Posted On:

Category: Category:

Why You should winterize your Sprinkler System in the Fall to prepare for Winter !!!

September 13, 2020

Why You should winterize your Sprinkler System in the Fall to prepare for Winter !!!

Bears prepare for the winter by eating lots of food before their seasonal slumber, but for us humans, the task is a bit more work. Sprinkler Winterization is important because it will prevent frozen pipes and bursting valves. Our sprinklers take such good care of our lawns during the spring and summer months. We need to prepare them for proper hibernation so that they can continue their jobs the following year!

Use Google to search for a frost line map to be sure of whether or not the ground in your neighborhood gets cold enough to freeze pipes. If there’s any question at all, it’s a good idea to go ahead and winterize your sprinklers. Better to be safe than sorry!


How to Winterize Your Sprinkler System

Shut Off Water Supply

The first step in sprinkler winterization is to shut off the water supply to your sprinkler system completely so that there is no longer even a trickle water flowing. The goal of sprinkler winterization is to make sure the pipes are completely dry. Any remaining moisture might freeze and damage your system. Plus, you’re probably not going to be watering your lawn if you live somewhere with a snowy winter!

After you turn off the water supply completely, make sure to protect the main shut off valve by insulating it. Wrap it with foam insulation tape and seal it with a plastic bag. Also, make sure to insulate and protect any above ground piping. You can find self-sticking foam insulation tape at your local home improvement store. If you have any valves that are above ground, make sure to properly insulate them as well.

If you have an automatic sprinkler system, make sure to reprogram or shut down the controller. You may need to re-program your settings later on if you completely shut off your controller, but it is well worth the sacrifice. Some sprinkler systems have a rain-mode in the system, which shuts off signals to the valves without losing your controller settings. It might be a good idea to disconnect any wires that are connected to the Master Valve to prevent any accidental reactivation.

Drain the System

Any water left over in your sprinkler system and pipes may freeze and expand during the cold winters. This could break the pipes. It’s important to remove any water from your sprinkler system.

If you have a system with manual valves, open all the valves and drain the water from the system, including the backflow device. Some sprinklers have devices called check valves. If your sprinkler system has check valves, you may need to raise your sprinkler heads to drain the water out. Close all the valves once the entire system has been drained.

If you have valves that are equipped to automatically drain the water, briefly run one of the sprinkler heads after you’ve turned off the water supply. This will relieve the water pressure in the system. If you have them, you still may need to manually drain the shut-off valve, backflow device, and check valves as well.

There is also a method called the blow-out method, where you force compressed air through the sprinkler system to blow out the excess water through the sprinkler heads. However, this could potentially damage your system if you’re not careful!