Although we would rather not think of it, cold winter weather is right around the corner. Winter comes with its benefits – hot chocolate, snow sports, holidays – but it also can bring some destruction. Even the mildest of winters in the Northeast bring freezing temperatures, which can be bad news for your irrigation system.
Winterization allows your irrigation system to be ready for the season. To prevent your lawn sprinkler system from being damaged, it is important to thoroughly drain the water from the pipes. If you don’t, the water in the pipes can freeze, causing it to expand as it turns to ice and crack the pipes. There are several draining techniques:
The best method to use depends on the set up of your lawn sprinkler system. If you are not trained in winterizing your sprinkler, we strongly recommend hiring a professional – we’re happy to help!
The manual drain method requires that your manual drain valve is installed at the lowest point on your system’s mainline. If your system’s mainline has multiple low points, be sure that you have additional manual drain valves installed where water may collect, and not overflow. The mainline should also be sloped properly to drain. If your drain point is inside the home, be sure that you have a sizeable container to accept the volume of water without flooding.
The automatic drain method is to be coupled with the manual drain of the mainline. Automatic drain simplifies the process (if you have automatic valves) by draining every time the sprinkler system is active.
The compressed air blow-out can help ensure that there is no excess water in the pipes. It is very important that you are knowledgeable about the process as well as your system because excessive air pressure can cause a lot of damage. Air pressure should not exceed 50 pounds per square inch of air pressure at any time.