How To Winterize Your Irrigation System

The squirrels are busy hiding their stashes of nuts, the birds are flying south and the chickadees are back - so it must be fall. Is your yard ready for the cold weather? What about your irrigation system? There are some specific steps you need to take to ensure your inground irrigation system is winterized to last as long as possible. Here are our best tips to get your yard and irrigation system ready for fall.

And we know fall is a crazy busy time of year. If you need help winterizing your irrigation system or just don't have the time this season, call Nutri-Lawn Ottawa for all your lawn, yard, and irrigation needs!

Turn off the water

Most homes have some kind of outdoor tap or valve and your irrigation system is no different. The main valves for these taps are located inside the home, usually in the basement. To prevent freezing and damaged pipes, turn off the water to your irrigation system.

Shut down the controller

These are all steps you can do yourself, but if you have questions or concerns, call your installation team. The controller (the panel used to program your irrigation system) will usually offer two main options for winter: rain mode or turning it off completely. If you are in doubt, turn off the controller. There are a variety of controllers on the market, so we can't offer a one-size-fits-all-solution, but shutting down the controller for the season is the safe bet. But in some cases, it might mean you'll have to reprogram your controller in the spring.

Remove the backflow preventer

You need to get all the water out of the lines in your irrigation system. You don't want water freezing in those lines. The backflow is a device that ensures the water only flows in one direction through your system. To remove the backflow preventer, uncouple the union connections and use insulation on the exposed ends for the cold winter months.

Drain the water

As mentioned above, getting the water out of your irrigation system is very important. When water freezes it expands and can potentially ruin your irrigation system. You'll need to either pump or siphon the water out of the system using a wet/dry shop vac, drain the water using the drain valves, or blow out the water using air. The drain and air methods are preferred because they are the most efficient.

There should be drain valves at all high and low points. Some irrigation systems have this step automated, which makes the process super easy.

And remember to drain the sprinkler heads because trapped water can damage those over the winter as well. These will need to be drained manually using the methods described above.

Winterizing your irrigation system can be time consuming and potentially frustrating, especially if you've never done it before. Why take on the added stress. Don't hesitate to call our irrigation experts to have one of our trained and experiences professionals do the job so it's done right. If you would like to learn more about our winterizing services, contact us today!