I’ve spent much of my life in regions where the winters are chilly.As a result, I’ve got to think about what I’ll do with my sprinkler system when the temperature drops too low.
Insulate your pipes, switch off your sprinkler timers, turn off the water, drain the pipes, remove outside hoses, and turn off faucets are the top six suggestions for winterizing your sprinkler system. Read on to learn more about how these top 6 tips will help.
Why you should winterize your sprinkler system
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to winterizing your sprinkler system. First off, in its liquid form, water poses virtually little damage to you or your sprinkler system.
This is why you can run your sprinklers during other times of the year without worrying about anything happening. When water turns into ice, you truly need to worry about it.
Ice takes up more area in volume than water did when it froze. For example, if you filled a water bottle and put it in the freezer, you will discover that the water bottle has gotten bigger the next day.
This is because the water expanded as it turned into ice. The same thing that happens to all of your plumbing and sprinkler systems comes with freezing temperatures
Even worse, if you have pipes within your home that are not winterized, this could lead to burst pipes and water leaks in your residence.
To avoid a major water leak inside or outside your home caused by burst pipes, you must winterize your sprinkler system each year.
Insulate your water pipes.
As you may have guessed, ice is formed when cold water freezes. Ice expands and can damage your pipes, as we’ve already mentioned
Insulating your pipes is one way to deal with this problem. Insulation is the process of enclosing your pipes to keep them warm throughout the cold months of the year.
In addition, if your water is heated, then so is your pipe. You can buy pipe insulation in addition at your local hardware store.
Here are a few excellent choices. As soon as you’ve paid for pipe insulation, all you have to do is cover the pipes with it.
You may need a box cutter to cut the insulation at the joints, but overall, covering the pipes should be a simple task.
This is especially important for any piping located above ground, where it will be subjected to the freezing temperatures of winter.
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Disconnect the timers for your sprinklers.
There is a good chance that most sprinkler systems have timers configured to go off at predetermined intervals.
When the cold weather is approaching, it’s good to switch off or remove the timers. In one of our houses, the timer was on the side of the house, protected from the elements by a box.
If this is the case, turn the timers off or put them into “rain mode” if this is the case. Rain mode on your sprinkler timer retains the time and scheduler in its memory even when the timer is set to “Rain Mode.”
Just turn off “rain mode,” The sprinklers will return to their normal schedule after the cold season ends. When we lived in a different house, we had many timers exposed to the weather.
There are two ways to set these timers. Rain mode can be activated by turning on and encasing the sprinkler in the cover.
A plastic or zip-lock bag is one option. However, the timer can also be taken out of use for the season.There are times when a timer exposed to the weather should be brought inside rather than left out in the open
Since these timers are likely attached to above-ground lines, it’s best to bring the hoses and timers in simultaneously.
Remember that you can leave them on, but only if they’re in “rain mode” and stored away.
The water should be shut off.
If someone comes along and switches the water back on, your hard work to winterize your sprinklers will be for naught.
Even in the middle of winter, our kids have switched on the water outside for a good time. The timers on your sprinkler systems should be turned off, not only the water supply.
Your city may restrict your use of its water under certain circumstances. Nothing needs to be done if that is the case. If the city doesn’t cut off the water, you’ll have to do it yourself on your end of the system.
According to ThisOldHouse.com: Unfortunately, this guide cannot help you locate your primary valve. It’s enough to know that it’ll be near your water meter, most likely in a green box tucked away in the ground
If you can still locate it, you should have a professional come to your home and show you where it is and how to turn it off.
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Drain the clogged drains.
Draining the pipes is the final step after all the pipes have been insulated and the water has been shut off.
As water freezes and expands, leaving your pipes vulnerable to rupture, it’s critical to drain them before the cold weather sets in. Because of this, you’ll need to drain your pipes of any remaining water
Depending on your sprinkler system, you choose three techniques for draining your pipes.
Draining by Hand
The shut-off valves are located in low areas in certain sprinkler systems, so you may manually drain the water.
Before you begin, make sure you have eye protection on. Afterward, slowly open each valve until all of the water has been removed. Close the valves when you’re done.
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Draining on Command
Some systems will automatically drain the water when the water pressure drops too low. When the water pressure is turned off, you may be able to activate this by opening a sprinkler.
There are sprinkler systems that allow you to blow out any remaining water by connecting a compressor. This can be a dangerous alternative for those who aren’t sure how to do it right.
You may injure yourself or your sprinkler system as a result. Make an appointment with a technician to inspect your system before taking this route.
Professionals can tell you whether or not your system can handle having a compressor blowing out the air and, if so, what PSI to use.
I’d suggest hiring a pro to take care of it; after that, if you’re confident and know exactly how to maintain your sprinkler system, you can do it yourself.
Turn off the water and disconnect the hoses outdoors.
Remove the outside hoses and shut off the faucets for the final step your hoses and faucets can also be damaged by expanding ice, much like the pipe.
To prepare for the winter, dry up your garden hoses by placing them on an angle or allowing the water to drip out as they are being wrapped up. Your exterior faucets should be turned off, and any water access to those faucets.
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It’s possible that the winter could cause some damage to your home if you don’t prepare for it. Put your hoses away, drain.
Insulate your pipes, switch off your timers, shut off the water, and put them in a dry place to prepare for the approaching winter. Maintaining your sprinkler system will ensure that it continues to serve you well the next year.