There are a lot of tasks to cover as winter approaches. Remembering to winterize your irrigation systems is something that slips our minds and understandably so. Yet, forgetting to do so will lead to some hefty future costs and major headaches. Here are a few of the dangers of not winterizing your system, and the benefits of getting it done.
Winterizing is simply the process of removing all the water from the irrigation system. Neglect to do so, and the remaining water in the pipes will freeze. The water in the pipe expands as it freezes and may burst the pipes in sections of your irrigation system. Most likely, the damage to the pipes will not be recognized until the irrigation system is needed in the spring, and the cost of digging up and replacing the pipes is a shock no one is looking for.
Even if there is little water left in the irrigation system, it could still damage the sprinklers. Freezing water could crack and break the sprinkler heads. All broken sprinkler heads will have to be replaced before the irrigation system can be used again. While replacing sprinkler heads is a bit cheaper than replacing pipes, it is still an unnecessary cost that can be avoided by winterizing your irrigation system.
One essential step to properly winterizing your irrigation system is to insulate the main valve of your irrigation system. If the main shut off valve is exposed to weathering, it may be damaged during the winter season. Simple precautions, such as wrapping the valve in plastic and surrounding the exposed pipe with insulating tape or foam. Preventive measures like securing your main valve are essential steps to winterizing irrigation systems.
The key to winterizing irrigation systems is timing. Water must be blown out of irrigation systems before the first freeze of the season or your system will be at risk. It is important not to put off the task of getting your irrigation system winterized. It is better to turn off your system a few weeks early than to be caught off guard by the first frost and risk damaging your irrigation system.
Safeguarding against the potential dangers of winterization is essential to anyone who owns an irrigation system. Forgetting or neglecting to winterize the irrigation system could damage all sections of your system. Preventive measures are the best way to avoid future pain and keeping your irrigation system in the best condition possible.