Landscape sprinklers make watering your lawn a hands-free operation during the warmer months, but that convenience comes with a few hours of work each year to maintain the system properly. If you live in a region of the country where winter temperature drops to below the freezing point, much of this yearly maintenance is getting your system requires ready for the winter to prevent damage.
There are several ways you can do this and the method you choose depends on the type of sprinkler system you own. It is important to note that while it is possible to winterize your sprinkler on your own, most landscaping experts recommend having professionals do it for you.
The Method For Sprinklers with Automatic Drainage Valves
The simplest method of winterization is for systems which offer automatic drainage. This kind of system has valves at the end of each pipe which automatically releases excess water if the pressure within the pipe falls below a certain level, typically 10 PSI. Homeowners who want to drain the water in this kind of system should first turn off the water supply to sprinklers. Then run the sprinklers for a short time until they stop spraying. Turn off the sprinklers and open the boiler drain valve or the drain cap to drain the water between the main shut off valve and the system’s back-flow device.
Sprinkler systems which use check valves to restrict water loss will need to pop up the head of each sprinkler to allow it to drain properly. When no more water is flowing out of your system, pop down the heads and turn off all the valve
The Method For Sprinklers with Manual Drainage Valves
Systems without automatic valves require a little more work. Homeowners with manual valves first need to turn off the water supply to their systems and then open all the manual drainage valves and let the water run out. You can find the drainage valves for this kind of system at the end and the lowest point of each pipe. Then open the remaining valves to let the rest of the water leave your system.
Homeowners with manual systems using check valves will need to drain each sprinkler head in exactly the same way as for automatic systems. Don’t forget to close all the valves after draining.
The Blow Out Method
Draining sprinklers using either of the two methods described above is effective, but it is possible for water to remain in the system and cause damage. The best way to ensure no water remains in pipes during the winter is by using compressed air to force all of it out completely using the blow out method. Since the use of compressed gas has a high likelihood of causing damage to either your sprinklers or yourself, you should never attempt this method on your own and should instead call a professional.
Are you too busy to winterize your sprinkler system on your own this year? No problem. Green Acres Landscape in Salem, Oregon can help. For more than two decades, Green Acres Landscape has been residential and commercial clients in the Salem area to create and maintain the outdoor spaces of their dreams. No matter your landscaping needs, Green Acres Landscape can help. Call 503-399-8066 to arrange an appointment.