Sprinkler systems are an excellent way to keep your lawn and garden looking green and lush.
However, when the temperature drops, a sprinkler system must be turned off, drained, and insulated to prevent ice from forming inside the pipes. This is because any remaining water has the potential to freeze and destroy the system’s pipelines and components.
To ensure that your irrigation system is properly prepared for winter, follow this winterizing sprinkler system recommendations.
Preparing Your Sprinkler System for Winter
Winterizing your system before the cold weather hits is part of preparing your home for winter. This is critical, because otherwise your sprinkler system could get severely damaged. On the other hand, if you winterize your irrigation system too soon, your lawn and garden may suffer by the end of the summer.
Depending on where you reside, you’ll want to wait until temperatures consistently fall between 60- and 65 degrees Fahrenheit before winterizing a sprinkler system.
Winterizing a Sprinkler System
Step 1: Examine the System
Before starting the winterizing process, inspect the irrigation system. This lets you check for any leaks or damage that need to be addressed.
Keep in mind that if the water lines are leaking, water may enter the system even after the water supply has been turned off and the pipes have been drained.
If this happens, the water might freeze and cause extra damage. Therefore, it is best to repair any fractures or leaks before winterizing.
Step 2: Switch off the Main Water Supply
The main water supply to the house is usually located near the water meter. Turn off the backflow preventer valves if your sprinkler includes manual drain valves.
A backflow prevents pressured, potentially contaminated water from mingling with the potable water supply. It is typically positioned near the water main from where the sprinkler water is drawn.
Step 3: Open All drain Valves
After emptying the mainline via automatic or manual draining, ensure that no water remains around the various valves that may expand when temperatures fall. Depending on your system, you can turn off the local water supply while also allowing you to drain the pipe.
Step 4: Blow Out the Irrigation Pipes
For this step, we recommend hiring an expert.
Assuming your sprinklers are reasonably new and well installed, with the irrigation pipes sloping downward toward the valves (where water can release at the lowest point in the system), gravity will direct nearly all of the water out once the pressure in the mainline has been alleviated.
However, it isn’t easy to be positive that some water has not been left behind. As a result, experts advise calling in a professional like EZ Lawn Sprinklers to perform an additional precaution that will discharge any leftover water in the sprinkler system.
- Insulate any components of the system that are above ground.
- Refer to your owner’s manual for system-specific suggestions.
- Configure the system not to run during the winter.
Cold temperatures and harsh conditions render your lawn vulnerable to many problems. Planning ahead of time might save you days of effort, and thousands of dollars in ensuring your sprinkler system doesn’t break when temperatures plummet.
These steps will assist you in successfully winterizing your sprinkler system – ensuring that it is protected from freezing temperatures during the winter months.