How to Winterize Your Landscape Irrigation System

Your sprinkler system is an integral tool when it comes to maintaining a proper and comprehensive lawn care routine throughout the year. While you don’t need to necessarily water your greenery during the winter months, that doesn’t mean you should neglect caring for your irrigation system altogether. Taking the proper precautions and steps to winterize your state-of-the-art irrigation system can help keep it in good working condition for a long time and it’ll also reduce the risk of enduring expensive repairs or replacements in the future. If you’re not entirely familiar with the following processes for preparing your irrigation system for winter or you’re not sure how your irrigation system operates, then it’s recommended that you consider hiring winter landscape services to get the job done for you.

Three Methods of Winterizing Your Irrigation System

It’s important to note that even if you live in milder climates, the temperatures tend to cool down a great deal in the evenings and any water that remains within your irrigation system’s piping mechanism will freeze and expand, causing the pipes to slowly crack and eventually burst under the immense pressure. PVC pipes are especially susceptible to damage as they’re narrow and immalleable compared to their counterparts, polyethylene pipes. There are three popular methods used by landscape maintenance experts that are designed to remove water from your irrigation system’s pipes in order to prevent freezing and potential bursting. These include manually draining the pipes, automatically draining the pipes, or conducting a blow-out.

1. Manual Drain

There are a few different types of irrigation systems that are suitable for different environments. Some irrigation systems have manual valves that are located at the end of the piping and in order to drain them, you need to shut off or disconnect the water supply to avoid damaging them and then open the manual drain valves. Make sure to drain all of the excess standing water from the valves, especially that which remains between the backflow device and the shut-off valve. Any leftover water can cause grave damage to your irrigation system during the cold winter months.

2. Automatic Drain

Some irrigation systems are designed specifically for automatic draining. This means that when the pressure within the system is below 10 PSI (pounds per square inch), the water will drain itself out automatically. However, you’ll still need to check for and remove any excess water remaining between the backflow device and the shut-off valve as well as remove any leftover water that’s remaining in the sprinkler heads. After all, it’s imprudent to rely solely on machinery to ensure the full removal of extra water in your irrigation system’s piping. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all.

3. Blow-Out

This is arguably the most dangerous method of winterizing your irrigation system and it requires the utmost of precision in order to avoid personal injury. If you’re not completely comfortable with performing this method, then it’s recommended that you consider hiring a local garden care professional to do it for you. Blow-out draining involves using low to moderate levels of pressurized or compressed air to remove the excess water from your irrigation system’s valves and piping. Too much pressure can irreparably damage your irrigation system and cause injury while too little pressure will prove to be ineffective. For that reason, it’s highly important that you take the proper safety precautions if you’re planning on using this method of water removal.

Hire a Professional Winter Landscaping Service

FOREVER GREEN LAWN & LANDSCAPE INC. has been providing professional landscaping expertise, as well as design, construction, and maintenance services for commercial and residential properties in Toronto and the GTA for more than 20 years. To learn more about our top-notch winter landscape services and how we can help you winterize your outdoor space and irrigation system, please contact us today!