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March 25, 2016
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  • SprinklerPro commented on HowToLou's instructable How To Blow Out a Sprinkler System7 months ago
    How To Blow Out a Sprinkler System

    People should be aware that this method of blowing out the sprinkler lines is not adequate at all, and in the end you may end up paying a lot more for repairs. The air compressor shown in the video neither provides the necessary sustained pressure nor volume required to blow out a sprinkler system. If an air compressor like that was enough, sprinkler companies would not be spending the $15,000+ they do on the compressors they use. Normally, a 185 CFM @ 70~80 sustained PSI compressor is used to properly blow out the lines. There are several reasons this is not proper. Number one, in the video you can see the heads retracting within 5 seconds; even though the compressor built up the necessary pressure to pop the heads up, the pressure immediately dropped. It appears that those are Rain Bird 1800 series spray heads, which have a working range of 15 to 70 PSI. That means that the pressure dropped to less than 15 PSI within 5 seconds! Number two, same with the electronic valves that operate each zone: they have a required pressure range to overcome the spring just above the diaphragm. This can become very costly if all the water is not blown out of the valve. Number three: low spots. Water trapped in low spots in the piping system will not come out at such low pressure and volume.As far as the order of doing things, the main supply should be shut off first. Then turn on a zone to release any residual pressure in the system; this eliminates any danger of residual pressure in the sprinkler system actually pushing water into the compressor (unless there is a wild head). Then open the valve where the compressor hooks up. But then again, with such small compressor it would not work in this order since you would have to shut off the zone you turned on to allow the pressure to build up and then turn it on again. But if there is a wild head then the pressure would just never build up at all.In conclusion, while I don't doubt the good intentions of the author, this is more of a disservice that may end up costing people more.

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