Expert Advice

Irrigation Winterization

Properly winterizing your irrigation system is crucial in ensuring that the winter freeze up does not damage your system and ensures its long term performance. If any water is left in the system it can seriously damage the various components when allowed to freeze. Considering the amount of money it costs to install an irrigation system or to make repairs, ensuring that your system is blown out is absolutely critical.

Now if this fall is your first time preparing your system for winter yourself, then there are a few important items you need to consider. The first is how we evacuate the water from the system. Compressed air is the primary method used for this function, now if you choose to do this yourself versus using a professional, it is important to understand how to select an air compressor. Many people are surprised to learn that air pressure is actually not the most important function of the air compressor with only about 80 psi required to blow out the average residential irrigation system. What is important, is the compressors ability to move large volumes of air otherwise known as a compressors CFM or cubic feet per minute. In a residential homeowner application one would typically need a compressor capable of providing at least 50 CFM with most professional operators using 175 CFM diesel compressors.

Another factor to consider is the importance of having a properly functioning backflow device. This device prevents outside contaminants from getting into the public water system including your house. Now if this device or your water connection at the house is not winterized properly and water remains at this connection, then damage due to water freezing is possible followed by the risk of contaminants or water getting into our home.

The last thing to do after you have run through each zone one at a time for no more than 5 minutes a zone or until you no longer see any water coming from any of the sprinklers, is to check for any zones or extra taps that might have not been blown out in the process. If this occurs it will be necessary to find the valve not working, manually open the problem zone and make repairs to the valve. It is important for obvious reasons to ensure no water remains in the system.

Now, if any of this sounds complicated then you always have the option to consult or have one of our professionals winterize your system. Pricing is dependant upon the number of zones your system has. If you have any questions about your irrigation system or your lawn, please contact our office and a customer service representative who would be happy to provide you a price or offer assistance.