If you’re among the many homeowners fortunate enough to be blessed with a lawn sprinkler system, you know that it’s a wonderful aid in keeping your lawn healthy. And you also know that the sprinkler system saves you lots of time and trouble; no more summer-long drudgery of dragging hoses and sprinklers all over creation every time you need to water. Your system even saves you money by conserving water – an increasingly precious commodity in today’s world.
So you know that it’s important that you keep your sprinkler system in great shape, and functioning at its best. And that means making sure that your system survives the winter unharmed.
Here’s a 3-step process for getting your system ready for the ravages of winter:
- Inspect. Before you shut the system down for the season, do a final inspection to check for components that may need maintenance. Run the system and check to see that all heads are spraying freely.
After the system has been running for a while, take a stroll through your landscape and look for wet or soggy areas. If you find one, it may mean that you have an underground leak in your system. It’s best to fix that now rather than waiting for springtime. (Call us if you’d rather not bother with the digging and plumbing repair.)
- Backflow Check. Every lawn sprinkler system is installed with a device that prevents water from flowing from the system back into the municipal water supply line. Your backflow preventer should be checked for proper functioning once per year – that’s a legal requirement in most municipalities.
This is a job best left to a professional; in fact, many municipalities require by law that the backflow check be performed by a licensed professional. So if it’s time for your annual backflow check and you’d like us to handle it for you, give us a call.
- Winterizing. There’s a lot to do to make certain that your system won’t be damaged by the freezing temperatures of winter. In truth, this is a job that’s also best left to a professional. Because if done incorrectly or incompletely, significant damage may be done to your system. But in a nutshell, here’s what must be done to assure that your system will survive the winter unscathed:
- Turn off the main feed valve to your system.
- Shut down the controller that operates your system.
- Remove, drain and store the backflow preventer.
- Drain aboveground valves and risers, and if practicable, remove and store.
- Remove water from the entire system. Blowing out the system with compressed air is the most reliable method of completely draining the system.
Don’t Forget Your Hoses…
Now that you’re the owner of a lawn sprinkler system, you’re no longer reliant upon a tangled network of hoses and portable sprinklers for irrigating your lawn. But you might still use a few hoses and sprinklers for watering box planters, potted plants and garden areas. If so, be sure that the hoses are thoroughly drained before coiling them up and storing them away for the winter.
Efforts spent now in checking and winterizing all of your irrigation systems and devices will pay off nicely come springtime. When the buds break and Jack Frost moves north, your lawn system will be all set to deliver another season’s worth of excellent service.