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Winterizing sprinkler systems

Fall in Colorado can have extreme fluctuating day/night temperatures within a short period of time.  Trying to determine when to shut down irrigation systems becomes quite a challenge. Weighing the risk of system damage versus the need to water dry landscapes is the question.  As the saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry.” Here are some hints that may help 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 need to be professionally blown out but some have manual or auto drains. Lines can settle over time creating low spots that would benefit from being blown out even with inline drains.

Preferably have the systems blown out by professionals with an air compressor. You can do this yourself 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 Tuesday, August 05, 2014