Hi! I’m Blair Gilbert, a.k.a.

MR. HARDWARE

As a third-generation hardware store owner, licensed builder, and finish carpenter, my mission is to help you “do it right the first time!”  On this site, I share expert home and yard DIY advice in over 250 articles and videos. Feel free to dive in!

Latest Articles

  • Blow Out Water Pipes in Home, Sprinkler – Use Right Air Compressor For Winter (12/28/2020) by Blair Gilbert

    Water remaining in sprinkler and home pipes should have an air compressor to blow them out each winter.

    Pipes made of rigid PVC material require a force of pounds per square inch 80 psi is good.

    For black polyurethane, 50 psi is enough.

    It takes 2 minutes of air to blow out a zone clear of lingering water and residue.

    In some zones may need a repeat to completely clear pipes.

    The reason you need to blow out your irrigation system each winter is to clear lingering water after system off. They will be clear and dry – no water, no ice. Water pipes are designed to run water, not store it.

    And, holding lingering water for too long affects the inner lining of the pipes, including mold, corrosion and brittle cracking.

    With an air compressor, you can effectively clear out your irrigation system of lingering water at the end of each warm season.

    A fair size compressor to clear by individual zones would be cubic foot per minute 85 cfm to 100 cfm.

    How to blow out your house, sprinklers or irrigation systems

    Collect any necessary adapters, connectors, tools, fluids for the sprinkler bib and compressor.

    Shut off the water and open all hose bibs, bibs, faucets or valves to relieve pressure. Let the system drain.

    You should first drain the pipes naturally and then conduct a blow out of puddle water.

    Give the water a few minutes to properly drain from your sprinkler or home system. Depending on your size and scope, the drainage process could involve numerous pipes that each must be drained of water.

    The amount of power depends on the types of pipes:

    Rigid PVC pipes needs 80 psi.

    Black polyurethane requires 55 psi.

    Check the air compressor manual directions offered to blow out your system.

    A large irrigation system won’t be blown out all at once, but by zones.

    Have a good hose.

    Have any fittings or adaptors to align hose bib, compressor, air hose and your system.

    Open and close compressor condensation plug.

    Clean any filter to prevent dust or mist into the system.

    Blow out the farthest zone first.

    Blow out the farthest sprinkler first. Set the system timer sequence to do the nearest sprinkler last. This ensures the farthest gets cleared.

    And do any high level zones first.

    Turn on the compressor. The air should flow evenly. The air will work though the pipes to clear any water.

    Watch the air compressor pressure.

    You’re done when there’s no more water and the air flow sounds unobstructed of water and pipe-lining residue.

    With that process now complete in the farthest zone, repeat this process on the next area inward.

    Each zone takes about 2 minutes of air to clear remaining water.

    In some zones, you might need to repeat the process once or twice to clear the pipes fully.

    Now, you should cease the blow out, as pressurized air could put stress on the inner linings of clean, dry pipes.

    Drain the drip tray.

    Disconnect any adapter to the hose bib (bibb).

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