Irrigation Maintenance: Winterizing Your Sprinkler System

by Irrigation, Landscaping Tips, Landscaping Do's & Don'ts, Snow

By Eric Brand

IF YOU WANT to avoid major repairs in the spring, a must-do fall landscaping task in New Hampshire is to winterize your lawn and garden irrigation system. This is true for the largest commercial systems and the smallest home owner systems, and everything in between.

To winterize your sprinkler system, a maintenance provider typically uses an air compressor to blow the leftover water out of all the lines and components. Otherwise, the water will expand and cause damage to the system.

Winterizing Sprinkler System

Sprinkler system winterizing is a key part of irrigation system maintenance.

Here’s how your maintenance provider should go about doing this:

  1. Turn off the water source from inside the building.
  2. Attach a portable air compressor to the irrigation system with a minimum airflow of 100 cubic feet per minute (CFM). Obviously make sure the connection is air tight.
  3. Open each zone to the forced air one at a time. As you do this, the air will force out any remaining water from the system.
  4. Double check to ensure that all water is removed. Even a small amount of water will cause damage in our cold New Hampshire winters.

Rules for Winterizing Your Sprinkler System

A quality irrigation maintenance provider will ensure that the following rules are followed during winterization of your system. A good irrigation specialist will:

  1. Ensure that the back flow preventer is empty of water. During the watering season the backflow preventer stops potentially contaminated water from flowing back into your home water and public water supply.
  2. Drain the “feeder” waterlines that are inside the building so that they don’t freeze and crack during a cold spell.
  3. Check to see if all other outdoor water sources are turned off and drained.
  4. Make sure that the irrigation controller is turned to the off position. You don’t want the system running during the off season.

If all this seems more than you want to handle yourself, our specialists are available for winterization or any other type of irrigation system maintenance. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, you can call 603.595.2802 or send us an email via our contact form.

P & L Landscaping offers a full range of sprinkler system services. Home owners can learn more about our services at residential irrigation systems. Businesses can learn more about our services at commercial irrigation systems.