 28. ..............it's science.
  10. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,554

    I had one prob with a turn on this spring.
    Valve stuck open.
    an old ev100 rainbird that are notorious for that. Especially when opening their bleeder screw.

    It was the first zone too.

    No doubt in my mind it was the diaphram being disloged....er unseated, from winterizing.
    When that happened how could you use a smaller tank to get the rest of the job done?
    So I se your point bics....ty.

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