Are your sprinkler pipes prepared to survive the coming winter? They’d better be. While it’s possible to fix the pipes after they burst, it’s cheaper and easier to make sure they don’t burst in the first place. No sooner than the end of October, you should have your pipes winterized if you want to make sure they survive. We checked with Cache Valley Lawn King to get the details on how to protect your sprinkler pipes in the winter.
Turn Off The Water
The first thing you should do is shut off the water supply. This is done at the main valve. It’s usually located in the garage, a utility closet, or the basement. With the water turned off, you can drain the system.
Blow It Out
You’ll want to do this on the warmest part of the day for best results. You’ll need an air compressor to do this. Before you begin, make sure that you have proper eye protection. Compressed air is very powerful and could blow debris into your eyes. A trip to the hospital is the last thing you want.
Once the water is turned off, close any open valves, especially those in the backflow device. Remove the blow out cap and attach your compressor to it using an adaptor. Make sure you hook it up after the backflow preventer to keep air from going through the backflow. Open the zone furthest from the compressor. Do not run the compressor without this valve open, or it will build up too much pressure. Open the compressor valve slowly to force air through your sprinkler system. Watch to be sure the pressure doesn’t rise above 80 PSI for PVC pipes, or 50 PSI for polyethylene piping. Let the air flow until the steady stream of water becomes a fine mist.
Repeat this process for each zone in your sprinkler system. Be careful no to run air through your system longer than is needed. Continued pressure will damage the pipes.
That’s All There Is To It
The process isn’t that complicated. You just need to make sure you do it before the cold weather comes. While it is possible to blow out your pipes after the first snowfall, the longer you wait, the more likely your pipes will burst. If the pipes do burst, you’ll have to dig them up and replace them where they break. That’s far more time consuming and expensive, so don’t delay.