If you’re a hobby garage mechanic or DIY remodeler, then you know the importance of owning an air compressor.
Not only can it make quick work of inflating tires or powering tools, but did you know that you can also use it to blow out your sprinkler lines?
That’s right – with a little bit of knowledge and the right equipment, you can easily clear out any debris from your sprinkler lines using nothing more than compressed air. Trust us – after reading this post, blowing out your sprinkler lines will be a breeze!
Table of Contents:
- What You’ll Need
- Why You Should Blow Out Your Sprinkler Lines
- How to Hook Up an Air Compressor
- How to Actually Blow Out the Lines
- When to Call a Professional
- FAQs in Relation to How to Blow Out Sprinkler Lines With Air Compressor
What You’ll Need
Assuming you don’t have an air compressor or the adapter that fits onto the end of your garden hose, here’s what you’ll need to purchase in order to blow out your sprinkler lines:
An air compressor – You can find a variety of air compressors at most hardware stores. Be sure to get one that is powerful enough to do the job, but not too big and bulky as it will be difficult to store and move around.
The adapter – This part is essential in connecting your garden hose to the air compressor. Once again, you can find this at most hardware stores.
Make sure it is compatible with both your model of air compressor and garden hose. Gloves – These are optional but recommended as they will protect your hands from getting cold when handling the ice-cold water coming out of the sprinkler line.
Safety glasses – Also optional but recommended, safety glasses will help protect your eyes from any debris that may be blown out along with the water.
With these few simple items, you’ll be able to easily and efficiently blow out your sprinkler lines come winter time.
Why You Should Blow Out Your Sprinkler Lines
It’s important to blow out your sprinkler lines in the winter to prevent them from freezing and bursting. This can save you a lot of money in repairs.
An air compressor is the best way to do this, and it’s not as difficult or expensive as you might think.
Here are some reasons why you should blow out your sprinkler lines with an air compressor:
1. It’s Quick and Easy – Once You Have an Air Compressor, Blowing Out Your Sprinkler Lines Only Takes a Few Minutes.
And it’s much easier than trying to thaw frozen pipes yourself!
2. It Saves Money – A Burst Pipe Can Cost Hundreds or Even Thousands of Dollars to Repair, Depending on the Damage.
Blowing out your sprinkler lines regularly will help avoid costly repairs down the road.
3. It Protects Your Plants – If Your Irrigation System Freezes and Bursts, It Could Damage Nearby Plants or Landscaping Features (Not to Mention Cause Flooding in Your Yard).
By blowing out the water before winter sets in, you can help protect delicate plantings from cold weather damage.
4. It’s Good for the Environment – When Water Freezes in Your Pipes, It Can Cause Them to Leak Chemicals or Pollutants Into the Ground.
This is not only bad for the environment, but it can also be harmful to your health. Blowing out your sprinkler lines helps prevent this type of contamination.
As you can see, there are many reasons why you should blow out your sprinkler lines with an air compressor before winter arrives. So don’t wait – get started today!
How to Hook Up an Air Compressor
Assuming you have a basic understanding of tools and home maintenance, let’s get started on hooking up your air compressor. First, locate the main water shut off valve for your house or property.
Turn this knob clockwise to the “off” position. Next, find your air compressor and set it next to the outdoor faucet you’ll be using.
If you need an extension cord to reach the outlet, make sure it is properly rated for outdoor use. Now take the flexible hose that came with your air compressor kit and attach one end to the quick-connect coupling on the machine.
The other end of this hose will screw onto the outdoor faucet. To do this, first remove the aerator screen from the faucet and then screw on the hose adapter (also included in most air compressor kits).
Once that’s tight, go ahead and screw on the other end of the flexible hose to this adapter. Now it’s time to power up your machine.
Plug it into a properly rated outlet and flip the switch to “on.” The motor should start running and you’ll see a needle move on the pressure gauge attached to your air compressor.
Give it a minute or two to build up enough pressure, then disconnect the quick-connect coupling from the machine (this is important – don’t forget!).
Now take an ordinary garden hose and attach one end to this quick-connect coupling. Run the other end of this garden hose out into your yard, away from any areas where people or pets might be present when you turn on sprinklers later.
Once water starts flowing out of this second garden hose at a good rate, quickly walk around your property turning each individual sprinkler head clockwise until water begins shooting out of them too.
When every sprinkler head is blowing out water strongly, return to your air compressor and release all remaining pressure by flipping off the switch and unplugging it from its power source; then disconnect the flexible hose from both sides as well so no more pressurized air can escape anywhere else except through those open spigots!
Finally – before heading back inside – reattach each aerator screens onto their respective outdoor faucets for safekeeping until next season.
How to Actually Blow Out the Lines
Assuming you have an air compressor, the first thing you’ll need to do is connect it to your sprinkler system. To do this, locate the main water shut-off valve and turn it clockwise to close it.
Next, find the blow out fitting on your compressor. It will likely be located near the pressure gauge.
Once you’ve found it, attach one end of a garden hose to the fitting and secure it with a wrench. Now that everything is connected, open up the bleeder valves on each individual zone of your sprinkler system until water starts coming out of them.
Then go back to your air compressor and start it up according to its instructions. When ready, slowly open up the throttle until airflow begins flowing through the hose into your sprinkler lines.
Continue doing this until all of the water has been forced out of your lines – you should hear nothing but rushing air when finished!
Just remember not to overdo things; too much pressure can damage both your compressors’ motor as well as burst pipes within your home’s plumbing network (which would be very bad).
When to Call a Professional
It can be difficult to know when to tackle a problem yourself and when to call in a professional. After all, professionals usually come with a hefty price tag.
However, there are some situations where it is definitely worth calling in reinforcements. For example, if you have a complex sprinkler system, or if you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to blow out the lines yourself, it may be time to give up and call a pro.
A professional will be able to assess the situation quickly and determine the best way forward. In addition, they will have access to tools and equipment that you may not have at your disposal.
Another situation where it’s wise to call in a professional is if you’re dealing with an electrical issue. Attempting to fix an electrical problem yourself can be extremely dangerous; leave it to the experts!
The same goes for any type of plumbing work – unless you’re confident that you know what you’re doing (and even then we recommend err on the side of caution), it’s always better to contact a plumber rather than try fixing things yourself.
So as a general rule of thumb:
whenever you feel like the task at hand is beyond your skill level or comfort zone, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give a professional a call!
Can I use my air compressor to blow out my sprinklers?
Yes, you can use an air compressor to blow out your sprinklers. You will need to attach a blowing nozzle to the end of the air hose on your compressor.
Once everything is hooked up, turn on your compressor and hold the nozzle close to the opening of the sprinkler line. The airflow from the compressor will clear any water or debris out of the line.
How many gallon air compressor do I need to blow out sprinklers?
You will need an air compressor with at least a 2 gallon tank to blow out your sprinkler lines.
A 3 or 4 gallon tank would be even better, as it will give you more power and allow you to work for longer periods of time without having to stop and recharge the compressor.
Be sure to get an air compressor that is specifically designed for blowing out sprinklers – these usually have a special nozzle attachment that helps direct the airflow in the right direction.
What PSI should you use to blow out sprinklers?
The pressure that you use to blow out your sprinkler lines will depend on the diameter of your pipes. For example, if you have ½-inch piping, you would use 30 PSI to clear the line.
If you have ¾-inch piping, 40 PSI should be sufficient. Larger pipes may require up to 60 PSI.
If you own a home with sprinklers, blowing out the lines each year is important to prevent damage from freezing temperatures. An air compressor is the best way to do this, and it’s not difficult or expensive.
With just a few minutes of effort, you can protect your sprinkler system – and your wallet – by doing this simple task yourself.
Looking for information on buying, owning, and using an air compressor? Look no further than Air Compressor Total! We offer a wide range of services to help you get the most out of your air compressor. Whether you’re looking for advice on which model to buy or how to properly maintain your existing one, we can help.