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Olga17

New Member

1

Saturday, September 23rd 2017, 2:32pm

Blowing out needed or not?

I have a few questions regarding irrigation systems, as I know nothing about them. I will post each of them individually. Here is the background:

We inherited a sprinkler system 7 years ago, when we bought a house built in 1972 in Portland, OR. Supposedly (according to the person who maintained it but didn’t install it for the prior owner) the system was installed in parts over time, as it has both galvanized steel and PVC pipes. A few heads were replaced, some were shut down during the past few years. The system is functional but some of the heads no longer go down, some spray erratically and water the side walk and fences, etc. The maintenance guy tells us that "removing a sprinkler head is a major challenge; put a wrench to it and the pipe below may crack. One day soon you either see your water bill going high up or a muddy sink hole in your garden.“. The current system has 6 zones, an Orbit controller, a mixture of head types and 3 valve boxes. The house is on a slope so the ground is relatively flat in the front and back but sloping on the 2 sides. We have grass on all sides and some flower/bush areas.

I asked for proposals from the current maintenance guy and 2 more companies in this business and asked them for their professional opinion about potentially “upgrading" the existing system. All 3 only wanted to bid only on a new system, stating that probably I would end up paying almost the same for upgrading the old system with no guarantee for its reliability.
I got the 3 proposals, all of them quoted for a much higher price than expected and with contradicting recommendations and comments, which really confused me. I have no idea whom I can trust (or not).

The current maintenance guy has been winterizing the system by draining it (without blowing it) and covering the valves in the 3 valve boxes with isolating pillows. One of the other contractors stated that he doesn’t blow out pipes when he winterizes the system because blowing them out can damage the system and because supposedly there is no need to that where we live. According to him if something freezes, it is less expensive to fix the problem than dealing with blowing out the pipes… The 3rd contractor said that what’s being done currently is irresponsible and that we are taking major chances by just having the system drained… What gives?


Thanks.

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