It’s important for homes with automatic lawn sprinkler systems in cold climate regions to prepare their systems for winter by performing a proper lawn sprinkler winterization. At a high level, lawn sprinkler winterization simply means clearing the majority of the water out of the above ground and underground sprinkler water supply lines, valves and sprinkler heads. This is necessary so that when winter sets in and the temperatures drop below freezing, the water in the lines, valves and heads doesn’t freeze, expand and crack the plastic or copper water supply lines due to the expansion of the water inside them when it freezes. Lawn sprinkler winterization should ideally be done before the first hard frost occurs.
Lawn Sprinkler Winterization
Many homeowners hire professionals to perform this task, but many others perform the task themselves. If you choose to winterize your automatic lawn sprinkler system yourself, you’ll need an air compressor with a minimum 5-8 gallon tank with a regulator that you can set to approximately 60 – 65 psi. Ensure that it has the ability to pop all of your heads up on each station.
- You’ll want to shut-off your water supply to the sprinkler system and connect the compressor to a water hose valve your irrigation system installer hopefully inserted somewhere just after the shut-off valve and downstream from your backflow prevention valve.
- Next, turn your compressor on and let it charge up and shut off.
- Then, open station 1 and let it run for 2 minutes or longer. By this time, the majority of the water should be exhausted from the lines and a number of the heads should be exhausting primarily air.
- Shut off station 1 to let the air compressor recharge (approximately 2-3 minutes) and then repeat the blow-our cycle for station 1.
- After the second time, move on to the remainder of the stations repeating the blow-out process twice per station.
- When complete, disconnect your air compressor, unplug the sprinkler controller and open any hose bib valves you have outside to prevent any pressure build-up in the main supply line.
If you’re lucky enough to have high water tables in your area and have a Woda-Sci green tech sump control system you use to irrigate your lawn, you can also use a neat feature of the system to automatically perform your lawn sprinkler winterization.