How to Winterize Your Home Irrigation System

Oct 29, 2018

There is no shortage of gardening tasks to attend to in the fall if you want your beautiful landscape design to come back strong in the spring.  Whether you’re trimming dead foliage, raking up leaves, weeding flower beds, or planting your tulip and daffodil bulbs, it’s wise to winterize your garden in order to ensure beautiful blooms come spring.

You might not realize, however, that you also need to winterize your irrigation system.  You know you won’t be using it during the cold winter months, when your turf is buried under a mound of snow and ice, so turning off the timer that triggers your system is the first step, but you also need to make sure your system is prepped for winter so as to avoid any damage.

This means removing any water in the lines that could freeze, expand, and create cracked or broken components.  Here’s what you should know about winterizing the irrigation system on your Sioux Center, Iowa property.

Manually Draining Water

Some irrigation systems contain release valves located at a low point specifically for the purpose of draining.  If this is the case, all you have to do is shut off the water supply, open the manual drain valves, and let the system drain on its own.  Once the mainline is clear, you’ll have to open remaining valves to ensure that all of the water flushes from the system.  This isn’t a foolproof method, but so long as the system drains to a low point, it should work.

Blowing Out the Irrigation System

A more effective way to ensure all water is eliminated from your irrigation system before winter weather hits is to blow out the lines with compressed air.  This can be a somewhat dangerous process, so you’ll want to wear protective gear, namely ANSI-approved eye protection.  Water and debris can come shooting out when you apply compressed air, so it’s always best to take safety precautions.

You can rent an appropriate compressor at your local hardware store and hook it up to your system to force compresses air through and blow out the lines.  This process is not terribly complicated, but it is important that you do it correctly or you risk damaging components of your irrigations system.  If you’re determined to go it alone, make sure to find a suitable tutorial that shows you how and where to hook up the compressor, how much pressure to apply, and so on.

Hiring Professional Help

In truth, it’s probably best to hire professionals that have the proper training and experience to weatherize your irrigation system.  They know exactly what to do to ensure that all the water is safely and properly flushed from the system so that you don’t have to worry about any damage occurring during the winter.

Considering the potential expense associated with damaged irrigation components, not to mention the difficulty of draining your system each year, you stand to save both time and money in the long run by hiring professionals to winterize your system.  This will help to keep your Rock Valley, Iowa property well-maintained season after season.