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The last 8 posts

Wednesday, December 10th 2003, 9:37am

by Rays Sprinklers


Wednesday, December 10th 2003, 4:35am

by Tom

Keep in mind thou that although your pipes may be deep enough, the risers are not. Also, the heads themselves are right at ground level.

Monday, December 8th 2003, 6:09am

by drpete3

I agree if it is getting down to 20 at night it is time to blow out your system. Also as far as the new sod is concerned I would water by hose until the groud freezes. The correct method is how you have been instructed infrequent but deep. That is about one inch of precipitation per week. good luck

Friday, December 5th 2003, 8:56am

by Rays Sprinklers

yes the black things on top of the control valves are the solenoids! Even though you have drains you are taking a risk. A foot of pipe depth isnt sufficent but 2' is (of course thats a big MAYBE) The valves are close to the surface as i understand right? I would blow it out. The most an irrigation professional would charge would be about 40-60 bucks, and then you know its safe. Ask some irrigation professionals in your area what they recommend, because i also dont know what the "filter underneath" means!

Let me know

Thursday, December 4th 2003, 9:41pm


I am located in Los Alamos, New Mexico at an altitude of 7500 ft. above sea level. It snows here in winters (though it has been pretty meager of late due to an ongoing drought)and is moderately cold (not like Minnesota or anything). For instance, daily average temperature ranges in November are like daytime highs in the upper and mid 40's and nighttime lows in the upper and mid 20's. This trend seems to be continuing so far. It is sunny for the most part round the year.

I was talking to another person here who has had a sprinkler system and asked him if he blows his sprinkler system out, to which he shrugged and said he didn't bother except to shut of the main supply valve! He said his pipes were deep enough not to freeze. I've heard that in the Los Alamos area sprinkler pipes are installed anywhere between a foot to 18" deep. I don't know if that is sufficient or not.

On rummaging through some papers left behind by my home's previous owner I found the following instructions scrawled on a piece of paper:

Shutdown for winter
1. close main water supply
2. open main drain
3. for each solenoid
a. turn solenoid to ON (open)
b. open filter (underneath) and clean.

(No mention of blowing out at all!)

Now I can easily follow steps 1. and 2. since I know where the main water supply to the sprinkler and the main drain are (there is only one drain at the bottom of a slope in front of the house).
I however can't tell a solenoid from a pickle! [:o)] let alone clean the filter below, having never seen these before or had a manual with a diagram. When I lift the lid of the box in the ground where these are supposed to be, I see pipes running back and forth with some odd fittings and projections and a mess of wires. I do see a black plastic tap with on-off markings on it (I guess this is the solenoid turn on/off??) There is a similar box in the backyard apparently controlling the sprinklers in the backyard (no visible or mentioned drains though) All this is driving me nuts!

Ray is pretty emphatic about the need to blow out and I am sure he knows what he's talking about. Yet here are guys who do nothing or just open some drain valve and go have a beer! All this is driving me nuts.
Even if I shut off my sprinkler system I still have to deal with watering my large area of newly sodded lawn which will take quite while and require moving around hose sprinklers. That will be quite a challenge with my all day job!! Am I in deep doodoo?

Thanks Ray, RVLI for your responses!

Thursday, December 4th 2003, 3:59pm


Where are you located?

Thursday, December 4th 2003, 2:21pm

by Rays Sprinklers

As far as blowing out it is a MUSTTTT!!!!!!! if you have a compressor you can do it yourself. If you dont (suffiecent size is required) you must contact your local sprinkler company and have them come as SOON AS POSSIBLE!!!!! to blow out. Blowing out includes relieving all the pipes of water by means of compressed air. If you want to do it yourself let me know and ill explain how. As far as watering, if you have a hose then you have to do it that way, but if your hose is attached to a sprinkler mainline you must pray for rain, because the pipes have to be blown out!

Wednesday, December 3rd 2003, 11:36am


blowing out a sprinkler system for the winter


I have no manuals or experience dealing with sprinkler systems and I am worried that I don't know how to "blow out" my newly inherited sprinkler system for the winter. I keep reading on this forum that this is really important for the pipes. I don't think the previous owner bothered to do this as he paid no attention to the lawn. As it happens, I also laid new sod this fall (about a month ago) and I am advised to water the sod infrequently (about once a week) but deeply through the winter to encourage root growth and keep the grass from dying (especially when there is no snow). How am I to do this if I blow out the sprinkler system for the winter?