If you’re living in Florida you may not be familiar with the yearly ritual of winterizing a sprinkler system. And even if you infrequently find yourself in need of tips like these, it’s valuable information to have. Winterizing sprinklers is an activity that our northern friends have to do each and every year to protect their irrigation systems from damage during the colder months. No matter where you live you want to take care of the sprinkler system that keeps your yard looking beautiful.
Here are a few important steps to remember should you ever find yourself faced with an extended period of freezing temperatures:
The very first thing you want to do is turn off the main water valve to your property. This can be found near your water meter. Shutting off the water will not only affect your irrigation system but turns off the water to your whole house so make sure you’ve warned your family members before proceeding. The last thing you want is a surprised spouse who was in the process of taking a shower.
There are two types of drain valves for sprinkler systems, automatic and manual. Your next step will differ depending upon what type of system you have. On your automatic drain valve system, you want to loosen the solenoid to allow air to flow inside the system. This should cause water to drain from each zone of your sprinkler system. If your sprinklers use a manual drain valve you’ll start by turning off the system’s mainline shut-off valve and then slowly open each of the manual drain lines and allow them to drain.
Check and be sure that no water is left around the valves. As that water freezes it could cause damage to your system. At this point, some homeowners opt to have a professional service come out and blow the water out using pressurized air. This is not a mandatory step.
And finally, follow any instructions with your irrigation system on how to insulate your system for the winter months. Some will encourage you to store valves indoors. Regardless, it’s important to insulate any exposed parts of your system. This can be done with tape or foam and can keep your pipes from cracking in cold weather.
The extreme heat of Florida’s summers may cause you to forget the occasional temperature drops that can cause damage to your pipes. And even if you never choose to winterize your Florida irrigation system, it’s worth having the knowledge in case you need it. If you have more questions about how to keep your sprinklers running smoothly in any kind of weather, contact us today.