In the winter months, our lawns and gardens are not getting watered by rain or melting snow. In order to keep your plants healthy, you need to make sure that they get enough water for at least a few hours each day. The best way is with an irrigation system! Here’s how you can take care of your irrigation system in the winter months:
Drain the pipes
Before the first big freeze, you’ll want to drain out any water from the irrigation system. Because as soon as those temperatures drop below freezing, there is a chance of your pipes bursting if they are still under pressure! This way, you can avoid a huge headache and possibly even a costly repair or replacement job.
Protect valves and backflow preventers
If the water won’t be draining out of your system, you’ll need to drain it from where it enters your house. Remove and drain any valves that connect to the water main. You should also remove any backflow preventers or other types of valves. These parts all need to be winterized in order for them to work properly next season.
Stay in control
If you leave your irrigation system on and the power goes out, it’s possible that your water lines could freeze and burst. To prevent this from happening, use a timer so that you can control when the system turns on and off. If there is ever an emergency where you need to shut off your irrigation system in a hurry (if there was a big rainstorm, for example), you can shut off the timer.
Winterize your sprinkler heads
The final step is to make sure all of your sprinkler heads are free from debris. When it’s time to turn the system back on, you’ll want to make sure that it goes off without a hitch. If there are any clogged or blocked heads, they won’t be able to pop up when they need to.
Line up your sprinkler heads
Even though there will be no lawn to water, you’ll want to set out the irrigation system so that it waters everything it will in the spring. Use some string or spray paint on the ground to map out your zones and then adjust them until every zone is placed correctly. This way, you can make sure that nothing gets overwatered or under-watered.
Depending on where you live, your irrigation system may not need to be drained before the first freeze. You should check with a professional if you aren’t sure. This will help keep your yard healthy and looking good over the winter months!