Guide to Winterize a Sprinkler System
Before the winter freeze, sprinkler systems must have all their water blown out of them. You can perform the task yourself and save on paying a service fee if you own an air compressor.
- Setup Up A Compressor
You may use an air compressor to drain the water from your sprinklers in preparation for the winter with a simple quick-connect link. However, there are numerous options for connecting to your system. Just remember that even the biggest home compressor lacks the power to simultaneously blow out the entire system. However, you may blow it out area by area.
Divide the overall GPM of each zone by 7.5 if you enjoy math and you have the original irrigation scheme with the GPM values for each sprinkler head. You will receive the cubic feet per minute (CFM) necessary to blast it out from that. If not, simply rent a 10-CFM compressor and hose from a nearby tool rental shop. For rigid PVC pipe systems, set the compressor air pressure regulator to a maximum of 80 psi; for flexible black polyethylene pipe, set it to a maximum of 50 psi. Afterward, shut off the water supply.
- Follow the Hookup Process
On the backflow preventer, shut off both valves. This step is crucial because the air compressor could harm the backflow preventer. After unscrewing the plug from the blow-out port, the air hose from your compressor should then be connected to the device. To connect to the blow-out port, you can build a quick-connect adaptor. That way you can shut off the valve between blowing out each zone while the compressor builds up pressure.
- Blow Out the Line
Blow out the line by attaching the compressor's other end to the air hose. The heads ought to stand up and spit water. As soon as they run dry, cut the hose. The sprinkler heads will start spitting and misting, as you can see. Avoid blowing out too much since the plastic gears could melt in the absence of water cooling. After finishing, continue on to the following zone and give the heads time to cool. Then return and give each zone another blowout. I normally repeat it at least 3 times, or until the heads are completely dry.
- Set Your Valves At A 45-Degree Angle
Turn all of the valves of your backflow preventer to a 45° angle once you have done completely blowing out all of your zones. Do the same with the little test cock valves. They may need a smaller flathead screwdriver because they are typically smaller than conventional valves.
- Turn Off Your Controller Console
Shut off your main controller for winter once you're done blowing out all of your sprinkler zones.