Every year you need to make sure there is no water left in the sprinkler lines before the first winter freeze.
The best way to clear out the water is by using an air compressor for sprinkler blowout.
A blowout method involves the use of an air compressor to push leftover water from the lines.
To find the best air compressor for sprinkler blowout, you should have a decent understanding of the specifications of your sprinkler and the type of air compressor that will work with it.
Read More: Best Air Compressors for Framing Crew Reviewed.
Best Air Compressors for Sprinkler Blowout Review
1. California Air Tools 10020C-22060 Oil-Free Air Compressor
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This 10-gallon air compressor can reach a powerful 125 PSI. As an air compressor for sprinkler blowout, this model is able to provide the amount of pressure and power necessary to clear water lines.
Its design is focused on allowing along running time and faster recovery time.
As an oil-free compressor, this model does not require the same kind of maintenance as a pump system that uses oil. This design actually provides a longer life cycle, including 3000 hours of wear.
Its Easy Start Valve feature will release a bit of air from the pump during each start. This produces a no-load condition that helps the motor run smoothly. You can start it on uneven terrain or in cold weather without issue.
- Less maintenance and costs from oil-free pump
- Movable tank with wheels
- Less wear from 2.0 HP motor
- Easy start valve uses less starting amps
- At least 30% less noise than average compressor
- Durable metal design
- Corded-electric power is not as convenient
- Only has a short warranty
2. Rolair FC2002 2 HP Overload Protection Air Compressor for Blowing Out Sprinkler
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This air compressor has great features for your winterization projects. This model is carefully tested in a variety of tasks to ensure its performance. These tests include checking the voltage, compression, working pressure levels, and air leaks.
The pump life on this air compressor is impressive due to splash lubrication to the 3400 RPM motor. You can confidently use this machine for blowouts because it operates 4.1 CFM at 90 PSI.
The 4.3 gallon tank capacity is a little small but offers a considerable amount of power.
A cast iron cylinder design has the durability built into it to last longer.
Although it is electric-powered, it weighs only 62 pounds. It is a stationary model without wheels but has a handle that can be used to transport and position the tank.
- Carefully tested for every component
- A long history of compressor design and manufacturing
- 2 horsepower for incredible performance
- A smaller tank is easier to move
- Useful handle to grab and position the tank
- The tank is small but powerful for blowing sprinkler lines
- Stationery design not easily transported
- Electric-powered may be dangerous near water
3. Stealth 20 Gallon Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
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A vertical stand model with a durable construction, this air compressor model is an ideal air compressor for sprinkler blowout. It has a large, 20 gallon capacity and reaches 5 CFM at 90 PSI.
Moreover, it has the power and air pressure needed to blow out water lines efficiently. The material is made of a special alloy metal that is durable and strong.
This air compressor also features an oil-free, dual-piston pump system. You will notice a better performance from this electric-corded model than a gas-powered option.
The oil-free pump is also free of maintenance. It will have an increased lifespan.
Although it is a large tank, the heavy-duty wheels make it easy to transport. It also operates at a low decibel number of 68. Your neighbors will be thankful for this relatively quiet air compressor, even when you are using it a lot.
It has a maximum power capacity of 1.8 horsepower and can be used at the normal 120 volts. There is also a limited lifetime warranty placed on this model.
You can have it serviced by a friendly, local company. Keep in mind that it weighs 121 pounds, which is a significant size to move around your property.
- Large 8-inch wheels make for easy mobility
- Long-lasting induction motor for 3 times longer life
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Powerful enough for most standard jobs
- The dual-piston design offers a quiet operation
- The time to recharge from empty in 70 seconds
- The corded electric motor must be hooked up to power source
- Very heavy at more than 120 pounds
4. Makita MAC210Q Quiet Series Electric Air Compressor
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If you need a powerful air compressor for sprinkler blowout, this design offers a faster recovery time for recharging and more consistent performance.
As a model in the Quiet Series from Makita, this air compressor does not make a lot of noise during operation. It reaches only 60 decibels.
As an air compressor that runs at lower RPMs, it has a longer pump life and motor life compared to other models.
This is a model that will last season after season for sprinkler blowouts and more. Its 1-horsepower induction motor can reach as much as 135 PSI for heavy-duty sprinkler system winterization. It only has a 2 gallon capacity, but it has a lot of power and recovery speed.
At only 44 pounds, this model is the ideal compressor for easy transportation around your property. It also features a roll cage construction to protect the pump and motor parts from damage while being moved or operated.
Because its design has corded electric power, it does not use any oil in the dual-piston pump. No oil means less maintenance involved with the everyday operation of this compressor. Included with the compressor is a 1/4 inch universal quick coupler for a variety of uses.
- Has a cord wrap for convenient storage
- Has longer motor and pump life
- Reaches up to 135 PSI
- The tank drain has lever handle for easy air tank release
- AMP draw reduces tripped breakers at start-up
- Pump is oil free for less maintenance
- Uses corded electric power source
- Very unwieldy to move around
5. Craftsman (CMEC6150K) Air Compressor
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It has a 6-pound tank capacity and only weighs 30 pounds. Its lightweight build is ideal to take with you around your property with ease.
Every compressor is made in the United States in Jackson, Tennessee. You can trust the excellent manufacturing of this air compressor.
The oil free pump of this model is great for someone looking to not do a lot of maintenance. If you use this only once a year for sprinkler winterization, you do not need to think about changing the oil.
The electric-corded models are a simple solution for a sprinkler blowout compressor.
This small and compact air compressor can reach a maximum PSI of 150. It packs a powerful punch for blowout projects and also has a quick recovery time. You can knock out many zones on your sprinkler system with it.
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Has quick recovery time
- Durable pump means long lifespan
- High PSI means adequate pressure for many applications
- No need to change oil
- No batteries required
- May not be large enough for blowouts
- Must be careful around water
6. California Air Tools 8010SPC Ultra Quiet Air Compressor
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With one of the lowest decibels among air compressors, this California Air Tools model is an excellent option. It features a dual-piston, oil-free pump that combines performance and durability.
The oil-free pump means that you do not need to spend time changing oil.
Check out this air compressor for sprinkler blowout if you like being able to access the inside components when you need them. This design features an attractive cabinet that both protects the parts and reduces noise.
The 8-gallon steel-coated tank is located securely inside this cabinet. The doors of this sound-proof cabinet also latch for added security.
Moving this air compressor is a breeze, too, thanks to 4 caster wheels that spin easily. You can move the steel cabinet anywhere without worrying about damage thanks to the strong manufacturing.
This compressor has a maximum pressure of 115 PSI. Although it is incredibly quiet and efficient, this compressor has the power to blow out sprinkler systems, delivering 3.00 CFM at 90 PSI.
The motor operates at only 1400 RPM, which lets it create less noise. This lower RPM also increases the lifespan of this machine. You can get an estimated 4000 hours before noticing wear on this air compressor.
- No oil means less maintenance
- Two latching doors offer easy access to inside
- Lower costs due to long=life teflon rings
- Extremely quiet at only 40 decibels
- 4 caster wheels provides easy mobility
- Operates at powerful 90 to 115 PSI range
- Electric-powered design can be dangerous near water
- Very heavy design at 125 pounds
7. Northstar Gas Cold Water Portable Air Compressor
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With a powerful, industrial-grade Honda engine, this machine offers reliable performance time after time. It holds all of this power in a compact, yet sturdy, steel frame cart.
The tires are a durable, flat-free material that allows for easy mobility anywhere you need to take them. The steel tube frame is very rugged at 1-3/8-inches in diameter.
Its design also features an easy start up capability. This easy start-up feature creates less pressure build up for a smoother and easier recoil pulling.
Another special setting allows you to adjust pressure as you need to. You can easily control the PSI for any type of job without worry.
Maintenance is easier with the design of this machine, too. It has oil drain cutouts that make it easy to clean the engine and pump. Changing the oil of the engine and pump is a quick, standard task with these cutouts.
Overall, this is a quality machine that comes with a range of reliable features. It is capable of incredible performance without planning for many hours of maintenance. Choose this machine if adjusting PSI is a major requirement for your project.
- Oil drain cutouts to easily change oil
- Easy start prevents pressure buildup
- Easily control the PSI to match the job
- Quiet operation will not bother neighbors
- Easily portable almost anywhere
- Gasoline-powered is safer around water
- Large and heavy design
- Must change the oil regularly
8. NorthStar Portable Gas Powered Air Compressor
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For the portable and powerful air compressor, you need for all projects, this 30-gallon tank model is a great option.
You can use it as an air compressor for blowing out water lines and much more. It reaches 175 maximum PSI and runs at only 1300 RPM. It will not wear out easily but is powerful enough for big jobs.
It uses a special Honda engine to maintain incredible power. This gas-powered air compressor has better fuel efficiency than many other models. It is also much quieter than some models thanks to a better engine design.
The V-style cylinder design of the pump eliminates hotspots and cools as it goes. The pump life is longer because it is self-cooling and made from cast iron components. The tank is also covered with a weather-resistant powder-coat finish for added durability.
- Consistent cooling for longer pump life
- Liquid-filled pressure gauge for better accuracy
- Bearings on both ends for superior support
- Better fuel efficiency
- Gas-powered is more easily transportable
- Improved combustion means greater power
- Stationary design without handle
- Very heavy design
9. WEN 2289 10-Gallon Oil-Free Vertical Air Compressor
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This moderately-sized, 10 gallon capacity air compressor can reach 150 PSI. If you need consistent power and mobility, this is an excellent air compressor to blow out the sprinkler system.
It has useful air flow rates of 4.0 CFM at 90 PSI and 5.0 CFM at 40 PSI. There is a feature that automatically shuts the compressor down if the PSI becomes unsafe. You can expect reliable performance from this air compressor every time.
It also comes with an oil-free pump system that does not need external lubrication. It naturally has a longer life cycle due to no messy oil. It also is backed by a warranty of 2 years in case of issues with components.
This air compressor can be rolled where you need it on 7-inch, never-flat wheels. The rubber-gripped handle is made for a secure hold when moving and positioning the tank around.
Two pressure gauges allow you to be more accurate during jobs. There is a gauge to check the internal pressure of the tank. The other gauge regulates the air flow rate for reliable pressure.
- Transportation made easy with wheels
- Auto-shut down feature offers safety
- Easy-to-reach drain valve allows easy release of built-up air
- Has two pressure gauges
- Quick-coupler air outlet means simple hose changes
- Does not require external lubrication
- Large size may be unwieldy
- Electric power may be dangerous near water
10. DEWALT DWFP55130 Air Compressor for Sprinkler Blowout Systems
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The compact design of this air compressor might not appear like it holds a lot of power. However, this 2.5 tank is able to reach a maximum 200 PSI. It can provide 3.0 CFM at 90 PSI for a reliable air flow.
These features make it a good air compressor for sprinkler blowout. The longer running time means that you can spend time on your sprinkler system to properly clean water out.
It can be used either vertically or horizontally oriented and comes equipped with a roll cage for safe use. The roll cage protects the inner components from damage in case of rolling or falling. Store this light and thin compressor almost anywhere without worrying about damage, too.
At only 40 pounds, this air compressor is easily mobile. There is no oil used in the pump, so you do not need to worry about spreading the mess around.
And the maintenance-less construction of this compressor is ideal for quick, yearly projects. The pump will keep working year after year without a lot of routine maintenance or costly repairs.
- List Elem Operated or stored in vertical or horizontal positioning
- A low 12 amp draw motor reduces breaker tripping
- Roll cage provides protection to key components
- Maximum 200 PSI allows for quick recovery
- Can be run for long periods of time
- Easily moved thanks to a light, 40 lb design
- Electric cords limit mobility away from the power source
- It May not offer enough power for blowouts
Your Current System
There are several considerations to keep in mind when looking for the best air compressors for blowing out sprinklers.
Your goal should be to read up on your current sprinkler system and match the air compressor to the recommended specifications of your sprinkler manufacturer.
You want the compressor you use to not damage your system or not be compatible with it.
PSI and CFM
Some of the main things to consider are the size, PSI, and CFM of the air compressor in question. CFM, or air volume, is highly relevant due to needing to have enough power to blow air through pipes.
PSI is a rating of how much pressure or stress can be used at any given moment. You need a strong PSI, but not an excessive amount, to blow out sprinkler lines.
The size of your sprinkler blowout compressor will determine the capacity of the machine. If it is too small, you will find yourself recharging it too many times while completing your winterization project.
But also bear in mind that an air compressor that is terribly large and weighs a lot will be harder to transport around a property to the sprinkler hookups.
Other elements to look for in an air compressor to blow out sprinkler system are the noise level, maintenance requirements, and convenience.
Because you will be using it for extended periods of time to blow out water lines, you want a relatively quiet air compressor.
Many brands have quiet designs that do not put out more than 60 or 70 decibels. Check for something that indicates indoor use because those models will be quieter.
You should also know what type of maintenance is involved with the air compressor for sprinkler blowout you pick. Some options are designed to be oil-free.
You will not have to change oil or worry about a mess with those compressors.
Convenience is also a major factor in an air compressor. Look for lightweight designs for easy mobility and other convenient features.
For example, a corded air compressor would ideally come with storage space for the cord.
Finally, take into account safety when purchasing an air compressor to blow out the sprinkler system. Many models have electric-powered motors, which are strong and not as messy as gas-powered.
However, electricity near water can be dangerous if you do not take precautions. Be aware of where your hook-up is located and how close the air compressor will be to the spraying sprinkler heads during a blowout.
What Size Air Compressor Do You Need for Blowing a Sprinkler Line?
If you select an air compressor that is too small, you may not be able to efficiently blow out your sprinkler lines.
An air compressor to blow out a sprinkler system generally has to be capable of working without needing to recharge.
Small-sized tanks, such as those between 1 and 5 gallons, take a long time to recharge once emptied. You need at least a 10-gallon tank to ensure that the air compressor can keep up with the demands of blowing out the sprinkler lines.
A larger air compressor will be heavier to move around. If you plan to take the compressor around your property, you might need one with better mobility.
Large air compressors, however, often come equipped with wheels. In the end, you should consider the size of the sprinkler system you need to blow out. The gallon capacity of an air compressor is just one aspect that you need to consider.
What Does an Air Compressor Require in Terms of PSI for Blowing Out Sprinklers?
The best air compressor will have a pressure regulator that lets you set the PSI rating. Depending on the size and type of pipes in your sprinkler system, you should set this regulator between 50 and 80 PSI.
80 PSI is a good mark for rigid PVC pipes, while less pressure is good for flexible pipes. For example, use 50 PSI for flexible black polyethylene pipes.
PSI, or pound-force per square inch, is a measure of the amount of pressure being applied in a period of time. Higher PSI in an air compressor means that it can provide more force.
Look for air compressors that have a high PSI so that you can drain all the water from the lines efficiently. You should be careful to not put too much stress on your sprinkler system, which can damage the pipes, valves, and heads.
How Many CFM Does an Air Compressor Need to Blow Out your Sprinkler System?
CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. This measure tells you the flow rate of the air compressor or the amount of air it produces at a given pressure level. Put in plain terms, this is the air volume.
Look out for a sprinkler blowout compressor that provides at least 20 CFM. This is the minimum amount of air volume to blowout sprinkler systems. Check your system to see the pipe size.
Larger lines will naturally need more air volume than smaller lines. The air volume in cubic feet per minute can be found on the tank of the compressor.
A good rule to follow for an air compressor for sprinkler blowout is that the larger the pipe diameter, the high the CFM you will need.
You can also get away with lower CFM ratings if you choose to work zone by zone on your sprinkler system. Clearing out smaller zones only requires about 6 CFM.
The Importance of Winterizing your Sprinkler System
A sprinkler system for your home is a major investment for your property. You spend a lot of money on installation and materials so that you can water your lawn effectively throughout the spring and summer.
The effect of harsh winters on your sprinkler system’s pipes is probably something you do not want to mess around with after the spring thaw. Winterizing your sprinkler system is the only option to prevent costly repairs.
You cannot afford to neglect your sprinkler system, especially before winter. While you are winterizing other aspects of your home at the end of each fall, plan a time to use an air compressor for blowing out water lines. The result of not winterizing your sprinkler lines will be burst pipes and a significant repair bill in the springtime.
Owning an air compressor of your own is a great way to get a jump on winterizing your irrigation systems. An air compressor to blow out sprinkler system can help you drain your water lines before the first winter freeze.
Avoid the headache of a frozen sprinkler system and all the burst pipes, damaged valves, and broken sprinkler heads that come with it.
How to Winterize a Sprinkler System?
The air blowout method, which uses a sprinkler blowout compressor, is a tried and true way to winterize your sprinkler system. Professionals recommend this method as an effective and safe way to prevent freezing pipes.
Once you have purchased a high-quality air compressor for sprinkler blowout, you are ready to get started. Check out our step-by-step guide to see how it is done.
Step 1: Shut the Water Off
First, you will locate turn off the water to the system at the main valve. This valve is often situated by your home’s water meter. You need to shut off any backflow valves, too.
Step 2: Turn the Automatic Timer Off
A system that has an automatic timer needs to be turned off. You can either shut it off completely or put it on a “rain mode.” This setting turns off the timer, but will not get rid of your programmed timers.
Step 3: Hook Up the Air Compressor to the Sprinkler System
To winterize with the blowout method, you need to hook up an air compressor to the sprinkler system directly. If your compressor did not come with an adaptor, you will need to purchase one from a hardware store.
You should also start with a fully charged sprinkler blowout compressor. You should also wear eye protection at all times while using a powerful air compressor to blow out the sprinkler system.
Step 4: Apply Air Slowly
As you start up the air compressor, apply air slowly to the system. Pay attention to the recommended PSI rating for your particular sprinkler piping and do not exceed that PSI.
Step 5: Spend Time Blowing Air Into Lines
The compressor needs to be engaged for enough time to completely clear the water out of the pipes. Most sprinkler systems will need to be cleared zone by zone, so expect to spend 2 to 5 minutes per zone.
The most important step of winterizing your sprinkler system is using the sprinkler blowout compressor to drain the water. Even after turning the water off at the main valve, there will be water leftover from previous use. Getting this water out is essential to keeping your system functioning season after season.
Electric vs Gas: Which is Right for your Sprinkling System?
You can choose an air compressor for sprinkler blowout that is powered by an electric or a gas motor. Both options offer advantages and disadvantages.
Electric motors may limit your project because you need to have a 120-volt electricity source nearby. Blowing out sprinkler systems involves a lot of water spraying everywhere. Take precautions before using an air compressor for blowing out water lines that have an electric motor.
Gas motors are not limited by the length of their extension cord. You can bring a gas-powered motor almost anywhere on your property.
The right air compressor for a sprinkler blowout system may be one with gas power because it is less dangerous and offers more mobility.
Also, Read – Top 7 Best Air Compressors for HVLP Reviewed.
1. What Happens if you don’t Winterize your Sprinkler System?
Forgetting to winterize the sprinkler system around your home can cause complicated problems. Water left dormant in sprinkler lines will end up freezing the irrigation valves, sprinkler heads, and pipes.
When the frozen water expands, your sprinkler system can burst and cause incredible damage. Any pipes and valves that burst will need to be replaced, which can cost a lot of time, money, and labor.
2. How do you Hook up an Air Compressor to a Sprinkler System?
Before hooking up an air compressor to your sprinkler system, you need to prepare the system. This preparation means shutting off the water line to the system and closing other valves in the system as needed.
To connect the air compressor to the system, you should locate the blowout port. Sometimes you might have to purchase an adaptor if your air compressor did not come with the proper hookup. Additional adaptors are usually found at local hardware stores.
3. How do you Drain Sprinkler Lines?
Draining sprinkler lines is simple with an air compressor. After hooking up the air compressor to the water lines, you engage the air compressor. Keep an eye on all of your sprinkler heads so that you know when all the water is gone.
After 3 to 5 minutes, the sprinkler heads will only be pushing out air from the compressor system. Depending on the size of your sprinkler system, you might need to work through several zones on your property.
All of these air compressors I have reviewed make up the best there is on the market in terms of mobility, power, and design. A reliable air compressor will help you winterize your sprinkler systems every year efficiently.
There are plenty of options to choose from that have amazing features that fit your needs and sprinkler system.
It is not hard to declare a winner among our 10 air compressors for sprinkler blowout reviews. I choose Makita MAC210Q Quiet Series, 1 HP, 2 Gallon, Oil-Free, Electric Air Compressor as my very best air compressor for sprinkler blowout.
This model is part of a Quiet Series that offers less noise for you and your neighbors. It also is designed to be lightweight for easy mobility around the various points in your sprinkler system.
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