Minimize Your Sprinkler System Damage This Year By Winterizing Your Sprinklers
Pumpkin spice, crunchy leaves, coffee, and sweaters are all on deck this fall season, and you know what else is on deck that you might not be thinking as much about? Shutting down your sprinklers for the winter. Living in Michigan, or in any colder climate can be tricky when it comes to protecting your outdoor systems before the cold weather really hits. Many people end up guessing at the cold weather; when it will be here & how intense the cold will be. If you are not prepared for the cold weather, your sprinkler system can freeze & you might end up with some not-so-nice damage to your system, leaving you a sticky situation to deal with in the coming Spring.
It’s important to shut down your system properly in order to minimize the chance of your system being damaged or frozen when the cold weather decides to hit.
It’s our recommendation that you start thinking about shutting your sprinkling system down in September or October. Depending on where you are located, this might be early, but, remember that it is never too early to have a plan in place to make sure that you are aware of the changing of seasons and protecting your sprinkler system. Just remember that it is crucial to shut down your sprinkler system BEFORE winter hits and temperatures reach freezing at night. We have written a step by step guide for your sprinkler system winter shutdown procedure to help you make sure that you are prepared for when the cold weather hits.
Follow The Diagram Below
First thing is first, draining your system is the first crucial in your sprinkler system winter shutdown. You need to make sure that your entire system is clear and clean of water, because where there is water remaining, there is something to freeze and expand, putting you at risk for damage. Depending on your water source, the draining process might look a little different.
If you have a system utilizing city water, you’ll want to start with your indoor portion of the system. Find your main valve and shut it off (A). This shuts down your main water source ensuring that no more water will be headed through there until you turn it back on next spring. Then you’ll want to head outdoors with a flathead screwdriver. Open all of your Testcocks(E) by turning them 90 degrees or a ¼ turn. After you have done this, you’ll need to slowly turn the Ball Valve (C & D) 45 degrees to half open / half closed position. Locate your drain valve which is located near the main shut-off valve, the drain valve resembles a water faucet, place a bucket or something that will catch any remaining water. Open up the valve completely. Lastly you will want to run a last cycle with your irrigation control clock. This will let any other trapped water escape. Finally, leave your control plugged in and set to “off” mode and you should be all set for the winter!
Now, if you are using a well system, you should follow the above directions for a city water system, unless otherwise specified. If you are using a pump sprinkler system you’ll first want to find your power switch for your pump and turn it OFF. Then, find the electricity source, and breaker box, and proceed to turn off your home’s circuit breaker. Go back to your pump and open the drain on your pumps housing. Next, you’ll need to remove the intake line from your pump and remove it from the water. Set this piece aside and allow all of the water to drain from it as well. Now, standing over the valve boxes in your yard, locate the drain valve, which should look like a water faucet on the outside of your house or building. Once you have located the drain valve, you can open it completely. Leave your control clock plugged in and set to “off” then proceed to cover any possible open holes on your pump including intake lines.
Now you know how you are going to proceed with your sprinkler system winter shutdown, preventing any damage to your system this year! Don’t let the cold weather get the best of you this year! If you have any questions or need help getting your home and landscape ready for the winter season, contact us today! We can help!