As winter approaches, you may prepare for the cold months by insulating your home and vehicle, but you’ll also want to consider winterizing your sprinkler system. Whether you live in an area with mild winters or face harsh weather conditions, preparing your sprinkler system can help prevent costly repairs and keep it functioning properly. In this article, we’ll outline the risks of not winterizing your sprinkler system and provide tips to help you prepare your home as temperatures begin to drop.
The Risks of Not Winterizing Your Sprinkler System
While often overlooked, properly winterizing your home’s sprinkler system can save you time, money and effort down the line. Here are some risks you may face if you don’t prepare your sprinkler system for colder temperatures:
- Cracked pipes and fittings: When water freezes inside the pipes, it expands. This can cause pipes to crack or even burst, resulting in extensive water damage and the need for potentially expensive repairs.
- Performance deterioration: Without regular cleaning and adjustments, your sprinkler system’s performance may decline over time. Winterizing the system allows you to make necessary repairs and adjustments, preparing it for optimal performance when the water season begins.
- Damage to valves and backflow devices: Without proper winterization, your sprinkler system’s valves and backflow devices can be susceptible to freezing and damage. Valves that aren’t protected or drained can become stuck or malfunction, impacting the overall function of the sprinkler system.
What You Need to Know to Winterize Your Sprinkler System
Winterizing your sprinkler system is a crucial step to protect it from harsh winter weather and prevent potential damage. While you can certainly DIY your sprinkler winterization, it’s usually a good idea to hire a contractor to help you complete the job. If you do decide to tackle the project on your own, here’s some information you’ll want to have on hand to ensure everything goes smoothly:
- Identify whether your sprinkler system has a backflow preventer, if so, it will need to be blown out, too.
- Figure out how many gallons per minute (GPM) pass through each irrigation zone. This can help you understand what size air compressor you’ll need for the project.
- Assess the air volume you’ll need to blow through each zone to prevent overheating the pipes and fittings during the winterization process.
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