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what size air compressor do I need for 3 zone sprinkler system?

FromLongIsland's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 60

02-22-07, 09:00 AM   #1  
what size air compressor do I need for 3 zone sprinkler system?

Hi all,
I am tired of paying the guy with his van and air pump $50 box every fall to "winterize" my sprinkler system (to blow the water out). I am looking at the Craftsman catalog and they have a 3 Gal. 1 HP air compressor for about $90 box.
Can this do the job for my 3 zone sprinkler system? how much are the attachment to get it to fit my access pipe?

Any help or guidance would be appreciated.

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backyardwonder's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 105

02-25-07, 04:52 PM   #2  
I doubt if one of those little donut compressors or similar with very small tanks would do much for you because the tank would empty out pretty fast and the little bit of air in one of those little tanks, when spread out over the whole system probably wouldn't give you much more than a burp.

I don't know the specifics of your system or the method presently used to winterize it but I would suggest calling the guy in one more time and noting absolurely everything he does and how he does it, including any names, labels, etc. on his equipment.

Keen observation can pay big dividends.

backyardwonder's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 105

02-25-07, 05:02 PM   #3  
Is it possible this guy is just using a portable air tank that you can fill up at any gas station? I use a 10 gal. tank all the time on house calls to top up soft tires.

GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 9,607

02-25-07, 08:53 PM   #4  
You need to have enough air volume to push the water along the line to carry it to wherever it is blowing out.
A portable air tank would not be enough air and neither would a 1 hp compressor and 3 gallon tank.
Not sure what a sprinkler person would use but I blow my summer use water lines by backfeeding from my shop with a 5 hp compressor on a 60 and a 30 gal tank.
Even with this the 200 feet of 1" and 3/4" that runs to the back drain the air tanks down pretty quickly.

Fifty dollars may seem like a lot but if you spent $500.00 on a compressor which would not be out of line for what you would need, it would take ten years to get your money back.

GregH.........HVAC/R Tech

frankiee's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 541

02-26-07, 05:43 AM   #5  
Is there a maintenance manual for the sprinkler system?
I don't know anything about them.
I know a person must think twice before adding air pressure to things. There have been cases where things "explode" with great pressure when using air.
Is it a vacuum pump or air pressure this person uses.
Perhaps you could ask that person and they could take you through it step by step.

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