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Old 09-28-2009, 07:33 PM
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CardinalFJ60 CardinalFJ60 is offline
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Default blow out sprinklers, I can do that, right?

I got a pancake compressor last spring...can I blow out my own sprinklers? I think I can, but don't really know the process. Here's my thought:

1. get two quick connects for the back side of the anti-backflow valve thingie (the thing with the bell on top that cracks every other year )
2. get really wet then realize I have to turn off the supply.
3. connect my compressor hose to the top quick connect -= What PSI?
4. have my 'operative' cycle the zones upon my command with the FMRS radios to then next one when one seems clear.
5. what do I do with the bottom one? (I can take pics tomorrow for those unlucky souls who are unaware of the joys of replacing a backflow valve thingie)

Any tips? advice? or is it worth the $$ to just have someone come over so I don't have to do it? (I can't imagine that's the case)

thanks!

(4 weeks and counting until the stork arrives in Lousiville. )
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:14 PM
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nakman nakman is offline
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Yeah you can do this Shawn, and you don't even need a helper it just doesn't go fast enough. I think the inside is all connected so it really doesn't matter if you use the top one or the bottom one, I have always used the bottom one too though, yet opened the top one while blasting it out and a little water will spray out. My procedure:

1. Shut water off to sprinklers. Drain whatever you can, from whatever drains you have.
2. Completely close the valve between the backflow thing and the house, if you have one there. that way you won't squirt air back into the house, not that it would really matter though since you shut the water off inside.
3. Turn on the compressor to 100-120 psi, until it shuts off on its own.
4. Turn one of your zones on manual. Connect to top quick connect for about 5-10 seconds- the water will squirt out, then air mixed with water, by this time your compressor will be on again, you're done.
5. Remove hose, drink half a beer. turn that zone off.
6. Once compressor shuts off again, turn another zone to manual.
7. connect hose again, watch the water, air, after 10 seconds you're done.

go back to step 5 and repeat for all of your zones. I wouldn't get hung up on removing all the water personally, you want that backflow valve to be pretty dry but you've got a good 6 weeks before anything will really freeze, it'll dry. And all you need to do is create enough air space to allow the water to expand inside the lines.
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:20 PM
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couple other anal points:

If you have one of those little brass caps at the shut off inside the house, take that off and put a little bucket below it after you shut off the water. Then go outside and open (turn the screwdriver slots horizontal) the little valves on the backflow thing. This will allow air in and your line will drain nice and quick, beer bong style.

Some folks will remove that bell thing completely and put it in the garage, and then cover the backflow deal with a plastic bag. I think this is overkill, but I have also had to replace more than one of those, so what do I know.

Some folks will also leave the valves before and after the backflow half-open. I'm not sure why to be honest, I can see leaving them open all the way, but I don't know what "half open" really buys you. However I've seen that on a lot of houses that were "professionally" blown out.

I'm sure our other irrigation experts will chime in and correct all of my misguided assumptions..
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:25 PM
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RicardoJM RicardoJM is offline
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Easy job. Did mine yesterday, my sisters last Thursday and will do my brothers this weekend. My clock is in the basement so I do use the FRS radio to signal my clock assistant to start/stop the zones. Basically, I follow the same procedure that Tim outlined; minus the beverage. Go through the zones twice and it will be plenty well blown out.

Hmm, I might have to give the beverage thing a go next year.
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:32 PM
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CardinalFJ60 CardinalFJ60 is offline
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Default thanks guys!

I will be adding the piece for sure.

"Some folks will also leave the valves before and after the backflow half-open."

yeah! mine were halfway in the spring, I was scratching my head, too

Last edited by CardinalFJ60; 09-28-2009 at 08:34 PM. Reason: added some silly comment.
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:51 PM
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RicardoJM RicardoJM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CardinalFJ60 View Post
I will be adding the piece for sure.

"Some folks will also leave the valves before and after the backflow half-open."

yeah! mine were halfway in the spring, I was scratching my head, too
I should have posted here for Nakman instructions before doing the job. I'm now thinking I've missed out on an important part of the experience of the last 18 years of doing this job.

I also leave my valves halfway. Why? Don't know have never stopped to ponder it.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:49 PM
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Is it time already?
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:24 AM
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rip up your old system and put in the valves that self drains
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:45 AM
Maddmatt Maddmatt is offline
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Leave those little valves half way open - and don't forget to open the ball valve below the backflow valve when you're done. That way there's no chance of any water getting trapped inside a little brass valve.

Otherwise it can hold a little ball of water inside that brass fitting. If it gets cold enough, water will win and then next spring when you start up the system water will shoot out from where there used to be brass and you'll get your shorts all wet.

And then that $50 you saved goes to Home Depot. But at least you get to use a torch while you're sweating the system back together. DAMHIK.
-Matt
edit - or leave them all the way open, I don't know why "half" is the standard either. Just don't leave them closed.
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Last edited by Maddmatt; 09-29-2009 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Additional clarity
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:48 AM
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Yeah but why wouldn't you just leave the valves all the way open? still don't get what the halfway buys you..
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