A home irrigation system can save you time and money by automating and optimizing the watering process. To make sure your sprinkler system stays in good condition year-round, it’s important to perform proper maintenance before the cold sets in. The winterization process prevents frozen and burst pipes, so make sure it’s on the top of your fall to-do list.
Turn Off the Water
Before starting the winterization process, turn off your home sprinkler system’s water supply. Remember to turn off both the main water valve, found near the water meter, and any backflow valves that your system might have.
Shut Down the Timer
Many lawn sprinkler systems are set to run on an automatic timer, but you don’t want the system turning itself on in the winter. Water that runs through the system at low temperatures stands a good chance of freezing and damaging your pipes and sprinkler heads.
If your system supports it, placing it on “rain mode” instead of completely shutting it off may be an option. Rain mode prevents the irrigation systems for homes from turning on but keeps all pre-programmed settings loaded so the system can be easily rebooted in the spring.
Draining the System
Shutting the system down prevents it from turning on but doesn’t get rid of the water still present within the system. Drain the system of any excess water before it freezes and damages pipes.
There are multiple ways to drain a home irrigation system, and the appropriate method depends on the specific type of home sprinkler system you have.
Manual drainage is used on systems that have shut-off valves at the ends of the pipes. To manually drain your system, open each shut-off valve and let all the water run out before shutting it again. Pressure within the pipes can be significant, so wear safety goggles when draining to prevent injury.
Some lawn sprinkler systems support automatic drainage, which automatically drains water from the system when it is disconnected from its main water supply. To activate automatic drainage, disconnect the system and run a single sprinkler head. After the system has ejected all the water it can, loosen your water valves to let any excess water out of the system.
Blow-out drainage can be used on most irrigation systems and involves connecting an air compressor to your irrigation system to blow air through the pipes, forcing the water out. When performed improperly, blow-out drainage can damage the sprinkler system, so it’s best left to a professional landscaping service.
After draining, use foam covers or insulation tape to insulate all parts of the irrigation system that are not contained underground—including water valves and above-ground piping. Foam covers or insulation tape make very good insulators. Make sure the insulation doesn’t get in the way of any drain outlets or air vents.
Contact Land Concepts for Home Sprinkler System Winterization
The best way to make sure your home sprinkler system is set for the winter is to rely on a professional landscaping service like Land Concepts. We use a commercial-grade air compressor to remove water from your sprinkler system and complete a thorough winterization checklist to prevent freeze-ups.
Get in touch today to learn more about our winterization services!