Winterizing Irrigation Systems

Published on: August 1, 2013

If your home or business has an irrigation system installed, one of the seasonal maintenance items that must be performed is the complete winterization of the irrigation system.  It is critical that this service be scheduled with a professional irrigation contractor  or landscaper prior to the onset of the winter.  Since sprinkler irrigation systems are installed at shallow depths, they are subject to freezing relatively easily.  Once scheduled, the irrigation contractor or lanscaper will work hard to get the system ready for winter.

There are two parts to the winterization of the system.  Obviously the first thing that the irrigation contractor will do is shut off the water to the system.   The next step, which is the most important, is to remove the remaining water from the pipes.  Typically this is done in a couple of ways using either gravity or compressed air to remove the water.  In some cases a combination of the two methods is necessary to remove all water that could freeze and crack the irrigation pipe during the freeze / thaw process.  On properties with elevation changes, often there will be a drain point located at the low point on the property that allows water to be drained.  The drain plug is removed and water is allowed to drain out of the system.  On level properties where there is little terrain change, compressed air from an air compressor is used to force or “blow out” the water in the irrigation lines.

A qualified sprinkler irrigation system contractor or landscape professional will have the necessary experience and equipment to properly winterize any residential or commercial irrigation system. Many property owners find it beneficial to have a service agreement with a professional irrigation contractor, who will perform this service as a part of the maintenance plan.  The contractor will automatically schedule and perform the work in a seamless and cost effective manner!

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