Preparing your irrigation system for the cold winter months is critical to the well-being of your home irrigation system–and with November just around the corner, the time to act is now!
Not properly closing down an irrigation system for winter is a dangerous and unnecessary risk. Any water still in your pipes over winter will freeze and expand–this can not only cause pipes, valves, and fittings to burst but it can cause serious damage to your home. If the water freezes where the pipes connect to the house, water can drain back into your home.
One way water is removed from your pipes is the ‘blow out’ method. A Ryan Pro will hook up an air compressor to your system and blow out any remaining water. Do not try to do this yourself. Most air compressors are designed to create high pressure and low volume. That high-pressure low volume combination doesn’t reliably remove all the water from the lines, leaving you susceptible to freeze damage.
The deadline for when your irrigation system must be winterized depends on what kind of irrigation system you have. In-ground irrigation systems, where all pipes are buried underground, should be done by early December. Above ground systems, where any part of the system (pipes, backflow preventer, etc.) are above ground, must be done before early November.
If a cold front hits before your scheduled above-ground winterization, wrap the backflow preventer and any exposed pipes with at least two layers of towels. Use tape to hold the towels in place and be sure to rotate the towels out if they become wet. Second, if you know how, turn the water off to your system. These preventative measures will temporarily stave off the water freezing in your pipes until a Ryan Pro can properly close down your system.
Remember, this is a band-aid to the freezing problem, NOT a permanent, all-winter-long solution. You MUST get your system properly winterized before the long, deep freeze of winter. Give us a call or Schedule your irrigation winterization today! We also offer lawn care services in O’Fallon, Kansas City, Wichita, Springfield, MO, and Tulsa, OK.