It's important to prepare your home and yard for the winter season ahead due to the harsh weather conditions that arrive. The sprinkler system can suffer from damage if it's not winterized. If you want to keep it in good condition until the spring season, there are a few essential steps to take.
Turn Off the Water Supply
Shut off the water supply to the sprinklers, which is located in the basement or in a valve box that is approximately five feet deep. Put it in the off position and drain a pump that may be connected. You'll also need to remove the blowout cap and use caution due to excess pressure that can be present. Connect the adapter to the compressor hose. If the water supply is located outdoors, you'll need to wrap it in plenty of insulation to protect it from low temperatures.
Drain the Sprinkler System
Draining the sprinkler system is a crucial step to take to prevent the existing water in the pipes from freezing. Use compressed air to with 40-80 pounds per square inch (psi). Using more than 80 psi can cause damage to the irrigation system. Smaller compressors can be used but will make it a longer process to complete due to less volume that is generated.
Advance to Each Zone
Each zone should be blown out with two cycles of air that are used. Expect a steady stream of water to come out of the sprinklers when you begin to blow it out with air. You'll then notice that a spray of fog starts to appear after a few seconds due to less air that is present, which is an indicator that the zone is completed.
Disconnect the Line
Disconnect the line to the compressor and slightly put the cap back on to ensure that any water that forms will drain out. Turn the corners of the ball valves one-quarter of the way. The drain at the point of connection should also be opened to get the rest of the water that is present in the supply line out of the pipe.
Winterizing your sprinkler system will protect the materials when the ground freezes to prevent significant damage once the sprinklers are used again. Taking the right steps is crucial to protecting your irrigation system in a colder climate to reduce the risk of repairs that are needed in the spring season.