How To Winterize Your Sprinkler System

It’s hard to believe, but winter is just around the corner.

And with the colder weather comes ice and freezing conditions that can wreak havoc on your landscape and sprinkler system if the right steps aren’t taken first.

Leaving water in your sprinkler system during the colder months can cause pipes to burst and other damage. So, it’s important you winterize the system before the first freeze.

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All sprinkler systems are different, but it should have been installed with a way to remove the water when it was first installed, such as a manual drain, auto drain or air blowout.

If you’re not sure what type of removal function your system has, it’s best to call a professional.

But if you want to attempt the manual or auto drain process to winterize your system, here are steps to follow.

How to Winterize a Manual Drain

Look at your system to see if the manual valves are at the end and low points of the sprinkler piping. If they are, you can use the manual drain method.

Start draining the system by shutting off the sprinkler’s water supply and opening all of the manual drain valves. Let the water drain out of the mainline.

Open the drain valve or drain cap to drain the remaining water, which is between the shut-off valve and backflow device. Then, open the test cocks on the backflow device.

Any ball valves outside in the landscape need to be left partially open at a 45-degree angle. This will ensure no water is trapped inside the ball valve, which will cause cracking directly over the ball valve. All of the test cocks also need to be left open to allow for water to expand and drain out if needed.

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Clear Water from an Automatic Drain

If your automatic drain valves are located at the end and low points of the sprinkler’s piping, they will automatically open and drain water when the pressure is less than 10 PSI. Shut off the irrigation water supply to activate these.

Like with the manual drain, open the test cocks on the backflow device.

Call in the Pros

The safest and easiest way to winterize your sprinkler system is to hire a landscaping company. They can clear the water out of your system, no matter what type you have. So, you can rest assured that there’s no water left.

But winter isn’t the only time you should get your sprinkler system looked at. Regular system maintenance will make sure it’s operating efficiently. You could be wasting water and money if the system isn’t working properly.

Whether you want to winterize, repair, maintain or update your sprinkler system with add-ons, Outback Landscape can help. We have the latest irrigation techniques and tools to take care of your system.

Call us at 208-656-3220 or contact us online to talk about your irrigation needs!


Request Sprinkler System Winterization