14 Dec Tips for Winterizing Your Sprinkler Systems from Your Thornton, Colorado, Plumbers
As a Thornton, Colorado, plumber, one of the most common types of call we have during the winter are those relating to people’s outdoor sprinkler systems and not properly winterizing them. Often, it’s an emergency call too, because burst pipes are creating ice fields in a lawn.
There’s no two ways about this one: If you have an underground sprinkler system, you must winterize it before sustained freezing weather hits. Otherwise, it could cause serious damage to both your sprinkler setup, your lawn, and potentially even to your home’s foundation! Even though, unfortunately we do not have capabilities to help winterize your system, we want to provide some tips for you.
Steps to Winterizing Your Sprinklers, Straight from Top Thornton Plumbers
1. Shut off the main water flow
First, you should completely shutdown any water going into the sprinkler system. If possible, do this at the main valve, specifically to prevent any water whatsoever from getting in once it’s been winterized. You won’t need to turn that valve on again until the spring.
2. Insulate the valve
It’s easy for a main valve to become frozen and damaged, since there’s no way to entirely remove all water from it. The best approach here is to wrap it in insulation tape or spray-on foam, which then gets removed in the spring.
3. Shut down your irrigation controller
This will vary depending on your control system, but it will have a setting (such as “rain”) which disables any attempts to run the sprinklers. Otherwise, it could potentially burn out trying to run dry sprinklers.
4. Drain your pipes
A properly-winterized irrigation system has very little, if any, water in it. So, they need to be drained. Some systems use a series of valves for this, but in most cases, the system will have an air-intake valve near the main valve. Hook up an air hose to it, and air-blast the remaining water out.
5. Insulate any remaining outdoor valves
If there are other water valves outdoors and exposed, it’s a good idea to insulate them like you did the main valve. Save this for last, after you’ve gotten the water out of the system, since they’ll be immobilized.
That’s it! Your sprinkler system should now be safe for the winter, and free of any major danger of freezing. Of course, if you have trouble or need any help winterizing your irrigation system in Thornton, CO, just call on Total Plumbing & Heating for assistance.