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sprinkler blowouts

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by kempoone, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. kempoone

    kempoone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I have been doing fall clean up and areating for several years. I want to start doing sprinkler blow outs. I need some info from someone experienced in doing this.
    -how big of a compressor do i need for residential service, tank volume , and horse power?
    - do most people just use electric and then plug into homeowners power ?
    how much of an investment would i expect to put down on a used compressor for this type of job?

    thanks for any help
  2. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    as little as you are going to be using it, get a tow behind from a rental company and bang them all out in day. some guys will try to use a regular air compressor because they figure it gets enough psi, but you need more cfm (cubic feet per minute) than these can give. A towbehind unit will blow out a typical residential unit atleast 3 times faster than a regular compressor and do a much more thorough job at it.

    If I was you I would just sub it all to an irrigation contractor, you can make some money on the mark-up and be sure it is done right. Last thing you need is to have to replace a bunch of backflow preventors next spring. Most states require a plumber to replace backflows and pull a permit to do so, and thats not cheap
  3. kempoone

    kempoone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    one thing i forgot to mention is that i was also working a full time job that i lost a month ago. so i do have alot more time on my hands . so im not sure if i need to buy a big one or not . or if the cost of renting would pay off.
    I remember the first year i did aerating i rented for awhile and then bought my own machine it paid for itself in 3 months , one season , even with a full time job .
    so im wanting to test the waters a bit so maybe renting would be the way to go.
  4. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    go with a rental, I paid something like 5k for my trailer mounted compressor that had around 3,000 hrs on it. You can rent one for probably 100 a day
  5. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    I am curious to know.....since most State Code requires the use of backflow devices on commercial and residential irrigation systems......does your state require you to be backflow certified to even attempt this service?? Shallow well systems and such usually don't require it unless stated.
    Check valves, drain valves and other simple irrigation components need to be addressed.
    Just hooking up a compressor at 80 PSI for PVC systems.........using whatever compressor you choose isn't all that easy. If you must do this make sure the compressor has a hand adjustable regulator valve for fine tuning on the air pressure. I have a portable generator to run my compressor as most backflows aren't where they are easily accessible.
  6. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    If you rent a tow behind, be sure to secure your rental early. Around here, the things get booked up early and you can end up in a panic waiting for a compressor...some-times the frost can come before some guys get their systems blown out.
  7. kempoone

    kempoone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    my state requires you to be certified to install the back flow preventer,but thats it.
  8. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    How interesting.
    My State requires you to be certified in installation and for maintenance........................it is redundant to have a license and the general public can go fooling around with the check valves and such. Doesn't make sense!!!!

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