What is the best way to keep your irrigation systems set for the winter as they approach cheerfully?
The falls could be quite a beautiful season of the year but winter storms and cold temperatures can be pretty dangerous too. Remember 4th grade science lessons? How water changes from liquid to solid under freezing temperatures and how it expands as it turns to ice.
Well, this is also true for water remaining in an Irrigation system, which can lead to burst pipes and other significant damages. This is why every award-winning home owner with automated irrigation systems to his/her landscape would never overlook the important practice of winterizing his lawn equipment at this time of the year.
Talking cost, It is also very much affordable and less labor intensive to carry out. Even much safer than waking up one spring to damaged fittings, pipes, valves or sprinklers. What a nasty surprise that would be!
The winterizing process should always begin with a run-check for leaking heads or nozzles and making any necessary repairs or replacements. After that is done, simply follow these easy guides and ensure your irrigation system experiences a befitting retreat through the winter months.
Shutoff Water Supply
Of course we know this is a pretty obvious first step anyone can carry out, but shutting off water supply to your irrigation system is done from the main valve this time. Yea! This could be a garden tap for simpler systems, or an elaborate shut-off valve for more complex systems. This shutoff valve could be found somewhere indoors around the basement, in a crawlspace, or outside; underground in a valve box. Just in case you’re using a water tank with a pump, do ensure to remove the pump, dry off and store in a cool dry place. Remember to also drain the water tank as well and disconnect any feeds from down pipes. Very Important!
Drain! Drain and Drain!
Shutting off water supply to the irrigation system is usually followed by draining water lurking in the pipes completely. By completely, we mean Completely! You see, Removing as much water as possible from your pipework is important to prevent major damage. So, loosen those stop ends, go to work on pipes buried underground and do allow water flow through any drain valves located in the valve box beside the valves. But hey! Just before you think it’s a ‘draining challenge’, and try to give up because of the thoughts of getting all wet, be rest assured that this exercise is done by your certified irrigation professional.
Blow Out Excess Air
Blowing out is certainly a deal breaker for winterizing your irrigation systems professionally. It allows for any trapped water or air remaining in the valves to drain out in order to prevent any cracking due to freezing. Doing this does require some expertise in the use of compressed air. So while some homeowners in Florida might already own an air compressor, it is still preferable to call your irrigation pro’s not only as a general safety precaution but also to prevent other incidental damage from occurring to your irrigation system.
Finally, it is never a bad idea to insulate any exposed pipe by masking them around properly with foam. You can also purchase a back-flow blanket to further protect the back-flow from freezing out. These items could be bought at your local irrigation retail store or online.
So, there you have it!
We hope this brief guide helps. Should you need further questions and inquiries and we’ll be glad to speak with you. Great day Friends!