Winter is Coming: Is Your Sprinkler System Prepared?

Winter is synonymous with freezing pipes and never-ending piles of ice. The last thing you would want is to have any of your equipment subjected to the freezing temperatures. One of the pieces of equipment that generally falls victim to the winter cold is the sprinkler. After summer activities, the sprinkler may, by chance, still contain water – especially in the sprinkler head, pipes, and lines. As winter approaches, you should do all you can to ensure any excess water is drained from all these places.

Sprinkler blowout is the process through which all the water is blown out of your sprinkler system. The reason why this is important is that frozen water can crack your sprinkler system, costing you hundreds of dollars in repairs or replacements.

If you live in Denver, you know how vital sprinkler blowouts are. In this part of the world, winters convert the arid conditions to mild temperatures with averages of about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Denver experiences frequent freezing temperatures compared to other Metropolitan areas its size. Temperatures can drop to about 32 degrees or less at night with the coldest night getting to zero degrees Fahrenheit or even below.

Winterizing your sprinkler system is, therefore, a must, and Colorado Sprinkler Service can help you determine the right pressure and volume to use when blowing out your sprinklers using an air compressor.

Why It’s Important to Blow Out Your Irrigation System

When water freezes, it expands. This process forces the pipes to expand as well to accommodate the water expansion. The problem is, not all pipes can expand, and this causes them to break. Sprinkler valves, pipes, and fittings are usually made of poly, PVC, or copper which can easily be damaged by freezing water. Water rarely damages poly pipe, but it can shatter the fittings that join each pipe together.

The Ideal Time to Winterize Your Sprinkler

Historically, trends show that the first freeze in Denver occurs somewhere around October. A series of these early freezes may not necessarily cause damage to your irrigation pipes but should serve as a wakeup call to have your sprinklers blown out. Typically, winterizing your sprinklers should start from late September to early or mid-November.

Is it Too Late to Winterize Your Sprinkler System after a Few Freezes?

Absolutely not! The sprinkler system usually has fittings buried below ground, insulated by the soil. This means even with the first freezes; the pipes will not be affected. However, if you wait until the deep winter cold comes and the temperatures of the surrounding soil drop, the sprinkler component may start freezing. Therefore, look for a professional to help you winterize as early as possible.

If you have a feeling that it may freeze well in advance of your prearranged blowout service, you can protect your system and its components by merely turning off the water shutoff. This is usually found somewhere near the basement or in a pit close to the water meter in your yard. On the side of your home, check for valves on your backflow prevention device and shut them off. Consult an expert if you’re unsure of what the process involves.