How to Purge a Sprinkler System

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Purging your sprinkler system of water will help prevent the sprinklers and piping from freezing during the winter. Depending on the sprinkler system, you will have to take different steps to ensure your system is ready for winter. In many locations, it is not necessary to winterize the sprinkler system since the depth of the pipes makes them safe from freezing. In certain locations with severe winters, it is extremely necessary to winterize the sprinkler system or possibly face an expensive repair bill.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Air compressor
  • Turn on the sprinkler system and close the sprinkler system shutoff valve. The shutoff valve will either be located on the side of the house or in the basement. The valve will most likely be labeled. When the water stops flowing from the sprinklers, you will know you turned off the right valve. Shut off the power to the sprinkler system.

  • Open the outside drain plug. Use the wrench to remove the plug. Be careful, since the plug can have pressure and possibly shoot out as you remove it.

  • Open any valve or drains located on the sprinkler system. This will remove any water in the lines leading from inside your home.

  • Turn on the air compressor and let it reach to 70 psi. Place the sprinkler system timer to zone one. Blow air into the drain plug. You will notice water coming out of the sprinklers as the compressor forces it out. Keep blowing air until no more water comes out the sprinklers. Close the drain plug with the wrench. Follow the tubing of the sprinkler system and locate any other drain plugs. If you locate another drain plug, remove it with the wrench and blow in air until no more water comes out of the sprinklers.

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