The Complete Checklist for Winterizing Your Irrigation System
Mar 11th 2023
While the cold weather may be a welcome change for many, it can bring challenges for those with an irrigation system. If you don't take the proper precautions, you could end up with burst pipes, damaged valves, and other costly repairs. That's why it's important to irrigation winterization before the first freeze hits.
Flatwater Sales Inc provides a vast collection of irrigation equipment to winterize your system easily. From center pivot relays to used irrigation pivots, we have what it’ll take to modify your irrigation system, but how do you go about it?
This blog provides a complete checklist for winterizing your irrigation system. By following this checklist, you can ensure that your irrigation system is ready to withstand the winter months and be in top condition when spring arrives.
Shut Off Your Water Supply
You need to shut off the water supply to winterize your irrigation system because leaving water in your pipes and valves can cause them to freeze and expand, leading to bursting and irreversible damage to your system.
If there are parts like center pivot solenoid valves, etc., in your irrigation system, they are at risk of damage during the freezing weather.
When water freezes, it expands and exerts pressure on the walls of the pipe or valve, causing it to crack or burst. This can lead to leaks, loss of water pressure, and costly repairs, with an average cost of around $110 to $365.
By shutting off the water supply, you prevent water from entering your irrigation system, which allows you to drain the water out of your pipes and valves. This ensures that no water is left in the system that could freeze and potentially cause damage.
Drain Your Pipes
After you've shut off your water supply, it's time to drain your pipes. Any remaining water in your pipes can freeze and expand, causing your pipes to burst. Start by opening all the drain valves on your system.
If your system doesn't have drain valves, you can use compressed air to blow out the water. Connect a compressor to your irrigation system and blow the water through the sprinkler heads. Make sure to blow out each zone separately for irrigation winterization.
Disconnect & Drain The Backflow Preventer
If you have a backflow preventer, it's important to disconnect and drain it. This device is designed to prevent contaminated water from flowing back into your drinking water supply. However, it can also be damaged by freezing temperatures.
To disconnect your backflow preventer, turn off the valves on both sides and unscrew them from the pipes. Drain any remaining water from the device and store it in a dry place.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
Even after you've drained your pipes, some water may still be left in the system. To protect your pipes from freezing, you can insulate them. Use foam insulation sleeves or wrapping to cover any exposed pipes. Pay particular attention to pipes located outside or in unheated areas because even a simple leak can take up to $300 to fix.
Store Sprinkler Heads
Your sprinkler heads are also vulnerable to freezing temperatures. If water is left inside them, it can expand and cause them to crack. Remove each sprinkler head from the ground and store them in a dry, warm place. Make sure to clean them thoroughly before storing them during the irrigation winterization process.
Check For Leaks
Before storing your irrigation system for the winter, it's important to check for leaks. Look for wet spots or puddles around your system, as this could indicate a leak. You should also inspect your pipes and fittings for any signs of damage or wear. Repair any leaks or damage before storing your system.
Protect The Controller
Your irrigation controller is the brain of your system, and it needs to be protected from freezing temperatures. Disconnect the power supply to your controller and remove any batteries. Store your controller in a dry, warm place.
Consider A Professional Service
If you're not confident about getting through the irrigation winterization process on your own, consider hiring a professional service. They can provide a thorough winterization and ensure your system is in good condition for the winter months. A professional service can also make necessary repairs or upgrades to your system.
The Bottom Line
Don't forget that irrigation winterization is not a one-time task. You'll need to repeat this process every year before the first freeze. By staying on top of your winterization routine, you can ensure that your system is always in top condition and ready to go when you need it.
Winter can be challenging for any irrigation system, but with the proper precautions, you can help ensure that your system stays in good condition throughout the winter months.
By following this complete checklist and taking other necessary steps to prepare your lawn, farm, or garden for winter, you can help ensure your property is ready to thrive when spring arrives.
How Can Flatwater Sales Inc Help?
Are you looking for spare parts for your irrigation system? We can help! Flatwater Sales Inc. has new and used irrigation system parts and equipment from the best brands. From center pivot sprinklers to valley pivots for sale, we have it all! You can also find a variety of smart irrigation system parts and tools on our website.
We also have a variety of irrigation pipes, and pivot booster pumps for efficient and smart irrigation systems. To learn more about our products, used equipment, shipping procedures, and updates, reach out to us today.