Pipe Draining and Other Methods to Avoid Sprinkler Problems in Winter

Modern gardenSprinkler systems are convenient and essential for yard maintenance, especially in the summer when the temperature is high. Fortunately, when you’re away on vacation, you can count on automatic sprinkler systems to water the plants and lawn. This is why you need to give our sprinklers some TLC in winter.

It’s not enough to simply stop turning on sprinklers when the weather turns icy. Sprinklers need ample preparation for the colder months in order to maintain its good condition until spring comes around.

Below are two basic questions whose answers sum up what you need to do to winterize a sprinkler system.

How do you prevent frozen pipes?

Turn off the main water supply.
Drain water from the sprinkler.

It’s possible to drain sprinklers manually, but you can get better results from a blowout. This is the process of pumping compressed air through sprinkler systems to flush out all traces of water.

It’s important to note that compressed air can be dangerous and difficult to manage. Utah Sprinklers warns that releasing compressed air too fast produces friction, which is damaging to sprinkler valves. Therefore, it’s best to leave blowouts to the experts.

Some irrigation systems have an automatic drain function, but they’re not always thorough. If pipes lie on uneven ground, you can expect that there will be water left in the sections that are lower than the drain valve.

How do I protect my sprinkler system from freezing during winter?

Detach your backflow preventer and pump, and keep them indoors.
Cover sprinkler heads.

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Ice forming around above-ground sprinkler heads is normally not a problem. It will thaw and melt when the weather starts to warm. The downside is that repetitions of this cycle can make nozzles deteriorate quickly. To be safe, you can cover above ground sprinkler heads with sturdy containers or loose tarp.

If you don’t want the burden of repair or replacement costs for your sprinkler, keep these maintenance tips for winter in mind.