Winterizing Sprinkler Systems

Seesawing day/night temperatures make it difficult to determine when to shut down irrigation systems. Weighing the risk of system damage versus the need to water dry landscapes is challenging. Here are some hints to keep your system safe:

  • Wrap backflow preventers to keep systems operational longer. Use insulation wrapped with plastic and be sure to include pipes to ground level. Secure with duct tape.
  • Winterize systems by shutting off the water and draining the lines. Many systems require blowout but some have manual or auto drains. Some lines settle over time creating low spots and can benefit from blow out even with in- line drains.
  • Have systems blown out by professionals with an air compressor. Do-it-yourselfers can do this with the right compressor, pressure regulation and knowledge. Poorly handled air pressure can damage a system, as can leaving residual water in the system.

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Updated Wednesday, October 09, 2013