How to Winterize Your Irrigation Sprinkler System

Published on: November 9, 2011

If there is any chance that your area will see freezing temperatures, it is imperative that you winterize your irrigation sprinkler system by draining all of the water out of the pipes.  If the water in these pipes freezes, it will expand as it freezes and crack the pipe.  In the spring, you will have a yard full of leaky irrigation sprinkler pipes needing expensive repairs.

You irrigation sprinkler company, lawn care professional or a landscaper that handles irrigation sprinkler installation and repairs will all be able to take care of winterizing your irrigation sprinkler system.  Draining the system sounds easy, but don’t try to do it yourself unless you are confident that you know how your system works and the proper way to drain it.  If you miss any water, it will freeze and crack the pipe.

Winterizing your irrigation sprinkler system by draining all of the water out of the system.  First, turn off the water supply to the system.  Find the main water supply line shutoff valve and turn the water off.  This valve may be in a box buried underground, inside your home, or above ground outside your home but wrapped with insulating material to prevent the valve from freezing.

Next, turn off the automatic sprinkler control if you have one.  Most systems have automatic controllers to relieve the homeowner from having to remember to turn the system on and off and also to activate the system at the most opportune times for lawn and garden irrigation which may be when the homeowner is at work or sleeping.

Finally, drain the system by opening the manual drain valves or by using compressed air to blow the water out of the system.  Which method you use depends on how your system is set up.  When in doubt, call your irrigation sprinkler company.

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