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Thread: drain valve and removing water

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member v1rtu0s1ty's Avatar
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    Default drain valve and removing water

    hi folks.

    I was at ******* this evening again checking the items I need to buy for my underground sprinkler project. While browsing for some risers, I saw a product made by Orbit. It's an automatic drain valve.

    Do I need to put one of those? If so, should it be near the sprinkler head?

    And also, I have a 2 gallon compressor. It's 100 psi. How do I design my underground sprinkler system so that before winter, I can use my compressor to remove all the water left?

    Thanks, Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Neil

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member v1rtu0s1ty's Avatar
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    BAM! I got my answers from RainBird support. Basically, this is a very stupid product. They told me that while it is watering the lawn, water will also come out from this filtered drain valve. They should stop selling it.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I think you misunderstood what you were told. The automatic drains open when the pressure drops and closes under pressure. You put them in the low spots on each zone. Now, that's the theory. Here's the reality. I put them in my system 24 years ago, but I never really trusted them to be working. I blow my lines out with air every fall. Do they work? Probably. Are they so reliable that you can rely on them year after year? I don't know. Do you need your lines to drain after every use? I don't know why. Would I use them to do over? No.

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    DIY Senior Member v1rtu0s1ty's Avatar
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    Ok. Looks like it's a no-no for this device. But I am very sure that they told me that water will come out of the drain valve during watering. They even told me that there is a pressure lost between 2.5-5.0 psi.

    So OK, I won't install them anymore. I'm planing to winterize around October. What is the best way to remove the water from the lines and valves? I'm here in Chicago and does really get pretty cold here. Like last winter, we reached like -30F. Is there anything that I need to add which will allow me to put air and blow water out?

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    If you have an air compressor, you can do it yourself. Otherwise, have a service do it. It takes longer with your own compressor because you will have to blow each zone separately whereas the yard services use big industrial compressors that can blow the whole system in a very few minutes. If you do your own, you will need to make an adapter to connect your air line to the water line. Exact layouts will vary from system to system, but here's how mine is set up. My supply valve is a stop and waste 5' underground. The 1" copper pipe comes up from there and goes into my backflow preventer which is connected with 1" copper unions. I remove the BFP in the winter. I made an adapter with 1/2 of a union, pipe fittings, a 1/2" ball valve, and a quick connect to the air hose. The zone manifold is about 30 feet away. I manually open each zone one at a time then turn the air on with the ball valve. I exhaust a 60 gallon tank of air, recharge it, and blow a second time. As I said, it does take longer than the "big boys", but it saves at least $50 per year. If you have a service do it, they have all of the adapter necessary and may use a different process than I describe. I would remove the BFP if possible because there are places where water can hide.

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