Winterize Your Irrigation System

As the temperatures start to drop, it’s time to start thinking about how to winterize your irrigation system. Properly winterizing your system will help ensure that it won’t be damaged during the cold winter months, and will it lasts for years to come. In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps necessary to properly winterize your irrigation system.

The #1 Method to Winterize an Irrigation System – The Blowout Method

The blowout method is a process of removing water from your irrigation system using compressed air. This is done by attaching an air compressor to the end of your hose and turning on the water. The water will push out any remaining debris in the line and then be forced out of the nozzle by the compressed air.

The blowout method is the best way to winterize your sprinkler system, and here’s why.  It clears out all the water from the pipes, which prevents them from freezing and bursting over the winter. 

Although the blowout method is an effective way to winterize your sprinkler system, there are a few potential drawbacks. First, if not done properly, you run the risk of damaging your system. Second, not all sprinkler systems are compatible with the blowout method. Finally, you’ll need to have the proper tools and expertise to do the job right.

How to Winterize Your Irrigation System Using the Blowout Method

Now that you know what it is, we’re ready to get started.

Tools Needed:

  • Air compressor
  • A coupler that fits your irrigation system
  • Short screwdriver
  • Water Key
  • Safety glasses

Step 1: Turn Off the Water Supply

Begin by shutting off the water to your irrigation system. You’ll need to find your main shutoff valve and turn it off. If you’re not sure where your main shutoff valve is, ask a professional or refer to your owner’s manual. If your irrigation system runs on a timer, make sure to turn that off as well to avoid the risk of mechanical or electrical failure.

Step 2: Attach the Air Compressor

Next, you’ll need to attach your air compressor to the end of your hose. If you’re using a standard garden hose, you’ll need to use a quick connect coupling. You can find these at most hardware stores. Once the compressor is attached, turn it on. 

Step 3: Open One Check Valve

After the water is shut off, you’ll need to open one check valve to allow air to flow through the line.

Step 4:  Begin Blowing Out the Pipes

Now it’s time to start blowing out the water from your pipes. Go to your controller and begin cycling through all your zones for 2-3 minutes.

Step 5: Shut Off the Air Compressor and Remove the Hose

Once all of the water has been removed from your system, you can shut off the air compressor and remove the hose. Be sure to disconnect the quick connect coupling if you’re using one.

Step 6: Open the Remaining Check Valves

Now that your system is dry, you’ll need to open all the check valves to a 1/4 turn to prevent freezing.

FAQs About Winterizing an Irrigation System.

Q: When is the best time to winterize my irrigation system?

A:  The best time to winterize your irrigation system is in the fall, before the first frost. This will help ensure that your system is protected from the cold weather and won’t be damaged by freezing temperatures.

Q: Do I need to winterize my irrigation system if I live in a warm climate?

A: If you live in an area that doesn’t experience freezing temperatures, you may not need to winterize your system. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional to be sure.

Q: Can I winterize my irrigation system myself?

A: Yes! The blowout method is a relatively simple process that can be done by most people. However, if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always hire a professional.

Q: How often should I winterize my irrigation system?

A: You should winterize your system yearly, in the fall before the first freeze.

Q: What are the risks of not winterizing my irrigation system?

A: If you don’t winterize your system, you run the risk of damaging your pipes and sprinkler heads. Frozen water can expand and break pipes, while debris can clog and damage sprinkler heads. Winterizing your system will help ensure that it’s in good working condition when you need it.

Final Thoughts

By following these simple steps, you can easily winterize your irrigation system and help prevent any damage that could occur over the winter months. Be sure to test your system in the spring before using it again to ensure that everything is working properly.

Happy gardening!

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