How to Protect Your Sprinkler System This Winter

Freezing temperatures are approaching, and the cold air means it’s time to winterize your sprinkler system. This critical step helps ensure your system is protected from harsh weather conditions. The last thing you want is to start your sprinklers again in the spring to find out they’re completely damaged or broken. Here are the steps you should take to protect your sprinkler system this winter!  

The steps to winterize your sprinkler system are fairly straightforward. Since the system won’t really be in use during the winter, the first step is to turn off the water in the system. The shut-off valve is usually located by your water meter and should be completely shut. Once the water has been shut off, go ahead and turn off the system timer if you have one. A good option is to switch the system to “rain mode” if available so that the system doesn’t run but saves your programmed schedule.    

Drain Your Sprinkler System  

The next step to winterizing your sprinkler system is to fully drain it. Water left within the design could freeze and expand, putting negative pressure on the pipes. There are several different methods to drain the system.   

Manual Draining  

Manually draining your sprinkler system involves opening valves to let the water run out. These valves will usually be located at the end of the pipes. Be sure to drain the backflow device as well. Take proper precautions when manually draining the system, and wear eye protection to guard against escaping water.   

Automatic Draining  

Some systems can be automatically drained by shutting off the water and running the sprinklers to force any excess water out of the system. However, you may still need to check the backflow device and sprinkler heads to ensure all the water is drained.   

Blow-out Draining  

The Blow-out draining method involves blowing compressed air through the system to dispel the water. Because the air pressure can damage the system if not properly controlled, it is recommended that a professional be used for this method.   

Insulate Aboveground Parts  

Once the water has been thoroughly drained, you should insulate any aboveground system parts. Frost blankets, insulated tape, or foam can be used to wrap around the exposed pipes.   

Call the Professionals  

Don’t worry about bursting pipes and a broken sprinkler system this winter. If you want to protect your system against the cold, call Watermaster! Our experts are here to help with all your irrigation needs and ensure your system is ready to go again in the spring.   

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