What You Need To Know About Winterizing Your Sprinkler System

The living landscape around your home needs water to survive and flourish, and relying completely on natural rainfall usually isn’t the best method for watering your gardens and lawns. Dragging hoses with attached sprinklers around your lawn, then trying to remember to move those sprinklers every hour or so is troublesome and not very cost effective. How many times have you forgotten about the hose and hours later remembered, only to find washed out patches of lawn or mud-holes where flowers used to be?

Winterizing Your Sprinkler System

With the convenience of spraying water directly where it needs to go, and the ability to automate your watering schedule, an underground sprinkler system usually is the best method for your lawn watering needs. Unless you are an expert do-it-yourselfer, installing a sprinkling system is best left to professionals who will do it cost-effectively and in a timely manner. In Idaho Falls, Idaho, the professionals you need are the pros at YardTech, Inc. Then, you just have to sit back and watch the grass grow (well, you do have to mow it on occasion).

All Nice Things Must Be Maintained

Now that you have a sprinkler system and your life (and water bill) has become a little easier to handle, you realize that there are maintenance concerns. Just like everything else you own such as your home, your car, and even the shirt on your back, sprinkler systems need some attention and care. Most issues are simple do-it-yourself kind of things such as replacing a sprinkler head or adjusting a timer; but if you live in a climate with cold winters, the winterization of your sprinkler system is a yearly task that must be done. This is one chore that is, like installing the system itself, best left to your friendly and professional staff at YardTech, Inc. The cost is minimal, YardTech, Inc. has the compressors and other tools needed to accomplish the job, and will guarantee the work that they do.

When those first chilly evenings and mornings of fall are felt, it is time to schedule your sprinkler system winterization. The process does not take long, but it must be done before the first hard freeze of the season. In the fall, you don’t have to worry about your lawn not getting water after you shut off your system because your grass is already preparing for the dry winter season. It will survive without regular watering until spring when you turn your system back on. The water lines of your sprinkler system must be drained or “blown out” using an air compressor. “Blowing out the lines” is the process of winterizing most common in areas with freezing temperatures in winter. If this is not done before the first hard freeze of winter, some of the most critical components of your sprinkler system can be damaged.

Winterizing Your Sprinkler System

The most costly problem you will have if you fail to blow out your sprinkler system pipes before the ground freezes is that water expands as it freezes. Your sprinkler lines are under pressure so they are full of water with no air space for the water to expand. What happens if they are not blown out? Just like a can of soda left in a freezer, they will burst. Given that they are installed underground, and the fact that they can crack or burst in large sections, it is very difficult to know exactly where the break or breaks are so you will find yourself digging a lot of holes to repair the damage.The key to avoiding this major headache is to get the water out of the pipes before that first freeze.

Water will also freeze inside the sprinkler heads themselves. As the water freezes and expands into ice, the sprinkler heads will crack, break and pop off. Another problem with freezing water is that it will expand inside the body of the sprinkler itself, cracking the sprinkler body down the side, or freeze and break the small supply tube that pushes the nozzle above ground level for sprinkling. Any of these problems requires replacement of the entire sprinkler head with a new unit. You certainly do not want this as a typical sprinkler system in a residential yard has between 12 and 24 sprinkler heads.

Winterizing Your Sprinkler System

The manifold is the heart of you sprinkler system. This device consists of a main pipe and several valves attached. This assembly is housed in a box that is either buried in the lawn close to the house with an access lid, or an above ground box that opens allowing access to the pipes and valves. The valves control the flow of water from the manifold main line to the rest of the sprinklers. If water is allowed to freeze inside the main pipe, it can crack the plastic and damage the attached valves. Replacing a damaged manifold is the most labor-intensive (read: expensive) part of any sprinkler repair and should be avoided by draining as much water as possible from inside the manifold. Most manifolds have a drain cap installed for easy draining.

When Winterizing Your Sprinkler System, Leave The Hard Work To The Pros

YardTech, Inc. in Idaho Falls, Idaho, will care for all your sprinkler system needs, and we also service all yards in Shelley, Rigby, Ririe, Menan, Rexburg, Sugar City, St. Anthony, Ashton and all points between these cities and towns. For the most reliable service, caring professionals and most competitive prices, YardTech, Inc. is the company to call. Call us today to schedule your sprinkler system winterization.

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