How Do I Winterize My Sprinkler System?

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Protect your in-ground sprinkler system against winter water damage due to freezing temperatures by properly preparing it for the season.

Your home’s irrigation system has been busy all season long keeping your lawn and landscape lush and green. But now is the best time to protect your investment by preparing your sprinkler system for freezing winter temperatures.

It’s important to drain the water from your irrigation system to prevent ice buildup and other potential problems that can lead to costly repairs. But how do you keep this harsh season from damaging your sprinklers and bursting your pipes?

Here’s a handy guide to help you winterize your home’s lawn sprinkler system.

Manually Drain Your Sprinkler System

Note that the details below contain generalized instructions for DIY sprinkler winterization. BG Outdoor Services makes no claims as to the completeness or applicability of the information contained in this blog post with regards to the specific irrigation system installed at your home. We recommend that do-it-yourselfers read the manual that came with their system, and contact the manufacturer for system-specific winterization instructions.

In general, you begin winterizing your sprinkler system by turning off the system’s water supply then manually running the sprinkler until there doesn’t appear to be any water left in the system. Then, using a compressor and an air hose, access your sprinkler system’s blow-out port and follow the instructions contained in your user’s manual to blow any remaining water out of the lines. Based on the specific sequence of instructions, you may now turn off your controller. Then, shut off the backflow valve and open the manual drain valve on your sprinkler system. A backflow device is what keeps the sprinkler water from contaminating your home freshwater supply by reversing flow backward into the house (which is usually its water source). You often need to remove the backflow device for safekeeping in a conditioned space over the winter as the component is subject to breakage when exposed to freezing temperatures.

The manual drain valve lets any water that’s trapped in the sprinkler system to flow out (thanks to good old gravity). But complete drainage via gravity doesn’t always work. This is because underground pipes can shift over time, which results in low spots where water can collect. The use of a compressor and air to blow out the remaining water in the lines is a vital part of completing the winterization process.

Contact a Professional Irrigation Company for Sprinkler System Winterization

You can leave all the work to a professional irrigation company with deep experience in sprinkler system maintenance, repair and turn-ons/winterization. These professionals will take care of the entire process for you, including draining the system, blowing it out with compressed air, removing the backflow device for you to store for the winter (in a warm place – don’t store your backflow device in an unheated space) and turning off the controller for the season. All you need to do is ensure that you turn off the sprinkler main water valve inside your home and that you provide the technician with access to your system controller, along with any other specific instructions you receive from your sprinkler service company.

These winterization services are crucial to extending the lifespan of your sprinkler and protecting your investment so that come spring your system can work properly to bring your lawn and landscape back to life.

It’s no secret that sprinkler systems can keep your lawn looking healthy and green, and curb appeal offers proven value. By spending as little as 5% of your home’s value on your landscaping, you can experience a return on investment of as much as 150%.

As with any home system, sometimes your sprinkler system may need maintenance or repair. If the system is not working at its best, your lawn, planting beds and garden may suffer come warm weather. That’s another area where a yearly sprinkler service agreement with BG Outdoor Services comes in handy. Along with winterization and spring turn-on services, yearly service plan offerings include a seasonal inspection to check the system’s performance, plus discounted parts, repairs and maintenance costs.

Yearly Service Plans to Protect Your Sprinkler System

If you’re looking to keep your sprinkler system in peak condition throughout the year, BG Outdoor Services can help. Our yearly service plans ensure your sprinkler is leak-free, prepared for the seasons ahead, running efficiently and maintained and repaired as needed. These plans also feature discounts on parts, repairs, backflow inspections and more. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help extend the lifespan and efficiency of your sprinkler system with a yearly service plan. 

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