A well-functioning irrigation system controls the amount of moisture your garden gets, ensuring it’s sufficiently watered without flooding. Safeguard your irrigation system in the winter to keep it from freezing when the temperatures drop. Here’s what you need to do to protect it, so it’s still working next spring.
How Do You Shut Down the Irrigation System for the Winter?
First, turn off the water supply that feeds your irrigation system using the main shut-off valve. Wrap the valve in foam insulation tape and a plastic bag to protect it against snow, ice, and freezing winds. You should also insulate any above-ground piping, valves, and backflow preventers using insulation tape.
In the case of an automatic system, shut off any timers. If you have a controller that automatically activates a pump, it’s best to remove the wires connected to the master valve. This prevents accidental activation.
Drain the pipes next. If you leave water sitting in them, the pipes could expand when it freezes, causing damage. You can use a manual or automatic drain valve or the air blowout method. If you aren’t comfortable with these techniques, a local irrigation specialist can do the job for you safely.
Why Should You Be Cautious When Restarting in the Spring?
Avoid turning your system back on until you are confident freezing temperatures are behind you. When restarting, turn the water on slowly or you risk causing a water hammer. This can burst fittings or pop off sprinkler heads.
For extra caution, remove the sprinkler head at the end of each line before turning the system on. This way, if anything got into the lines during the winter, it can be flushed out. If you notice problems, call an irrigation expert to take a look. Using a faulty system can result in costly damage.
When residents of Cincinnati, OH, and the surrounding area need a lawn care expert, they look to Nature Plus Lawn & Irrigation. From aeration and irrigation to grub control, these professionals provide a huge array of services. Known for their reliable local knowledge, they can produce beautiful lawns and gardens. You can reach them directly at (513) 755-9434 to speak with a friendly representative, or visit them online to learn more about their services.