Best air compressor for sprinkler blowout

Our team independently selects, reviews, and identifies the best products. We may earn affiliate commissions on purchases made from links on this page. Read about our links here. This post was updated on July 13, 2024

The last thing you want is to have water stay around your sprinkler lines when the colder months knock on the door.

Of course, you can have a professional come home every season to expel it but in the long, investing in the best air compressor for sprinkler blowout could make economic sense.

We have prepared this educational resource to help you pick the best air compressor to winterize sprinkler system ahead of the chilly days.

First, we bring the air compressors that are perfectly placed to help your sprinkler lines brave the freezing weather.

Best air compressor for sprinkler blowout- our nominees

Use any of these air compressors to drain water from your garden sprinkler system before the next snowy season hits.

They do a beautiful job and you won’t be spending so much time on the job.

1.  CRAFTSMAN Air Compressor, 6-gallon

The Craftsman electric air compressor is a great all-around machine, perfect for blowing out water from sprinkler lines, and we like it a lot.

It is lightweight (weighs just 30 lbs.), simple to use, well-designed, efficient, and comes with a couple of features that other models lack.

One of the major factors in its favor is perhaps the 150 PSI (maximum), which makes more than adequate for myriad applications including blowing out your sprinklers.

This craftsman’s 6 gallon tank capacity also makes it good value.

You’ll love the lengthy runtime and quicker compressor recovery times (2. 6 SCFM at 90 PSI).

The air compressor also features an oil-free pump so you’ll enjoy maintenance-free operation to go with a long life.

As a bonus, it comes with a 13-piece accessory kit with everything you’ll need to get going.

This draws 120 V.


  • Affordable than most similar rivals.
  • Lower noise level.
  • Works pretty fast.


  • The assembly instructions not the best written.
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2.     PORTER-CABLE C2002 Pancake Compressor (electric powered)

So, why is the Porter-Cable UMC model one of the air compressors that couldn’t miss from our air compressor for sprinkler system shortlist?

Quite simply, it is compact and packs a big punch, and one with proven attributes (quite like most Porter-Cable products, a renowned manufacturer of power tools).

Above all, it does the job it is intended for with very impressive results.

It matches the above-reviewed Craftsman Air Compressor’s specs- 150 PSI maximum tank pressure, 2.6 SCFM @ 90 psi quick recovery times, and a six-gallon pancake-style tank.

And for good measure, the tank includes a handy drain valve for smooth draining.

This air compressor induction motor (120-volt) provides long life too.

The upgraded shroud features console and hand cover to guard the vital components.

It contains a cord wrap too.

Remember that it’s just 30 lbs -like its competitor- for easy transport.

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  • No maintenance (oil-free pump).
  • Comes with automatic overload protection.
  • Can support two users simultaneously.


  • A bit noisy.
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3.     DEWALT Air Compressor, Pancake 6-Gallon, 165 PSI (DWFP55126)

The air compressor comes with all sorts of extra features that aren’t typically included on the standard competition out there. 

Top of the list is the high efficiency motor that enables easy start up during cold weather/extension cord application,  a console cover to protect the controls (it easily comes out for repairs), and the ball drain valve to allow quick and thorough tank draining.

The specs are: 6.0 gallon tank and 165 max PSI, which is the highest so far.

The recovery time is as short as the previous two units but it beats the PORTER-CABLE C2002 model when it comes to noise (the 75.5 dB is way quieter).

The included high flow regulator helps you maximize its performance.

In keeping with the trend, it comes with a lasting oil-free pump for maintenance-less operation.

Overall, it’s worth considering and we can bet that you won’t be disappointed when the time to winterizing your sprinkler systems comes.


  • One of the easiest to use and drain.
  • Quality engineering all through.
  • Pretty light (still 30 lbs.)


  • Nothing major to report.

What is cfm for air compressor?

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Best air compressor for sprinkler blowout: Buying guide

When you are looking at buying the air compressor for sprinkler system, there a few things that you should consider.

We take you through the core ones below:

· What size of air compressor is adequate?

The first thing you need to take note of is the size of the equipment.

Granted, this is a controversial topic because people tend to give the size of their machines as the correct one so long as it gets most of the water out of the system.

But as a general rule of the thumb, any air compressor with a CFM rating (cubic foot per minute) of between 80cfm-100cfm is up for the task.

This is the opinion of most experts.

But there are exceptions.

For instance, some smaller compressors may not do the job correctly if your system is equipped with larger sized pipes.

On the converse, you may not need to go too high if you have smaller pipes because you’ll be risking blowing off the heads.

In short, spend some time and research if the machine you have in mind is going to be adequate to expel as much water as possible.

A good way of getting answers is to look at past buyer’s reviews/commentary.

Here is what else you need to know:

  1. To efficiently winterize sprinkler lines, you have to blow every zone for not less than 2 minutes. This implies that you have to select a model that sustains at least 20 cfm for 2 minutes continuously.
  2. The size of the tank can also influence how well your irrigation system is winterized. Keep in mind that it’s best to settle for a machine with 5 to 10-gallons tank capacity to avoid overworking the motor. 

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Electric vs Gas: Picking the right air compressor for your sprinkling system

Gas compressors go anywhere and you’re safe from electric shock- a hazard when using an electric unit because you have to drag extension cords over wet spots.

On the downside, they require fueling and tend to require more maintenance than units running an electric motor.

Another turn off in gas units is that they’re a whole lot louder – electric versions are virtually silent considering that we have some running at below 65 dB (normal talk is rated at 60 dBs!).

Favoring gas driven air compressors is the fact that the best are quite powerful and handle big jobs needing lots of power effortlessly. 

Having said that, the best corded-electric blowers will match gas-powered models for small and medium tasks although you’re restricted to operate within the radius allowed the included outdoor extension cords.

Weigh all these and select the type you ultimately feel will be a better choice for your needs.

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All irrigation systems need proper maintenance to make sure everything continues running smoothly and avoid costly repair bills.

For sprinkler irrigation systems, those who are smart enough take time to blow out water from their sprinkler lines before the paralyzing weather comes knocking.

This guide has introduced you to the air compressor machines you can trust for the job to help you make an informed decision.

We doubt there are better models for this essential winter preparation task.

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