Why Do I Need To Winterize My Irrigation System?

White Pine irrigation

If you have an outdoor irrigation system, there are a few steps you can take to prepare it for winter. This includes draining leftover water, insulating the pipes, and protecting the main shut-off valve. It will also be helpful to bring your outdoor hoses inside, so they don’t freeze and crack.

Water pipes

To prevent damage to the irrigation system from freezing, it’s essential to winterize your water pipes. Proper winterization will prevent frozen pipes and costly repairs in the spring. There are a couple of methods you can use to winterize your lawn irrigation system.

Make sure the irrigation system’s backflow preventer is removed. It’s typically held in place by union connections. Disconnect the backflow preventer by unscrewing it from the bends. Wrap the insulation pipe with plastic or sheet insulation. Then secure the plastic with foam tape.

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Insulate backflow preventers

It is important to drain your lawn irrigation system and winterize backflow preventers for safety reasons. You can empty your lawn irrigation system, open the backflow preventer device, and blow out the water. If you are unsure how to do this, call us!

The backflow preventer is located outside your home or in the basement. It is usually near the water shutoff valve in a control box near the water meter. To access it, turn the ball valves in the control box to a 45-degree angle. You may need to open the test valves on the backflow preventer to ensure the water drains completely.

You can winterize your lawn irrigation system in cold climates by wrapping the backflow preventer with insulation. Use self-sticking foam insulating tape to cover the backflow preventer, but ensure that you don’t obstruct drain outlets or air vents.

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Drain leftover water

Before winter sets in, it’s essential to drain leftover water from your lawn irrigation system. The cold weather can cause these pipes to freeze and crack, so you should drain them before freezing temperatures begin. You can also use insulating tape or plastic bags to prevent freezing and bursting. But remember, this is a potentially dangerous task that should be done by an irrigation professional. You should also wear protective gear, such as eye and hand protection.

Several ways to winterize your lawn irrigation system include manually draining it or automatically turning off the water supply. Manual draining is preferred if your system has manual drain valves on low points. In addition, you should open the boiler drain valve to drain any remaining water.

You can also use an air compressor to empty the water from your irrigation system. If you don’t have one, you can use the hose spigot to disconnect the water supply. If the water supply is not shut off, you can use a wet/dry shop vac to remove the remaining water. Close the manual drain valves.

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Protect the main shut-off valve

Before winter sets in, ensure the main shut-off valve is protected from freezing. The valve should be wrapped in insulating foam or sealed with plastic. You can purchase this at your local home improvement store. This will prevent water from freezing and avoid damage to the valve.

You can also protect the valve by wrapping it in a heavy plastic bag. The main shut-off valve is usually located near the main water meter and should be protected from freezing. You can either install a valve inside a heated room, bury it below the frost line near the water meter, or mount it outdoors above ground.

If your lawn irrigation system has a main shut-off valve, you must winterize it to prevent freezing. You can also cover other valves to avoid condensation. Make sure the valve is insulated and that all above-ground piping is insulated. The backflow prevention device should also be drained and insulated.


Are you looking for professional irrigation sprinkler winterization and de-winterization services near you?

Waterworks Irrigation provides holistic assistance in effectively draining and winterizing irrigation sprinkler systems, whether a pesky leak plagues your system, a needed complete overhaul, or needs to be adequately drained and winterized for the season.


Get in touch with us today to get started – we promise you won’t regret it!