How to Winterize Lawn Irrigation System?

POSTED ON August 21, 2022 BY Galena Lawn Care

Ohio, popularly known as a water-rich state, makes irrigation systems fix the precise needs of any lawns and landscape. However, winterizing the lawn irrigation system demands specialized techniques and machinery. But, if you live in an area where the temperature dips below freezing point, you must ensure you prepare the irrigation system for winter conditions by draining out the water and insulating the sprinkler components.

Steps for winterizing lawn irrigation system:

Turn off the water:

Use the primary valve placed near the water meter to turn off the water in the system. You should turn off any valves (usually, there are 2 valves) that help in thwarting backflow.

Switch off the timer:

If your system operates on an automated timer, switch it to rain mode. Doing so ensures that you are making your settings ready for the spring. If the system does not have a rain mode, switch the timer off completely.

Drain out the water:

Draining the remaining water from the system is crucial. You can follow three main methods of water drainage, depending on the type of irrigation system you own.

Manual draining method:

If you have a manual drain irrigation system, follow these simple steps-

  • Turn off the water supply
  • Open all the valves and drain the water from the system
  • Drain water from the backflow device

Automatic draining method:

Follow these steps to activate the automatic draining of water-

  • Shut off the water supply
  • Relieve water pressure in the system by running one of the sprinkler heads
  • Clear the pipes of excess water

Blow-out draining method:

Force compressed air through the irrigation system to drain the pipes. It helps in discharging extra water through the sprinkler heads. However, the blow-out method works efficiently; if you have a proper irrigation system to handle the pressure.

How does it work?

  • Turn off the water supply and use a coupler to connect the air compressor to the irrigation system
  • Check the highest point of the sprinkler station and turn it off
  • Close the backflow valves
  • Slowly open the valves to the compressor
  • Gradually add more air pressure
  • Continue the process till you see water coming through

Safety Tip- Do not exceed 80 PSI for PVC piping or 50 PSI for polyethylene piping. Don’t stand near an active head when blowing out your irrigation system. Make sure you wear safety goggles to protect your eyes. It is always advisable to hire a professional to use the blow-out method.

Insulate the irrigation system:

It is significant to insulate any exposed components of an irrigation system during the winter. Either, you may use insulation foam or tape to cover the components or use foil pipe insulation. Cover the water supply shut-off valve, backflow preventers, and exposed pipes. On the backflow preventers, make sure not to block any air vents or drain outlets.

Prevent pipe damage:

The automatic irrigation system is buried twelve inches below the soil surface. Hence, any leftover water in the system over the winter will freeze. It causes damage to pipes, fittings, valves, and sprinklers. You may use compressed air on your irrigation system equipped with automatic and manual drain valves to ensure that the irrigation system gets winterized properly.

Leverage proper lawn irrigation care techniques:

The first freeze typically occurs anywhere between early October and early November. The irrigation system you choose will either have a manual dial or digital readout. While digital controllers can be programmed, the manual controllers must be turned completely to ‘off’ mode with reprogramming requirements in springtime. 

All these techniques are relevant to lawn irrigation of any size and shape.

Galena Lawn Care has been one of the prominent names when it comes to specialist landscaping services in Ohio. The specialist in lawn care provides essential guidance to commercial and residential clients on different subjects that including winterizing lawn irrigation systems too.

Call Galena Lawn Care at 740-913-1599 or Send Us a Message