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View Full Version : Anyone know anything about sprinklers?


Donger
04-24-2006, 04:17 PM
Like a bonehead, I finally turned on my lawn sprinkler system this weekend without checking the weather forecast. Naturally, it's going to get down into the mid-20s tonight/early tomorrow.

The sprinklers will be coming on tomorrow morning at 5:00am.

What do you think? Should I drain them or roll the dice and hope they don't freeze?

chiefsfaninNC
04-24-2006, 04:20 PM
Like a bonehead, I finally turned on my lawn sprinkler system this weekend without checking the weather forecast. Naturally, it's going to get down into the mid-20s tonight/early tomorrow.

The sprinklers will be coming on tomorrow morning at 5:00am.

What do you think? Should I drain them or roll the dice and hope they don't freeze?


How warm has it been? What is the ground temp?

Donger
04-24-2006, 04:24 PM
How warm has it been? What is the ground temp?

Hell, it was 84 yesterday. I'm not worried about the pipes below ground. I never even blow those out and it gets cold in Denver. I'm worried about the backflow and valve thingies (big cock valves, I think?) that are above ground.

chiefsfaninNC
04-24-2006, 04:27 PM
Your backflow should be in a box and have heat tape on it. As long as it is in a box you will not have any problems.

Donger
04-24-2006, 04:30 PM
Your backflow should be in a box and have heat tape on it. As long as it is in a box you will not have any problems.

No. It's outside unprotected. This wouldn't be the first time I've run my sprinklers when it's snowing but I've had bad luck so far this season. I had to replace five sprinkler heads already. Well, that was because my son decided to hit them with a hammer.

chiefsfaninNC
04-24-2006, 04:36 PM
I've put in sprinkler systems many times in winter on different projects. Iced up many sidewalks over night. I wouldn't think you should have a problem. Unprotected backflow is a concern however. You are pressing your luck leaving the backflow preventer exposed to the elements and incidental and accidental damage. I wouldn't drain the system but I would hide all the hammers.

Donger
04-24-2006, 04:37 PM
I've put in sprinkler systems many times in winter on different projects. Iced up many sidewalks over night. I wouldn't think you should have a problem. Unprotected backflow is a concern however. You are pressing your luck leaving the backflow preventer exposed to the elements and incidental and accidental damage. I wouldn't drain the system but I would hide all the hammers.

Wait, the backflow preventer is the thing that looks like the mothership from Close Encounters, right?

Ari Chi3fs
04-24-2006, 04:39 PM
I know a little about sprinklers... apparently, you hook a water hose up to them, and the sprinklers have little holes in the metal area, that allows for little streams of water to spray everywhere.

Hope this helps.

Donger
04-24-2006, 04:41 PM
Wait, the backflow preventer is the thing that looks like the mothership from Close Encounters, right?

This isn't mine, but it looks similar.

.

chiefsfaninNC
04-24-2006, 04:41 PM
It is the thingy that looks like an upside down horse shoe. It is usually located near to the water meter. It comes out of the ground turns 90 degrees runs horizontally for about 20 inches and then turns 90 degrees and runs back into the ground. Usually has two gate valves on it.

chiefsfaninNC
04-24-2006, 04:43 PM
Yes. That would be it. You should cover that in some type of protective enlcosure.

Ari Chi3fs
04-24-2006, 04:44 PM
It is the thingy that looks like an upside down horse shoe. It is usually located near to the water meter. It comes out of the ground turns 90 degrees runs horizontally for about 20 inches and then turns 90 degrees and runs back into the ground. Usually has two gate valves on it.

smart ass.

Donger
04-24-2006, 04:45 PM
Yes. That would be it. You should cover that in some type of protective enlcosure.

What if I wrap the pipes and the mothership with insulation and then put a trash bag or something over it to keep it dry?

Donger
04-24-2006, 04:47 PM
I could just run them all night, too, right?

chiefsfaninNC
04-24-2006, 04:48 PM
That would protect it from the cold but not from damage. Most municipalities require the backflows to be protected in a structure. It doesn't need to be kept dry.

Donger
04-24-2006, 04:50 PM
That would protect it from the cold but not from damage. Most municipalities require the backflows to be protected in a structure. It doesn't need to be kept dry.

Hmmm. I've never seen one in a structure. I have seen the city's ones all wrapped up over the winter, hence my question.

chiefsfaninNC
04-24-2006, 04:51 PM
I could just run them all night, too, right?


It wont freeze overnight with those temps. But if you want an ice rink then by all means run them all night long. The pressure in the pipes and the temp of the ground will protect them for one or two nights.

Donger
04-24-2006, 04:53 PM
It wont freeze overnight with those temps. But if you want an ice rink then by all means run them all night long. The pressure in the pipes and the temp of the ground will protect them for one or two nights.

Yeah, f*ck it. If I have to go back to Home Depot one more time, I'm going to be up on murder charges.

If it freezes, it freezes.

chiefsfaninNC
04-24-2006, 04:54 PM
It won't freeze in one night. The heads may clog with ice if they come on overnight. Don't touch them. Let them thaw out.

Donger
04-24-2006, 04:57 PM
It won't freeze in one night. The heads may clog with ice if they come on overnight. Don't touch them. Let them thaw out.

Thank you. I'm going to open up my HVAC vents in my basement overnight to get as much heat as I can into that pipe. I'll probably be up at that time, anyway.

Again, my thanks!

Skip Towne
04-24-2006, 05:07 PM
The backfow preventer is a series (usually 3) of check valves all in one unit. If you can adjust the flow of the water down to a weep, I'd leave it on all night. That's what I did with my car washes.

Donger
04-24-2006, 05:10 PM
The backfow preventer is a series (usually 3) of check valves all in one unit. If you can adjust the flow of the water down to a weep, I'd leave it on all night. That's what I did with my car washes.

Ah, 'check valves?' No wonder the lawn dude kept looking at me funny. I thought they were called something else.

Chiefsrocker
04-24-2006, 06:27 PM
The backflow device you have is an atmospheric vent. That means that if and when it blows, it drains out the top everywhere. That is why you dont put them in an enclosed place or basement. Usually, they are protected outside from freezing because they are drained out of water. they are at the high point of the system and when the water pressure is turned off, the water drains to the low point of the system usually under the ground. Then you drain the back side water to the low point inside the building or house. The system is now drained completely without any concern for freezing. If the temp. is only gonna get to 20, then the ground should be warm enough to don't worry about freezing. If you are concerned at all, turn the water off to the system, drain the backside of the atmospheric vent, and the system should take care of itself on the frontside. Then, just turn the water back on after the freeze temps are gone!

plbrdude
04-24-2006, 06:33 PM
This isn't mine, but it looks similar.

.
throw a blanket over it, keep it warm