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Starting Member

Posts: 1

Location: Nebraska


Thursday, October 13th 2016, 1:46pm

No water out of heads when draining


Just got my first sprinkler system along with a newly constructed house and I'm trying to keep my new sod alive and to root before winter. My builder told me that I shouldn't need to have it blown out, just drain it (probably another topic, but hear me out). We had a freeze warning for last night, so I thought I'd practice draining it (at least to get the back flow preventer drained). Here are the steps given to me by the builder and which I followed:

1. Closed off the main valve in basement (separate pipe to sprinkler system), and opened the "drain valve" right by that, after putting a bucket under it.
2. Outside to the back flow, turned the two main valves to 45 degrees, then opened the two petcock screws.
(back to basement to check water was going into bucket - some missed, but not too much spillage)
3.Turned on the 'test all stations' at the controller to open all the station valves - one station at a time I believe.

What I was expecting was to see after turning on the first station was water coming out of the sprinkler heads. When I walked to the first station heads, I could see that the heads had come up some, but I lightly pulled on them and they seemed to have a suction and no water was coming out.

Is this normal, or is there something obvious that I forgot? I accomplished getting the water out of the backflow, but when I really have to do this for winterization (back to watering the sod today), I want it out of all the pipes and heads. Can this method work for me, or will I need to have them blown out? Thanks in advance. If more info is needed, it may be tomorrow after I can be home to look or get pictures (no internet at home yet).


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,382

Location: Metro NYC


Thursday, October 13th 2016, 5:41pm

Of course you have it blown out. The procedure you described gets you through a cold night, but not the entire winter.

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