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  1. 1. 4/26/2012 1
  2. 2. 4/26/2012 Irrigation System Winterizing•Water expands when frozen•Frozen water expands in pipes and canburst•Pipes broken with ice usually have long(length wise) spiraling cracks 2
  3. 3. 4/26/2012Winterizing in two ways:Manually draining or by blowing it out • Blow out winterizing is the more common on large systems. • Ball fields/residential may use drain valves.1.Manually –• To winterize a system manually there has to be drain off valves strategically located• Drain off valves are costly to install• Usually ¾-2”• Usually placed in a box over a gravel sump• Pipe should maintain a slope of 1 % to the low points• Make sure to have detailed “as built” to locate drains• Drain valves MUST be in low spots of system Grounds Maintenance October 1988 3
  4. 4. 4/26/2012•Automatic drain valves available but theydrain down after every water cycle. Grounds Maintenance October 19882.Blow out:•Note for first one or two times to blowout hire a contractor and take detailednotes. Blowing a system out can bedangerous when disconnecting BECAREFUL•Blow out will do a better job thanmanual or gravity drains – especiallyolder systems that have experiencedfrost heaving of pipe leaving low areas!•To blow out a system a compressor hasto be rented or purchased•If renting a compressor reserve early•If renting consider sharing with other localclubs•A contractor may be hired •Contractor blow out costs are high •If hiring a contractor warrantees are often available 4
  5. 5. 4/26/2012Compressor ratings•visualize “ball of air the diameter of the pipe”rolling along pushing air towards an openvalve making sure no water gets over orbehind the ball Air front Water•Toro recommends air pressure 40psi ordamage to sprinklers may occur.•If compressor is to small the air has a hardtime pushing the water and may actually flowover the top of the water. Water Air front WaterCompressor ratings continued:•Key to success is cfm (volume of air) not somuch pressure•For large systems should have a minimumcompress or 600cfm.•25 cfm or larger for small residential•750 cfm for a mainline system with 14” pipe(may use two•900 cfm for a system with 16” mainline pipe 5
  6. 6. 4/26/2012Compressor ratings continued:•Do not exceed 50psi or damage may result tosprinklers•Do not open or drain any pipe before hookingup compressor (it may not work well to reachpressure to push water)•Do not open too many valves at one time.Blowing out the system:1.Hook up Compressor minimum (on large system 11/2 ”)2.Use a length of galvanized pipe between compressor and pvc as heat can build up.Blowing out the system continued:3.Begin blowing out system from farthest and highest point4.Familiarize yourself with irrigation system• Know- flow or laterals to• Know where dead-ends are and work towards those areas5.When air is expelled begin activating valves6.When head starts blowing air move to next sprinkler 6
  7. 7. 4/26/2012Blowing out the system continued:7.Gear driven heads turn much faster with air then water – Don’t have them operate for prolonged periods on air movement (more than 1 minute)Blowing out the system continued:7.Greens and tees (I did last).8.Switch with assistant and go through everything one more time9.1 to 2 sprinklers on each (Supt. and Assist.) or loss of head pressure.Controllers• Mouse proof• Leave power on to keep transformers (for mechanical clocks) working, this aids in keeping them dry.• Solid State (in 1990) Toro recommended they be taken in ???? 7
  8. 8. 4/26/2012Pump / Backflow Winterization:Improper winterization of can cost big $.Improper winterization of pumps can lead tobroken:•Casings•Main control valves•Isolation valves•Check valvesIf an unexpected freeze in forecast (more than24 hrs. at 28° or less) (before winterization ofpump or backflow) - then consider: •Anything to keep the pump area above freezing •Heat strips •Electric heaters •Kerosene heaters •Electric light bulbs •Crack a valve just a little to keep water flowingFor new construction many pump houses arenow heated!Winterizing•Refer to manual•Start by closing the inlet isolation valve•Manually Drain down valves from drain plugs•Drain and pull out suction lines•Use a small compressor to blow out areasthat water may become trapped.•Leaves drain plugs open•Make the priming systems of pumps isdrained down•Common mistake -leaving water in pressurerelief valves- drain in turbine pump byremoving bonnet valve and draining. 8
  9. 9. 4/26/2012After winterizing it may be a goodtime to begin preparing for the nextseason!!• Clean and sandpaper rust• Paint pumps or rusted areas with a goodquality rust proof paint• Check all fittings (electrical as well)• Grease all fittings on pump station• Change oil if turbine pumpsLandscape winterization• Be aware shrub risers will be susceptible toearlier freezing• May have manual drains• Open and drain above ground fittings andhose bibs• Open petcocks and drain down back flowdevices• Be aware that frost free hose bibs may notfunction properly when vacuum breakers areinstalled 9
  10. 10. 4/26/2012•Drip emitters • Usually self draining • Excessive pressures could damage barbed fittings • PVC fill lines should be graded with drains in the low lying areas • Drain all filtration devices 10