While we don’t get snow or bitter freezing weather like our friends up north, it is important to winterize your irrigation pipes to protect them from damage during the colder months. Here is a step-by-step guide to prepare your irrigation pipes so when spring comes around you won’t have costly repairs to make.
Drain the Irrigation System
Although it’s not necessary to “blow” all the water out of lawn irrigation piping in Florida, it does ensure an added level of safety. Water left in pipes may freeze and cause damage to the pipe or other components of the irrigation system. If manual valves are located at the end and low points of the irrigation pipes, it is possible to manually drain the pipes by opening all the manual drain valves.
Compressed air is another method used to blow out water from the pipes. Serious injury can occur, however, if this is not done correctly. An experienced lawn irrigation expert should perform this type of winterization.
Shut Down the Controller
First, shut off the water supply to the lawn irrigation system using the main shut-off valve. Make sure to either wrap the valve with insulation or cover it from the elements. Next, you need to turn off the controller, or timer. Most controllers have an “off” or “rain-mode” setting that turns off the signals to the valves but will keep all your programming information so it’s not lost.
You may shut power off to the controller or unplug the transformer to conserve energy; however, you’ll have to reprogram your settings in the spring.
Protect Valves and Backflow Preventers
If the lawn irrigation backflow preventers and valves are above ground, it’s a good idea to insulate them. Insulation tape can be used, but make sure not to block the air vents and drain outlets.
Preparing your lawn irrigation system does take some time and effort. It will be worth it, however, when in the spring all you have to do is turn on the system rather than deal with fixing it.
Challenger Irrigation is a full service irrigation company providing residential and commercial sprinkler services. We are based in Spring Hill, FL and serve the Greater Tampa Bay and Pasco County. For over 20 years, customers have trusted us with sprinkler systems installations and repairs. Call us to learn more about how we can help you winterize your irrigation system.