Spring Turn On

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by dpmcclary, Apr 6, 2006.

  1. dpmcclary

    dpmcclary New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Now that I have your attention---I had a new irrigation system installed last summer. It is a Hunter system with a Hunter Pro-C controller. It has six zones. The irrigation company winterized it. It is now Spring and I am wondering if I need to have them turn it on of if this is something I can do myself? If I can do it, what is the stepwise procedure?

    Thanks, Dave
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    When you own a system like that, you should learn to manage it yourself. You will save $hundreds over the life of the system.

    Same thing applies to well systems and all the other things that make your house work. There will be times when you will be the only one available to get things working when you need them.

    You will spend money on tools and will break a few things but it is all part of the education and you will be way ahead in the end. It is heartberaking when I hear stories from young couples who don't have a lot of money who spent $hundreds on simple things they could have fixed themselves.

    If cost is no object, you should still learn about it so you can be an informed consumer.
  3. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    When you own a system like that, you should learn to manage it yourself. You will save $hundreds over the life of the system.

    Same thing applies to well systems and all the other things that make your house work. There will be times when you will be the only one available to get things working when you need them.

    You will spend money on tools and will break a few things but it is all part of the education and you will be way ahead in the end. It is heartberaking when I hear stories from young couples without much money who spent $hundreds on simple things they could have fixed themselves.

    If cost is no object, you should still learn about it so you can be an informed consumer.

    Now to the irrigation system. First, check to see if there are any open pipes that should be connected. You probably need to plug in or turn on the controller. If it lost its memory when turned off, you may have to reprogram it. Then, turn on the water and see what happens. If the water comes out where it shouldn't, diagnose and fix the problem.

    And the next time you need to get someone to winterize it, or spring-ize it, watch what they are doing. That applies to everything you pay to get done around the house.
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,387
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    My controller is a Rainbird, but the controller is not involved with winterizing or spring start-up anyway. All it does is "tell" the electric valves when to open and close. Basically, winterizing is done by pumping compressed air into the system instead of water. I use my own 7-1/2 HP compressor that has a 60 gallon air tank, so I have to do it one zone at a time because it takes a couple of tanks of air to do each zone. The pros use the big construction sized compressors so they can do the whole system with one big blow, but either way works. I remove my backflow preventor and put it where it won't freeze if there is a bit of water left inside. Then I connect my air hose with an attachment That fits the sprinkler side where the backflow valve was. Then I open each zone's control valve manually, and close it when the blow is completed. In the spring, I just replace the backflow valve, and turn the water back on. I can understand the need most folks have to hire the lines blown in the fall, I did too until I got my compressor, but paying to turn the water back on in the spring is a waste of money.
  5. leelm

    leelm New Member

    Messages:
    3
    I just figured out how to turn on my sprinkler system. I don't know what type of system I have but it's got the controller inside my garage, 6 zones with pop up sprinkler heads, a vacuum breaker unit outside of the house, and sprinkler water valve shut off inside of my house in the basement.

    Basically if you have winterized it. You will need to close the vacuum breaker valves, then use a flat head and turn the screw perpendicular to the pipes. These screws are on the vacuum breaker unit. If you don't turn the screws, water will spew from the vacuum breaker unit.

    Then go turn on the water (in my case in my basement). Turn it on slowly. Then go to the automatic sprinkler head controller usually in the ground and turn on each zone manually or I guess you can go to your automatic controller and turn each zone on that way. As they come on, check to see if any sprinkler heads need adjusting.
  6. sparking5

    sparking5 Electrician, JIW

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Midwest
    Hi

    I have had an underground sprinkler system for about 10 years. My friend, a pro, installed it but was killed 3 mths later so he was not able to show me how to winterize (michigan) and turn on in spring. My Dad helped me the first winter.

    I got the instructions from Hunter and it is easy. Just remember to not blow too long per zone per blow or it can "burn up" the heads. (2 mins max per). I run thru the zones until only air spatters out. I do this myself now, one person.

    Also, make sure to always have a zone open when you are blowing.

    For spring, I turn on water alittle and run thru all zones for a few seconds, then open valve more and repeat. I used to slam valve open but now know that is a bit jarring for the system.

    Occassionally I get a leak, usually near head. (I find leaks by walking aroundon lawn right after it has ran thru. I feel what is like a huge water blister underground and know I have a leak or a head does not sprayright).

    I have thick happy grass, so I cut a 3 sided sq and flip the "hatch door" open. Dig to gain access & see what you need. Put on new parts, backfill and shut "door".

    I like adjusting my spray heads on system when it is warm...water spray. It can be cooling and enjoyable on a sunny 90 degree day.

    You can do it...Save money and it is rewarding.

    Bye
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2006
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