Winter is coming. It’s almost October, already! It’s time to schedule those winterization appointments with your sprinkler guy! Once your temperatures start dipping down to 30, it’s time to cozy down your irrigation system for the year.
Turn off those automatic sprinklers!
Most of the country doesn’t utilize lawn or garden sprinklers after October or November – with obvious exceptions in some of the more Southern states.
If you haven’t completely winterized your irrigation system yet, you can still turn off your sprinkler clocks so that you’re not trying to water your grass in the middle of a cold spell! Technology is awesome; there are so many automatic sprinkler options on the market these days. That also makes it easier to forget to turn something off, though, especially when
you’re used to not having to do much at all. Plants and grass typically go dormant when autumn sets in, so there’s no use in watering them late in the season.
Do I need to blow out my irrigation system?
With extended periods of cold, you may need to consider a blow out for your irrigation system. In some of the Northern states, your ground can be frozen 2 to 3 feet deep – deeper than your sprinkler lines. Brrrr! Without blowing out your sprinkler lines with an industrial-sized air compressor, you risk frozen (and burst!) pipes, and broken backflow preventers. (That can be incredibly costly.) If you’re blowing out your own sprinkler system, make sure you’re not running air through your backflow device though, since that can cause significant damage to it.
Insulating your backflow preventer
Most sprinkler’s have above-ground backflow prevention devices. Since they are exposed, and made of metal, they’re very prone to freezing. Your irrigation guy may recommend insulating the backflow device, depending on your location. Many insulation options exist on the market, with a wide range of prices. Luckily they’re incredibly super easy to use – most of them just slide right over the backflow device.
Proactive definitely beats reactive in this case! It’s much cheaper to winterize your irrigation system than to deal with the repercussions after the fact, so whether you hire a professional or winterize your sprinkler system yourself, make sure you get it gets done! All this talk of winterizing has made me chilly, so I’m off to make a hot mug of apple cider!