Home Inspection Word Association:
Gardening and Flowers = Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker
Denver is a dry environment. If the owner loves to garden then automatic methods of
watering are frequently needed. The outside water needs to be separated from your drinking water. The device that enforces this separation is called an Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker.
This device is usually associated with lawn sprinklers and/or Drip Irrigation.
Drip Irrigation is the 1/2 inch black tubing you see in gardens.
Ice Impact: No impact on Drip Irrigation. Water expands when frozen. Water trapped in Atmospheric Vacuum Breakers (AVB) can cause brass or copper to split.
If your sprinkler was shut down in the fall and blown out this will remove the ice threat.
Turning on the sprinkler system should be done in multiple steps.
1. Make sure the blow out valves on the AVB are closed
- Flat screw driver, valve should be perpendicular to valve body.
2. Make sure the cut off valves on the AVB are off (Perpendicular to pipe)
- Picture above has valves in the on position
3. Turn on the water to the sprinkler system slowly
- Reason for slow turn on is to prevent shock to down stream fittings.
4. Go Outside: If no leaks then turn on the bottom AVB valve slowly.
- If AVB leaks then maintenance is required (You Tube advice)
5. If AVB stays dry: Open the sprinkler side valve - Slowly
6. Open the sprinkler system manifold box lid
- If dry then move to the next step
7. Activate a zone via the Sprinkler System Control panel.
- Check the Manifold box for leaks
8. Last step is to check sprinklers for pop up and direction.
9. Repeat check out for each sprinkler zone.
10. Time for celebration - Job done
Taking the time to make sure your sprinkler system is in order, will save you time and money down the road. Cheers to a happy grass and flowers!