Lawn sprinkler start up: How to?
April 8, 2012 6:32 AM   Subscribe

Sprinkler system start up -- as easy as opening the water valve? This will be the first spring start up of my lawn sprinkler system. Being low on money, I'd like to learn to do it myself. Is it as simple as turning the water valve back on from inside the house and plugging the controller back in? Besides making sure the heads are free of dirt is there anything else I should know? Located in Toronto, Canada if it matters.
posted by The Hyacinth Girl to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hard to know for certain depending on your setup and what they did to shut you down... But, yeah, this it totally a DIY project that you seem to already have a handle on. If you have any problems, just find a handy neighbor to help you out.
posted by whatisish at 7:56 AM on April 8, 2012

On mine it needs to be opened on the outside of the house as well as the inside. The outside valve involves turning two little screws. The inside portion involves turning a handle on a copper pipe. You can do it! Do the outside part first.

You can also blow it out yourself at the end of the season if you have an air compressor. It takes longer, but it's totally doable.
posted by Ostara at 8:19 AM on April 8, 2012

Best answer: It's easy.

--Plug the controller back in and set the time.
Close all four valves on the Pressure Vacuum Breaker, this should be outside the house. The four valves are really two sets of two. There will be two small valves that look like screws. Turn them so the slot is perpendicular to the exposed threaded end. You can also look in the exposed threaded end with a flashlight to make sure their closed. These two valves are just used to blow out the system in the fall and will be left closed from now on.
--Also close the two big valves with obvious handles, once again the handles should be perpendicular to the pipes.
--Now open the main valve inside the house, this will bring water up to the pressure vacuum breaker. The should also be a drain valve inside the house, make sure it's closed before you open the main valve, it'll be obvious if it's open since it's start pouring water on the floor.
--Now go back outside and open the upstream valve on the PVB, this will be the valve on the vertical pipe. This will allow water to fill the PVB and it will make gurgling noises for a minute or so while it fills. It may also spit a little water on the ground while it fills, this is normal.
--Once it stops gurgling and spitting you can open the downstream valve, this will allow water up to valves controlled by your controller.
--Now, go to the controller and turn on each section, one at a time, and check all the sprinkler heads for proper operation, clogging, leaking etc. Each section will have to fill with water so it will hiss and spit while all the air is purged out. Also look for any leaks in the piping between the heads though these may take several days of use to reveal itself.

All this should take about and hour and memail me if you have any questions.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:24 AM on April 8, 2012

In my case it's just that easy - turn on the valve in the basement, and turn on the system. I blow out the system myself every winter. This is something you can do yourself as well.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 10:16 AM on April 9, 2012

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