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The Steps Involved in Winterizing Sprinkler Systems

The term winterizing sprinkler systems is actually a bit of a misnomer when it comes right down to it. This is because of the fact that the term itself implies that you are doing something directly to the make-up of the sprinkler in order to make it sturdy against the coming frosts of winter. This is not really true.

The whole point of winterizing your sprinkler system is to remove all of the water from the piping so that when the winter comes and the water freezes, there is not any water left in the sprinkler system to freeze, expand and crack the piping. This is a way of minimizing the risk of damage to your sprinkler system and any place that has cold and frozen winters is a place where winterization needs to take place.

There are three primary methods that can be used in winterizing your sprinkler system, and the first one of these is the manual drain method.

Some of the automatic sprinkler systems sold on the market today are sold with manual valves that you can open. These valves will be located near the low points of the whole piping layout and therefore if you just shut off the water to the sprinkler and open the valves, gravity will do most of the hard work for you. Water will flow downwards and out the manual valves. While this method is the simplest one, at the same time it is not foolproof and can sometimes prove to be the least effective method as well.

In addition to the manual drain method, there is also the automatic drain method. The automatic drain method is actually similar to the manual drain method, with the one big difference being that these drain valves are set to open automatically when the pressure within the system pipes is below a certain threshold. In order to achieve this, all you need to do is shut off the water supply to the sprinkler system and then let the system do the rest. Of course, just as with the manual drain method, this is not a foolproof way of winterizing sprinkler systems.

The final method of winterization is one that is unadvisable for you to perform by yourself. This is the blow out method, and it basically involves using a high pressure air compressor in conjunction with those drainage valves to physically “blow out” all of the water that is remaining within the system.

While you can do this yourself if you wish, at the same time it is quite easy to set the pressure too high and end up damaging your sprinkler system in the process. A trained professional will never have this problem because of their training and experience and therefore if you are considering the blow out method, it might be wise to contact someone for a consultation.

For more information on sprinkler systems, please read these articles:

Which is the Right Sprinkler Head for Your Lawn

What to Know Before You Purchase an Irrigation System Timer

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