Do you feel like you’re getting bit by the sprinkler bug? Most people do. You get a great deal with a new sprinkler system and then you start having fun thinking up all the ways you can use it. But then, you start to wonder about the cost. This is the moment when you hit the breaking point: you’ve spent all this money on your new sprinkler system and you don’t even know if you should use it or not.
When should you blow out your sprinklers? This is the type of question that has to get answered by a professional, like one of our readers. After all, you don’t want to end up with a collapsing roof after leaving a light on and forgetting to turn off the water. But first, you need to know how to tell when it’s time to blow out your sprinkler system.
During a heat wave a few years ago, I was woken up by a loud siren. In my panic, I looked out the window and saw my sprinkler system, which was located right behind my house, was going off. I didn’t know that they could do this, and I started freaking out. My heart was racing in my chest, and I felt nauseous. I knew I had to get over to my sprinkler system because I was in a panic. In that moment, I decided to call a plumber to come over and turn off the water. It was the right move, and it saved me from a lot of unnecessary water damage.
Sprinkler systems should be turned off in the winter when the watering season is over. You’ll know it’s time to clean the nozzles when you feel a chill in the air. When fall temperatures begin to drop, it’s a good idea to make a plan to insulate your sprinklers to protect them from freezing temperatures. Here’s everything you need to know about when and how to blow out the nozzles.
Time of watering
Heritage Lawns KC recommends switching irrigation systems in the winter, before temperatures get so low that the water in the pipes freezes. The exact time depends on where you live and when the watering season ends. This happens in late fall in most areas. It is best to winterize pipes and irrigation systems just before an extreme freeze, when the days are still warm enough for the pipes to thaw.
Why should you blow out your sprinkler system?
Irrigation systems are different from the pipes that run through your home. They are sensitive to cold, which causes the water in the pipes to freeze. Flushing the nozzles can help prevent damage. This is a preparation that will get your hoses and sprinklers ready for use next spring. Failure to perform winter maintenance can lead to winter damage, which can cause the irrigation system to malfunction. In addition, irrigation water contains dirt particles, weed seeds and other contaminants that can clog sprinklers. A good blower will remove the dirt that accumulates during the watering season. Blowing out the sprinklers protects them and makes them ready for use next spring. That way you know they’re ready to go when it’s time to water again. According to Voss Landscape, blowing out sprinklers is a task that is easily overlooked or forgotten, but if not properly insulated and blown out, the first frost of winter can lead to cracked, damaged and broken pipes in the spring. When water freezes, the molecules expand and can cause serious damage, which you won’t notice until you turn the system on. Repairs can be not only complicated, but also expensive. To avoid this trap, all water should be drained from the system during winterization.
How do I blow out the nozzles?
There are several ways to flush sprinkler systems. If you have a large system, you can hire a service to winterize the system. If you want to save money, you can also insulate them the DIY way. According to the lawn forum, an air compressor with a high CFM is recommended for water injection, not a higher PSI. This protects the pop-up heads from high pressure that could damage them. Avoid air pressure above 40 PSI when flushing nozzles to protect heads and valves.
Use of a portable air compressor
It is recommended that the outlet pressure of portable air compressors be set at 40 PSI. Let the cylinder fill for a few minutes until it reaches its maximum, which in most cases is 120 PSY for a 15 gallon compressor. After you connect the compressor, open the sprinkler valve and slowly open the air to let the water out of the hoses and sprinklers. If you are using a small system, remember that the air supply usually lasts 30-60 seconds before the pressure in the tank gets too low to be effective. The goal is to get all the remaining water out. It is best to repeat this process for each area of the sprinkler system to ensure that all water has been removed from the hoses and sprinkler heads. If you have a more powerful air compressor, this laborious process will be much faster. Do not exceed 40 PSI as this may damage the sprinkler heads. It’s not worth fixing them to try to speed up the process. Slow and steady is the best rule to follow. It’s best to take your time getting all the water out of the pipes and heads, without going too fast or using too much air pressure to blow out the pipes. Ideally, this is done when the nights are cold and the days are warm, so the natural warmth of the day can evaporate the little leftover moisture in the irrigation system and you’ll be through the winter with dry hoses ready for use when spring starts watering.
Blowing out sprinklers can be a tedious process, but it’s a task that can save you a lot of work and money for next year. After the irrigation season ends in the fall, the irrigation systems are put into winter mode to prepare for the next year. Make it a habit to check your irrigation system every fall, just before the first deep frost in the area. You can hire a service to do the work for you or do it yourself with an air compressor. It is important not to use more than 40 PSI to prevent damage to the sprinkler heads. Start with one area at a time and work your way down. While it can be time consuming, it’s worth spending a few hours blowing out all the remaining water from your sprinklers and hoses. When it’s time to turn your system back on in the spring, your hoses and sprinklers will be operational and ready for the new watering season.Is it better to water your lawn on a hot day or a cold morning? Do you have to water at night with sprinklers? How about twice a day? What about if it’s raining? Are you wasting water by failing to water when it’s really hot or when it’s really cold? Is the answer to all your sprinkler questions on this website?. Read more about how to de-winterize sprinkler system and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What temperature should you blow out sprinklers?
There are many considerations when deciding when to blow out a sprinkler system. For example, if you live in an area where you must remove all vegetation before the sprinkler system can be used again. Or, if you have a sprinkler system in a place where it would be unsafe to have water running through the area. It’s a wet and mild spring here in NY, and my neighborhood is getting a lot of rain. I’ve been enjoying the spring weather in the past few weekends, but I’ve also noticed that my common sprinklers are getting clogged with debris and moss after a few weeks of un-supervised watering. This has happened to me several times in the past, so I figured I would figure out when to shut off my sprinklers.
At what temp will irrigation pipes freeze?
If you have ever worked on a huge commercial project, built a new house, or installed a bathroom vanity, you know that when you are ready to start installing your sprinklers, the first thing you have to do is determine the coldest temperature the irrigation pipes will freeze at. No matter what the local weather forecast says, it is very important to have a clear understanding of how this affects the temperature of the pipes that run through your system. If you are not sure how sprinklers will perform in cold weather, here are some tips to keep your pipes from freezing. If you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures and freezing rain, you’ll already know that it can have devastating effects to your plants, trees, flowers and other shrubs. The problem is that even if you have sprinklers in your yard or garden, they can still freeze, leaving you with water that won’t produce.
What month winterize sprinklers?
The question “When should you blow out your sprinklers?” is answered in the article below. For the purpose of this article, the term “sprinkler” is defined as any device that shoots water, snow, or ice onto a lawn or yard. Whether you have a sprinkler system or not, the answer to the question above is the same. Unless you have a sprinkler system that has a timer or is automatically turned off during the winter months, there is no need to turn off any sprinklers. Winter is a great time for home maintenance, but there are some precautions you should take. When should you blow out your sprinklers? You should probably do it during the winter in order to avoid freezing situations. However, if you live in a cold climate, you may want to do it while the weather is still warm, so that the water won’t freeze too quickly, and you can clean the system out.
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