A Guide to Winterizing Sprinklers
Depending on where you live, winterization is an important process for your sprinkler system. For places that rarely experience snow or where the temperature can be cold, but not freezing, it requires less complicated winterization. However, for places that experience snow below the piping level, it requires a detailed winterization process.
You can always hire a professional to do it. It can also be a DIY (do-it-yourself) process. So, to answer the commonly asked question, “how to winterize your sprinkler?”, check the different methods of winterization.
Below are the methods for winterization. It’s not that complicated at all. If you follow these guidelines, you’re on your way to learning, “how to winterize your sprinkler”.
Automatic Drain Method
Automatic drain valves are located at the end of the irrigation piping. These automatically open when water pressure is below 10psi. Switch off the irrigation supply (turn off the valve or knob located at your basement) to activate the auto drain. After draining, turn on the broiler valve to drain the remaining water in areas between the backflow and shut off valve. If your system has check valves, then pull them up and allow the bottom to drain.
Blow Out Method
Of all methods, this requires ANSI-approved eyewear for your protection. The blow out method requires the use of an air compressor with 80-100 CFM. Turn off the irrigation system and attach the air compressor hose compatible with the fitting. Close the backflow valves. Slowly, open the valve on the compressor to introduce air in a small and steady amount. Maintain the blow out pressure below 80psi.
Start with the farthest station working on to the closest to the compressor. Make sure each station is dry. It normally requires 2 minutes of operation to dry up. If all the stations are already dry, switch off the compressor to prevent damage in the pipes. Detach the hose from the irrigation system. Remember to avoid standing over any irrigation parts to prevent serious injury.
Manual Drain Method
Switch off the irrigation system and open all manual valves. Once water is drained, allow the water between the backflow and irrigation valve to dry up. Open the test cocks. If there are check valves, then pull them up. Allow every valve and head to drain, and then close all the manual valves.
If you read the guidelines on how to winterize your sprinkler and follow them as written, you should not encounter any problem. Remember, winterization is an important procedure that you should do as the weather changes. It could save you hundreds of dollars by preventing your pipelines, valves, and spray heads from cracks due to freezing weather.
If you’re still unsure that you want to do your own winterization method, hire a professional to save yourself from the stress involved in the process.