Cold weather and your sprinkler system typically don’t mix. That’s why it’s so crucial to properly winterize your sprinkler system before the cold temperatures settle in for the season. Failure to do so keeps water trapped in the pipes – and during cold snaps, the pipes can crack if the existing water freezes and expands. Pipe fittings, valves, and anti-siphon devices can also crack or sustain damage in the cold, and these accessories tend to be much more expensive than pipes.
So there you have it. Taking preventative action when it comes to cold weather and your sprinklers is crucial. Here are some tips on proper winterization for your system.
Know Your Climate
To know when it’s best to winterize them, you need to know your area’s climate and when you can expect that first dose of cold weather. In northern climates, it’s crucial to get the system blown out before the first freeze. In southern climates, like Texas, winterization can typically be performed later in the season.
Turn Off The Water First
The first step to winterizing your system is turning off the water supply to it. This ensures that no further water is entering the system and you’ll only be faced with the task of eliminating the water that’s present. The valve to turn off the water is typically located either in the basement or crawl space of the home.
Blow Out The System
If your irrigation system is above ground, you likely won’t even need to have your system blown out – you can just drain the water. However, for in-ground systems, an air compressor is your best bet for eliminating water that’s left in the system. These compressors usually attach to a blow-out port via a hose adapter. After the device is connected and turned on, each sprinkler zone must be activated so that water can efficiently be eliminated from the entire system.
Drain Outdoor Faucets Too
Though they’re not technically part of a sprinkler system, it’s also essential to properly drain any outdoor faucets. Again, start by turning off the water supply from inside the home to the exterior faucet, then open the spigot from the outside so that any standing water can drip out.
If you winterize correctly, it’s easy to reboot your system in the spring when your lawn needs watering again. All you need to do is close the drain valve, turn on the water to the system and program the zones on the timer. But it’s worth noting that blowing out and winterizing your sprinkler system may not be as easy as it seems, especially if you don’t have an air compressor handy. That’s where a qualified, professional plumbing service can help you to keep your sprinkler system safe during the cold weather months. For more information on how to properly winterize a sprinkler system and the potential consequences of failing to do so properly, contact us today.