SPRINKLER BLOWOUT FOR THE HARSH COLORADO WINTERS
The biggest misconception people have is that their system will self drain. There are systems that have “auto drains” in place. The problem is upon installation of piping, settlement does occur creating high and low spots in the piping. All the water does not completely drain out even with “auto drains” in lines. Water will be trapped in the high and low spots of pipes. 1-6 Zone for $85. 7-12 Zones for $95. Each additional Zone over 12 zones + $5 each. Multiple backflow preventers are an additional $25 EACH. Inline fertilizer unit is an additional $10.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR SYSTEM IS NOT OFF AND FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE OCCURRING?
- Wrap all outside exposed piping and back flow preventer with an old blanket or towels, the more the better to prevent freezing. (Usually located on the outside of house wall. Pipes will come out of house and down into the ground).
- Cover blankets or towels with a trash bag, trash can or bucket. This will in most cases save the pipes from freeze damage.
- Last thing if possible turn off main water valve to the sprinkler system. This will stop water from running if pipes do freeze and burst. Draining water inside is helpful if you know how, but water will still be in the piping going to ground. Please don’t forego wrapping outside just because you drained inside.
BLOWING OUT YOUR SPRINKLER SYSTEM
Another big misconception is that using a typical Garage Air Compressor to clear the lines, will get the job done correctly. It won’t! We know a lot of people have done this with no problems the following year and it is better than doing nothing. Fact is that with out a high volume (CFM) of air (not PSI) the water will not be completely cleared, which will eventually lead to leaks in lines where the water has, year after year froze in the same spots. PSI (pressure) and CFM (amount) of air flow ARE NOT the same. Garage compressors can put out 80 to 150 PSI of air but they cannot put out more than 7-20 CFM (volume of air flow) most of them put out 12-15 CFM. Which is not nearly enough to clear the lines completely. A towable compressor puts out the same PSI of air (80 to 150) but it will put out 80 to 125 CFM (amount) of air. CFM (amount of air going into the lines) is what is needed to complete a blow out of the lines correctly. A system that has been blown out completely and cleared of all water should: Completely raise all sprinkler heads on 1 zone the entire time it takes for all those heads to blow nothing but air out of them. The heads should not retract back down before they all finish blowing nothing but air. Watch them and see; this is the way you ensure that your system has been blown out correctly.
We hope you find this information useful. There are a lot of people who do not blow their systems out completely.