Winters have been colder than usual in Dallas lately, and we’re all learning how to prepare for winter weather. We’ve already covered how to thaw frozen pipes and how you can protect your pipes from freezing. Believe it or not, however, you’re not done winterizing your Texas home just yet.
Your home’s irrigation system is even more vulnerable to freezing and other cold damage than your pipes. It’s also just as dangerous to leave it alone when temperatures fall. If your irrigation system freezes, it could inflict substantial damage on your property. Luckily, winterizing your irrigation system is quick and easy.
4 Steps for Winterizing Your Sprinkler System in Texas
Early winter is a good time to winterize your sprinkler. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Shut off the water supply connected to your irrigation system.
You don’t need to worry about winterizing the main shut-off valve, because they’re usually below the frost line. Still, you should shut off the water supplying system itself. If your system is automatic, make sure you turn off the timer, too. Turning off your irrigation system will prevent that water from freezing and expanding inside your pipes. You’ll have to re-program the timer after turning your sprinklers back on in spring, but that’s a small price to pay.
2. Drain the sprinkler system.
Luckily, here in Texas you shouldn’t have to worry about draining any underground pipes. It may get cold here, but it’ll never get that cold. What you will need to do, however, is drain your rotor sprinklers. After you turn off the water, just move the rotors by hand, shake out the water, and screw them back on. You might need to remove the check valve from the rotor to shake out the water. It’ll be easy to tell if you’ve cleared the rotor sprinklers or not after you shake them a few times.
3. Insulate pipes that are part of your system.
Again, you really only need to worry about exposed pipes. Wrapping some simple Foam insulation tape around the pipes by hand should do the trick. You could also cut some foam insulating tubes to fit the pipes. Either way, pipe insulation is readily available and easy to apply.
4. Insulate your sprinkler’s backflow preventers and valves.
Use your leftover insulation material for this. Backflow preventers keep sewage or wastewater from flowing back up into your pipes. They look like half-rectangle pipes sticking out of the ground. If you don’t winterize your backflow preventers, they become susceptible to freezing and bursting. Simply wrap them up in insulation, just like your pipes. Get the pipe’s valves, while you’re at it. Covering everything up will help prevent it from freezing.
Once you’ve completed these steps, your home irrigation system will be ready for whatever Dallas’ weather has in store. All you’ll have to do to get things up and running again in the spring is turn the water back on and maybe reset the automatic timers.
Need Help Winterizing Your Sprinklers in Texas?
Protect your irrigation system against freezing. If you need help with any step of the process in winterizing your irrigation system, call the pros at Ben Franklin Plumbing. We can help with freezing pipes, problematic valves or turning your system on after winter.