If you live in an area where the ground freezes in the winter, winterizing sprinkler systems is a must.
If your sprinkler system isn’t properly prepared for winter, leftover water in the sprinkler lines could freeze and expand, causing the pipes to burst and resulting in expensive repairs come springtime.
When to Winterize Sprinkler Systems
A general rule of thumb is to shut off and winterize sprinkler systems about a week before the first hard freeze. A hard freeze is when the temperature drops below zero degrees Fahrenheit. As fall draws on, keep a close eye on the weather and act fast when the temperature dips low.
Methods of Winterizing Sprinkler Systems
There are three common methods to remove the water from your sprinkler lines and keep them safe throughout the winter. The proper method for you will depend on what kind of irrigation or sprinkler system you have. You can perform these procedures by yourself at home, but if you’re unsure about what type of system you have or don’t feel confident attempting it yourself, a qualified landscape professional can help.
- Manual Valves– Some varieties of sprinkler systems have a manual valve feature allowing for water to be drained from the system simply by opening a valve. If this is the type of system you own, turn off the water supply to the sprinklers and then walk around your sprinkler system, checking for valves at the low points of the piping. Open the valves, allow the water to drain completely, and then close all of the valves.
- Automatic Valves – Other sprinkler systems include automatic valves, which allow the water to drain from the system if the pressure drops below a certain number of pounds per square inch. To use this method, turn off the water supply and run one of the sprinkler heads in order to remove the pressure from the system. After this step, be sure to look for any check valves that may need to be drained separately.
- Blow-Out Method – The final method, the blow-out, is potentially hazardous as it involves blowing compressed air through the sprinkler lines in order to replace any water in the pipes with air. Fortunately, you can minimize the potential hazards by ensuring that this is the proper method for your sprinkling system and by taking proper safety precautions. This method is fairly involved, so if you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s highly recommended that you seek the help of a professional. Improper attempts may lead to a lot of frustration and costly repairs. If you do choose to try this method on your own, be sure to wear safety glasses.
LaytonScape Can Winterize Your Sprinkler System!
Winterizing sprinkler systems is on most homeowners’ minds this time of year. If you know you need to winterize but aren’t sure where to start, LaytonScape can help. GIve us a call today, and we’ll take it from there! We serve Davis, Weber, Morgan, and Summit Counties in Utah.