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residential winterization

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by wolfpacklawn, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. wolfpacklawn

    wolfpacklawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    I've been searching the forum with some advise on bowing out sprinkler systems. But still need some help. I am in Reno, NV and hardly anyone blows out the lines here. Normally we just shut off the sprinkler main and open up a few drains and the station valves. The laterals are supposed to have auto drains but they don't always drain all the water out. We have not offered this service in the past but last spring we had more freeze damage than normal and thought we would offer the service this year.

    We will mostly be doing smaller residential systems of about 2,000 - 7,000 sq feet. The majority of setups around here have a Wilkens 720 backflow valve with 1" or 3/4" pvc to the station valves and then 3/4" pvc for the laterals.

    As I have talked to a few people who have done blow outs around here they say they hook up an air compressor to the top test **** on the backflow valve and then open up each station at a time.

    We probably will not be doing a whole lot of these this year. Maybe 30- 50 is what I expect out of the 300+ we will be shutting down.

    Anyhow, the question is, what are the minimum cfm's I will need to blow out stations one at a time? I am hoping not to rent a pull behind compressor capable of doing all the stations at once. Maybe a nailgun type compressor that I can just take in my truck and plug in at the site.

    What other things should I watch out for? Or am I just being a fool and maybe we shouldn't offer this service and just fix what is broken next spring? It was a major PITA fixing all the places that had cracked laterals that did not drain properly.

    Thanks for any help and advise.

  2. Without A Drought

    Without A Drought LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    You'll spend 20-30 minutes per zone using any compressor with a plug.

    I would say 50 CFM, to maintain any type of efficiency.

    Testcocks are fine to blow through (although a lot of guys on here will disagree), just make sure you can drain below the check valve in the PVB.

    Good luck. I love winterizing, there's no BS involved... hook up, blow, and go. I don't think you could print money faster.

  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,571

    For just a few dozen residential systems, you could get by with a smaller truckmount compressor, but for the money a brand-new truckmount will run you, you are well on your way to owning a used tow-behind.
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    This appeals to a lot of guys... no foreplay... just get down to the basics. :laugh:
  5. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    We use a 19cfm in the pickup and couldn't be happier with ease of operation and the results.

    8 hp Honda on a Dewalt compressor.

  6. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,617

    I'm jealous that we don't have to do that here, sounds like a load of fun
  7. Without A Drought

    Without A Drought LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    i'm still trying to figure out a weather/travel pattern that will allow me to winterize for the whole year. i think i've got the travel/locations down, but sadly i cannot speak Russian. Hopefully, with my tax return I can get the Rosetta Stone... Then I can travel the world winterizing irrigation systems.

    Kind of like the Carmen Sadiego of Sprinklers.

    Wish me luck.

  8. WalkGood

    WalkGood LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,910

    Go to South America in April/May. That is their Fall season time. Also South Africa, they do speak English there.
  9. RLW

    RLW LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    Rent the trailer. You'll have that many blown out in a day or two. That small compressor will have you still out there when christmas gets here.
  10. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,155

    Unless you're working T&M!!!payup payup :laugh:

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