Irrigation systems are one of the best ways to keep your lawn looking great without spending hours caring for it yourself. Irrigation systems work to keep lawns and flowerbeds properly watered to promote healthy growth. Irrigation systems are designed for use during the warmer months when plants are in bloom, but what about the rest of the year? Winter requires a little extra planning and maintenance to keep your irrigation system in tip-top shape for the upcoming spring season!
Watch the Weather
The first step of preparing your irrigation system for winter is knowing when the weather is cold enough to require winterization of the system. Watch the weather beginning at the end of fall. You should look for consistent patterns of temperatures below freezing for multiple days in a row. If there are just one or two isolated cold days, insulating the exposed irrigation lines is sufficient. Once temperatures are consistently below freezing, you should winterize the entire system.
Draining the Water
Water left in the irrigation system through the winter will inevitably freeze in the pipes. Frozen water expands, which can create burst irrigation pipes that are costly to fix. The easiest way to prevent frozen irrigation lines is to remove the water before it has a chance to freeze! Start by manually turning off the water supply from the irrigation system. Then, use the manual drainage valve to drain water from the irrigation lines.
Small amounts of water can get trapped at the bottom of the irrigation lines. The only way to know for sure that all the water is gone is to blow out the irrigation system. An air compressor can be used to blow the system out one section at a time, forcing out any remaining water. Blowing out irrigation lines is extremely effective, but it can be dangerous for both you and your irrigation system. Hiring a professional to winterize the system will give you peace of mind that there’s no water left behind and save you a lot of work!
Any of the exposed irrigation pipes, sprinkler heads, and vents should be insulated. These areas can be insulated by wrapping them in plastic and then covering them in foam insulation tape. Exposed pipes are typically included in a professional irrigation winterization service, but it’s an easy DIY job too!
Contact Berardi Irrigation today to learn more about maintaining your irrigation system in every season. Taking care of your investment in the winter will help improve its performance in the spring and summer! Winterizing your irrigation system is a relatively easy process but if you need help, we can help.