Since we live in a region of the country where the temperatures drop below freezing, it’s important to keep your irrigation system in mind when winterizing your property. But while much of your focus is on your interior plumbing, this can put your sprinkler system at risk for similar types of damage. The truth is, simply shutting down your irrigation system in the wintertime is not enough—the water still inside the system must be drained out completely to prevent sprinkler elements from freezing, expanding and cracking. Yes. Even underground pipes are at risk for freezing damage.

So, what exactly is the importance of winterizing your property’s irrigation system? Here are some thoughts from the experts at a plumbing service.

Not winterizing can be dangerous

The dangers of not winterizing your sprinkler system range from yard flooding to damage to system valves, pipes and sprinkler heads. As we mentioned earlier, water that freezes will expand inside pipes and other system components, potentially causing the parts to burst. This can totally destroy your sprinkler system. So, what should a homeowner do? Hire a professional to close your irrigation system down when it’s not needed.

The various ways to winterize your sprinklers

The winterizing process can be a complex endeavor. You will need to have knowledge of your specific sprinkler system, such as the underground layout and its parts. If you’re not sure what to do, seriously consider hiring a pro. Below are the three different methods of closing down a sprinkler system for the winter:

  • Blow-out process: Many irrigation systems benefit greatly from the blow-out method, but when done incorrectly, it can damage the system’s components. The process requires the help of a powerful air compressor—specifically, a professional-grade machine, which is not the same type of compressor purchased for general household use.
  • Draining the system: If your sprinkler system lines are buried at a slight downhill slope, then it does not need to have water blown out of it. You can skip out on the air compressor! To drain the system, shut off the water main to your property and open the drain valves at the end of each layout zone. When all the water is out, replace the caps, then open the valves to drain the remaining water.
  • Automatic draining: If you are lucky enough to have a high-end sprinkler system with integrated pumps, you are likely set up for automatic draining. Just be sure you follow the specific instructions for draining your system, which should be laid out in the user’s manual. Today, high-end often means high-tech, which means this method can usually be done from a control panel.

Don’t just call any old plumbing service in the Metro Detroit for your water pipe installation and repair needs. Leave everything up to the team of plumbing professionals at United Lawnscape. Give us a call anytime to learn more or schedule service—we look forward to assisting you!