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Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 347

Location: Central Minnesota

1

Saturday, September 17th 2011, 6:58pm

Cold nights are on the way!

The blow-out season is coming quickly to the folks that live here in central Minnesota. Temperatures are beginning to dip down to the freezing point over night, and many system owners are feeling the urge to have their system's winterized.

I thought I would write about some simple tricks that could prevent some possible freeze damage. The most common of which, being burst backflows. Backflow devices are the most susceptible to freeze damage since they are above ground and fully pressurized, thus are typically the first piece of the system to freeze. Most Backflow Prevention Devices can sustain freezing temperatures for a few hours, but sustained freezing temps. for more than 4 hrs. can prove to be too much for most PVB's. I usually tell homeowners that when they begin to hear it's time to cover their plants, it's time to cover their PVB, as well. Simply wrapping the PVB and pipe with an old jacket, blanket, or insulation remnants, may just give your PVB a fighting chance against some overnight JACK FROST. Draining the PVB works well also. I have instructed clients in the past to drain their PVB's when temps. continuously fall below freezing for extended days. The process is simple. Turn off the water at the master shutoff. Turn on a zone from the controller. Open the drain to drain any extra water from the PVB. Turn off controller.

Blow-out season is a very busy time for most contractors, and there are no gaurantees your contractor will be able to winterize your system at the drop of a hat. Though, these tips are not gaurantees against freeze damage, they can provide an extra day or two when the weather turns nasty.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,082

Location: Metro NYC

2

Saturday, September 17th 2011, 7:09pm

Ever try closing the flow control on the master valve and opening the bleed screw?

Central Irrigation

Supreme Member

Posts: 347

Location: Central Minnesota

3

Sunday, September 18th 2011, 9:11am

Master Valves aren't common here in Minnesota. If a system had one, that would work fine. However, almost every system has a drain in the basement or a blow-out fitting before the backflow. Turning on a zone with the water shut off, provides just enough drainage to drop the water level in the down pipe.

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,082

Location: Metro NYC

4

Sunday, September 18th 2011, 2:22pm

It's mostly an installer's trick for late-season installations.

wsommariva

Supreme Member

Posts: 327

Location: Northern New Jersey

5

Monday, September 19th 2011, 10:35am

How common is it to remove the PVB and take it in?

Wet_Boots

Supreme Member

Posts: 4,082

Location: Metro NYC

6

Monday, September 19th 2011, 4:52pm

Never is it done for a pro system - all my installs include a low-point drain in the outdoor plumbing

wsommariva

Supreme Member

Posts: 327

Location: Northern New Jersey

7

Tuesday, September 20th 2011, 8:24am

I'll take mine in to be very safe.

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