Winterizing your irrigation system in yards & landscapes in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma is similar to winterizing in other areas of the country – but also with some distinctions to a climate that is a bit warmer than the Midwest, but not as warm as the areas in the South.
Being located in a warmer, drier region than the Midwest, homeowners in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma have a bit more time to winterize their irrigation systems. Often, they also want to delay this process because they want to be able to continue watering their lawns and landscapes well into the late fall months.
With that in mind, here are some steps to take to properly shut down your sprinkler system this year:
The first step to winterizing your irrigation system is to shut down the water supply to your pipes – and to do so before temperatures fall below freezing. Shut off value should be insulated with an insulation material suited to the cold temperatures endured in this region.
Most automated systems have an offsetting that basically shuts down the entire system. It is important that after shutting off the water supply to your pipes, that you shut down any automation controls to your system as well. This will prevent the pipes from accidentally filling up during the winter months – resulting in them cracking and break after they fully freeze.
Draining your irrigation system’s pipes can be achieved in many ways. Blowing out your pipes with a high volume of compressed is one of the more popular ways, as it gets rid of standing water as well as residual water in the pipes. While residual water is typically not enough to cause pipes to crack, it is recommended that the pipes be as dry as possible once freezing temperatures come in. There are multiple ways to drain your pipes, but we’ve had the most success with the blow-out method using compressed air.
Insulating all values, backflow preventers and exposed pipe with insulation tape, insulated lining/product or straw is recommended as a way to protect the pipes from leakage or breaking.
These steps should help ensure that your system survives the colder weather ahead of us.