How to Prepare Your Irrigation System for Winter
As winter arrives, it’s time to prep everything for colder temperatures. One of the things that needs your time and attention is your irrigation system. Winterizing your irrigation system can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Insulate and turn off valves
Frozen pipes are the last thing you want to deal with this winter, so insulate faucets and above ground pipes with insulation tape or a foam insulation cover (sold at most home improvement stores). Also, be sure to shut off the valve that feeds water to the the irrigation system.
Adjust the program settings
If you have a programmable irrigation system, make sure you switch everything to “off” or set to “rain mode.” Most systems will save your start time and other settings. If you’re concerned that shutting off the controller isn’t going to cut it, completely unplug the controller from the power source. This will cause you to lose your settings, but you won’t have to worry about your system accidentally turning on in the winter.
Get professional help draining pipes
Last but not least, you’ll need to drain the pipes of water so that the water doesn’t freeze and burst them. There are several ways to drain the valves and make sure all the water is out, but we do not recommend you DIY this step. Draining the pipes is a particularly complicated (and potentially dangerous) step, so it’s best you leave it to the professionals. Stay safe and call an irrigation specialist for guidance.