Maybe you’ve heard about winterizing your sprinkler system before and how it’s an important step when it comes to maintaining your system, but do you know how and why you should winterize your sprinkler system? Keep reading to learn!
Homeowners must properly prepare their yard before the cold weather hits! This way, the yard will remain as attractive as possible for the cold season and will be ready to flourish once the weather warms again. One of the most important tasks to undertake is sprinkler winterization. In this post, we are going to walk you through everything you need to know about sprinkler winterization, but if you’d rather cut to the chase and have a professional take over, contact LawnGuru!
Why Sprinkler Winterization
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!
Learning how to winterize your sprinkler system can be a bit easier said than done. While there aren’t many steps, it can be a tricky process. There’s a lot to keep track of, especially if you have a big lawn! If you would like some assistance, LawnGuru has providers that are experienced and prepared to get your sprinkler winterization done properly. Not only are our providers’ background checked, they are also recommended and reviewed by other homeowners. With LawnGuru on your side, you can feel confident that the work will get done properly every time.