How to: Winterize Your Sprinklers

By: Ryan Pettit

Its that time of year again, winter is coming and night time temperatures will soon fall below freezing 

There are 3 things you need to do to winterize your sprinklers.

First, the main source/stop & waste valve needs to be turned off to depressurize the system. Your home may have a traditional valve outside near the water meter box, or an interior shutoff. You will have one or the other, not both.

Interior shutoff handle- This will branch off the water main inside your basement. remember if the handle is perpendicular from the pipe it is in the off position.

 

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Traditional Stop and Waste Shutoff- This will usually be in a 3″ pipe with a cap on it, you will need a handle to place into the pipe. When it touches the bottom of the pipe you should be able to feel it connect and turn it into the off position. If you need a key handle they can be purchased at any hardware or sprinkler supply store.

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Second, any manual valves on the system need to be opened to drain the system.(Not the automatic valves just the manual valves) 

It is also a good idea to cycle the auto valves by running all the stations of the sprinkler system.

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Lastly the backflow system needs to be deactivated & removed. This system requires removal of two phillips head screws and pull the wedge, once the wedge is removed the valves will pull out of the yolk.

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When the valves are out, two things are important.

1- don’t lose the rubber rings. (I have my finger on the ring in the last picture)

2- put the valve inside where it won’t freeze. Remember the garage isn’t likely to freeze but it is possible. I usually put mine in the basement next to my furnace.

Blowing out your sprinklers with an air compressor is also a great way to insure that there isn’t any water in the lines. However it is not required.

Also remember to detach your hoses from your hose bibs as to not freeze your interior pipes.

That’s it your ready for winter! We hope this helps, This information is provided as a courtesy to you, We are not responsible for maintenance or winterizing of any sprinkler systems or landscaping. If you need help beyond this it may be a good idea to call a landscaper to winterize it for you.

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