It’s that time of year again — winter in Colorado. You have probably spent the last few fall months preparing your home and property for winter. Checking the roof for loose or broken shingles, cleaning the gutters from fall leaves, mulching and cleaning up your garden, and winterizing your sprinkler system are among the items that should be on your to-do list.
Today, we’re going to look at how to winterize your sprinkler or irrigation system. It’s important to prepare your sprinkler system before the first freeze of the year. The long Denver freezes can damage your system, especially if there’s still water left in or above the pipes. The water could freeze and expand, causing the pipes to crack or burst. These repairs can turn out to be quite costly in the spring.
Hopefully you’ve already protected your home and landscaping from the harsh weather, but in case you haven’t, we have some important tips to remember when it comes to sprinkler winterization in Denver.
Blow Out Pipes
The sprinkler’s pipes and drains will need to be blown out. You can do this yourself with an air compressor, air hose, and a quick-connect adapter, but it’s best to have it done professionally to reduce the risk of damage.
If you really just determined and want to do it yourself, you need the required materials and to do a bit of math. You’ll need to determine the original irrigation layout and the gallons per minute of each of your sprinkler heads. You’ll divide that number by 7.5. This will give you the cubic feet per minute that you need to blow out. You more than likely won’t be able to complete it all in one shot, but you can do it one section at a time.
Insulate the Main Valve
After shutting off the water supply to your sprinkler system, you’ll want to protect it from freezing. You can do this by wrapping the main shut off valve with foam insulation tape and a plastic bag.
Winterize the Backflow Preventer
The backflow preventer protects your tap water from harmful contaminants from your lawn. There are three steps to winterizing this device.
- First — Be sure the water is shut off at the main valve.
- Second — Drain the water from the backflow preventer by opening the test cocks with a flat head screwdriver.
- Third — Turn the valves so that they aren’t completely open or closed, typically about ¼ turn.
What We Do
While winterizing your sprinkler system may seem easy enough to do yourself, it’s best to contact a professional. Here at Omni Sprinkler Service and Landscaping, we can take care of all of your sprinkler winterization needs. Get on our schedule before the weather gets bad. We’ll come out and shut down your system properly. We’ll use the correct pressure and best techniques to get the job done so there’s no damage to the backflow, valves, rotors, or sprinkler heads.