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  #11  
Old 09-29-2009, 11:50 AM
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Turn the water off. It'll drain and evap enough that by the time for the first freeze you'll be fine.
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  #12  
Old 09-29-2009, 11:51 AM
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Maybe an indicator that they are neither open nor closed? I've wondered that myself....
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  #13  
Old 11-07-2009, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakman View Post
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.
OK, I think I need more explicit instructions...

I finally tried to do mine today, but I'm either not doing it right, or something is wrong. I had my regulator set to 80psi, but it had to go through 100' of hose, so I suspect the delivered pressure was something less than that. The air all seemed to come out from underneath the backflow bonnet, or whatever that thing is called. I was connected to the top quick connect, and tried it with the bottom quick connect ball valve both open and closed.

I'm doing this by myself and can't see the heads from the backflow device, but I don't think they ever came up.

School me, please...

Thanks,

Mark
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  #14  
Old 11-07-2009, 04:37 PM
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try connecting to the bottom inlet, not the top one. Mine did the same thing until I hooked it up to the bottom. Also you can use the little screw to turn the air off & on while it gets back up to pressure between zones.
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  #15  
Old 11-07-2009, 04:39 PM
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My bottom inlet feeds the rear lawns and the top the front. I have to blow out all the front and rear zones with the air attached to the respective zone feed.
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  #16  
Old 11-07-2009, 10:15 PM
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My source at the plumbing supply store said to blow at 60 psi to avoid over pressure and breaking things... (water supply at 65 psi)
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  #17  
Old 11-08-2009, 10:32 AM
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A pancake compressor will not produce enough volume to blow out the line. I've had to borrow my neighbors compressor in the past...and even his (35 gal, I think) needs to recharge too often and really doesn't produce enough volume of air. 60 PSI is plenty BTW. I'm going to do mine today. I had to repair a head that I ripped off last weekend trying to cut my lawn super short for the winter. My lawn mower caught on the head and broke it off.

When I installed my sprinkler system a few years back, I put drains at both valve manifolds as well as under the backflow preventer. I can usually drain all of the expensive stuff and wait until late in the fall to actually blow it out. That way, if we get a warm spell like we're having now, I can turn it back on in ten minutes. I'm going to run my sprinklers and then blow them out.

Good luck!
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  #18  
Old 11-08-2009, 10:55 AM
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Its all about volume, not pressure. I did a bunch of online research before buying my compressor years ago because this was one use I wanted. I have a home depot husky, 22gal tank, 6.5 cfm at 40 PSI which was about the minimum volume recommended for sprinkler purging.

But as for the backflow device, like Tim said your air has to be downstream from it. And I'll add that it has to be isolated. Downstream from my backflow preventer/vacuum breaker I have a shutoff valve and then downstream from that is a T with a valve that leads to an air line quick connect. I have used this system successfully for 7 or 8 years.
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  #19  
Old 11-08-2009, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nakman View Post
try connecting to the bottom inlet, not the top one. Mine did the same thing until I hooked it up to the bottom. Also you can use the little screw to turn the air off & on while it gets back up to pressure between zones.
Thanks man, that did the trick. I set the regulator at 90psi, since I had a 100' of hose, and some really long runs. I can't imagine doing mine with a pancake compressor. As it is my 5hp/80g one ran 'till it was blazing hot. There was still a lot of water in some of the lines.

I still don't know how to drain the up (supply) pipe that goes into the backflow preventer, though. It's plumbed off the house supply before the latter enters the house, so there's no drain on it.

Mark
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  #20  
Old 11-08-2009, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post

I still don't know how to drain the up (supply) pipe that goes into the backflow preventer, though. It's plumbed off the house supply before the latter enters the house, so there's no drain on it.

Mark
Is there not a little drain thing on the valve that shuts it off? You can turn it with your fingers- that's all I have..
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