What Size Compressor for Blowing Out Sprinklers: A Guide

What Size Compressor for Blowing Out Sprinklers?

The recommended size compressor for blowing out sprinklers is one that provides at least 20 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air.

Most professionals suggest using a compressor with at least 50 CFM.

The compressor should also have a tank size of at least 10 gallons to ensure sufficient airflow.

It is important to use a compressor with the recommended PSI and CFM ratings (50 PSI and 20-50 CFM) to properly blow out the water lines.

Key Points:

  • Recommended size compressor for blowing out sprinklers is at least 20 CFM of air
  • Professionals suggest using a compressor with at least 50 CFM
  • Compressor should have a tank size of at least 10 gallons
  • Compressor should have recommended PSI and CFM ratings of 50 PSI and 20-50 CFM
  • Properly blowing out water lines is important
  • Sufficient airflow is necessary for blowing out sprinklers

Did You Know?

1. The average size compressor for blowing out sprinklers is typically around 5-10 cubic feet per minute (CFM). However, the size can vary depending on the size and complexity of the sprinkler system.

2. Did you know that the concept of using compressed air to blow out sprinklers was first introduced in the early 1900s? It quickly gained popularity as a more efficient and effective method compared to using manual draining or vacuum systems.

3. One interesting piece of trivia is that the air pressure required for blowing out sprinklers is usually between 50-80 pounds per square inch (PSI). This level of pressure ensures that all the water is forced out of the pipes and prevents any potential damage from freezing during colder months.

4. In colder regions with more extreme climates, some sprinkler systems may require a larger compressor size or multiple compressors to adequately blow out all the water from the pipes. This is to compensate for the increased amount of water that can be trapped in the system and the need for higher airflow.

5. When choosing a compressor for blowing out sprinklers, it’s important to consider factors such as tank size, horsepower, and the length of the air hose to ensure that you have enough power and capacity to complete the task efficiently.

Importance Of Blowing Out Sprinkler Lines

Blowing out sprinkler lines with an air compressor is a crucial step in winterizing a sprinkler system. When water inside the pipes freezes, it expands and puts pressure on the pipes. This can lead to cracks or even complete breaks in the underground plastic pipes. Not only can this be costly to repair, but it can also result in a loss of water pressure and disruption to the entire irrigation system.

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To avoid potential damage caused by frozen water, it is essential to drain all the water from the sprinkler lines before the arrival of freezing temperatures. Blowing out the lines with an air compressor ensures that all the remaining water is expelled, leaving the pipes empty and ready to withstand the winter weather.

By properly winterizing the sprinkler system, you can:

  • Minimize the risk of costly repairs
  • Ensure that your irrigation system functions smoothly when spring arrives.

Remember, prevention is key. Take the necessary steps to protect your sprinkler system and avoid unnecessary expenses in the long run.

Recommended CFM For Blowing Out Sprinkler Systems

When selecting an air compressor for blowing out sprinkler systems, it is important to consider the cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating. The CFM rating indicates the volume of air that the compressor can deliver in one minute. To effectively blow out a sprinkler system, a compressor should provide a minimum of 20 CFM.

However, most professionals recommend using an air compressor with a higher CFM rating of at least 50 CFM. The reason for this recommendation is that larger pipes may require more air volume to push out all the water, while smaller pipes may need slightly less airflow. By having a compressor with a higher CFM rating, you ensure that it can adequately handle the varying volume requirements of different pipe sizes.

It is worth noting that the air compressor should be able to provide a continuous flow of 20 CFM for at least 2 minutes. If the pressure meter drops significantly during this time, it may indicate that the compressor is not suitable for the task at hand. Therefore, it is advisable to choose a compressor that can sustain the necessary airflow without interruptions.

Considerations For Air Compressor Selection

When selecting an air compressor for blowing out sprinklers, two factors should be taken into consideration. One important consideration is the size of the tank on the air compressor. Professionals often recommend a tank size of at least 10 gallons. Why is this tank size important? Well, a larger tank ensures that the compressor motor doesn’t have to work overtime to keep up with the demand for air. It provides a more consistent and continuous flow of air, which is crucial for efficiently blowing out the sprinkler lines.

Additionally, it is essential to decide between electric and gas-powered compressors. Electric compressors have a limited range of operation and can be unsafe when operating near water. On the other hand, gas-powered compressors do not require extension cords and are ideal for use on wet sprinkler systems. With a gas compressor, you have the flexibility to move it anywhere along the irrigation system without needing a separate power source.

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Taking into account these considerations will ensure that you select the right air compressor for blowing out your sprinkler system effectively and safely.

Proper PSI Ratings For Sprinkler Blowouts

In addition to CFM, it is important to consider the proper PSI (pounds per square inch) ratings when blowing out sprinklers. The PSI refers to the pressure at which the air is delivered from the compressor. It is crucial to avoid exceeding the recommended PSI, as it can lead to damage to the PVC piping.

Professionals advise that blowouts should not exceed 50 PSI to ensure the safety of the sprinkler system. Operating at a higher PSI can put excessive stress on the pipes and fittings, potentially causing them to crack or rupture. Therefore, it is crucial to regulate the pressure of the air compressor and avoid running it above 80 PSI to prevent any potential damage.

Steps For Using An Air Compressor To Blow Out Sprinklers

To properly blow out water lines using an air compressor, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the irrigation lines and close the backflow preventer isolation valves. This will ensure that water doesn’t flow back into the system during the blowout process.

  2. Connect the air compressor to the designated blowout port on the sprinkler system. Ensure a secure connection to prevent air leaks.

  3. Start with the sprinkler zone that is furthest away from the compressor hookup. Use the valves on the sprinkler system to control the airflow for each zone.

  4. Avoid connecting the air hose before the backflow preventer to prevent any potential contamination of the drinking water supply.

  5. To blow out the sprinklers, open the valves on the specific zone being blown out. This will allow the compressed air to forcefully push out any remaining water from the lines.

By following these steps and utilizing an air compressor with the recommended PSI and CFM ratings (50 PSI and 20-50 CFM), you can effectively and efficiently blow out your sprinkler system in preparation for winter.

Note: Blowout blockquote

  • Properly turn off irrigation lines and close backflow preventer isolation valves
  • Connect air compressor securely to designated blowout port
  • Start with the zone furthest from compressor hookup
  • Avoid connecting air hose before backflow preventer
  • Open valves on specific zone being blown out

Following these recommended steps and using the appropriate equipment will ensure the longevity and functionality of your sprinkler system, minimizing the risk of costly repairs in the future.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you size a compressor for a fire sprinkler system?

When sizing a compressor for a fire sprinkler system, the key factor to consider is the NFPA 13 code requirement for a “30-minute fill.” This means that the compressor should be capable of filling the sprinkler system with the required amount of air within 30 minutes. It is essential to find a compressor that has a capacity rating specified in gallons, as this will ensure that it can meet the necessary requirements. For instance, the OL12516AC model is a commonly used compressor that is rated to fill the system efficiently.

To correctly size a compressor for a fire sprinkler system, it is crucial to assess the specific requirements of the system and the surrounding environment. By following the NFPA 13 guidelines, which outline the necessary flow rates and sprinkler head pressures, one can determine the appropriate compressor capacity. Taking into account factors such as the size of the building, the number of sprinkler heads, and the layout of the system, a compressor with the right capacity can be selected to ensure efficient and effective fire protection.

What is an air compressor for fire sprinkler system?

An air compressor for a fire sprinkler system is an essential component that ensures the proper functioning of the system. It serves the purpose of pressurizing the pipes that distribute water to the sprinkler heads throughout a building or facility. By connecting the air compressor to the system through a network of pipes, it helps maintain the necessary pressure levels for efficient water distribution in case of a fire. With its vital role, the air compressor ensures that the fire sprinkler system is ready and capable of extinguishing fires effectively and promptly.

What is the minimum size air compressor for sprinkler blowout?

The suitable minimum size for an air compressor to perform a sprinkler blowout is one that can deliver a volume of at least 20 CFM. This airflow is necessary to effectively remove water from the irrigation system, preventing damage caused by freezing temperatures. Ensuring that the air compressor meets this requirement will ensure a thorough blowout, contributing to the longevity and functionality of the sprinkler system.

What compressor is good for sprinkler blowout?

For sprinkler blowouts, a compressor with a higher CFM output can be quite beneficial. While 20-50 CFM is the recommendation for landscapers, professionals who are experienced in using higher CFM compressors can effectively perform sprinkler blowouts without causing any damage to the system. These individuals have learned the intricacies of using higher CFM compressors and have mastered the art of safely and efficiently clearing out the sprinkler lines.

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