How to Winterize Sprinkler Systems

How to Winterize Sprinkler Systems

Now that winter is here, you could benefit from learning how to winterize a sprinkler system. This is especially the case if your yard is subject to frost, and any sitting water can freeze and burst the pipes, resulting in costly repairs. In fact, it’s one of the things you should do to get your home ready for winter, but it falls off the list for many of us.

If you haven’t already taken care of this, you need to do so now. The good news is that, with the right equipment and methods, you can drain the sprinkler system and prepare it for winter yourself — no professional needed. Here, we breakdown exactly what you need to do to winterize a sprinkler system. 

Step 1: Shut Off the Water

First, switch off the water supply to the system. This is usually via a main valve near your water meter. If your system has backflow prevention valves, then those need to be shut off too. 

Step 2: Switch Off your Timer

If your system comes with an automatic timer, then switch it to rain mode. That way you can shut it down and save your settings you already have in place for the spring. If you don’t have a rain mode, then switch it off completely.  

Step 3: Drain the Remaining Water

Now it’s time to remove any residual water from the pipes. This is the tricky part, but once you know what you’re doing, it’s fairly straightforward. There are three ways to drain the water: manually, automatically or blowing it out via an air compressor. We cover each method below!

  • Manual Draining – This is a straightforward method. Essentially, the pipes are elevated so that they manually drain when you release a valve at the lowest point. 
  • Automatic Draining – Some sprinkler systems can automatically drain, which is very useful. All you need to do is turn on the sprinklers while the water is shut off. This will drain the majority, but some residual water will still remain in the valves. To drain what’s left, you need to loosen the solenoid on every valve. Tighten these again once the water is completely drained. 
  • Blow-out Draining – This is the most complicated and time-consuming draining method. You essentially force compressed air into the system, blowing out any excess water through the sprinkler heads. This can be a dangerous method though, which can potentially damage the system if not performed correctly with the proper safety equipment. 

Step 4: Insulate Exposed Components

This final step is simple, you’re going to want to insulate any exposed components. This means everything should be covered in insulation foam or tape, including the water supply shut-off valve, backflow preventers, as well as any exposed pipes. Just be careful not to block any vents or drains on the backflow preventers. 

Call Super Terry Now!

That’s it, your sprinkler system is now all set for winter. Come spring, it will be up and running again ready to revive your lawn and flowerbeds. Before freezing temperatures hit your region, it’s good to plan ahead. Ready to put your sprinklers and irrigation systems to bed for the winter but don’t want to do it yourself? Give super terry a call today and schedule an appointment!