Everything You Need to Know About Winterizing Your Sprinkler System

Have you winterized your irrigation system yet? If not, it’s time to schedule an appointment now. Here in Sioux Falls, we never know what mother nature has in store for us or when the first freeze will hit. Because of that, it’s important to plan ahead. You want to have your irrigation system winterized before the first freeze of the year, and you definitely don’t want to wait until the temperatures have consistently dropped below freezing. Eagle Lawn and Landscape Inc. is here to explain why winterizing your sprinkler system is so essential and what steps to take to ensure it’s done accurately and safely.

The Importance of Winterizing Your Sprinkler System in Sioux Falls

The winters in Sioux Falls can be long and brutal. Snow, wind, and icy temperatures can wreak havoc on any lawn, but what about your sprinklers? When temperatures dip below freezing, any sprinkler timerwater that is left inside your sprinkler lines will freeze and expand. This is especially true for locations like Sioux Falls, where the ground can freeze for months on end. If this happens, you run the risk of catastrophic and costly damage. It can cause your underground lines and sprinkler heads to crack and break. Fixing these burst pipes and broken sprinkler heads will not only require digging underground but will be a time-consuming and expensive task. Winterizing your sprinkler system can help you avoid costly damage.

It May Be Part of Your Warranty
Is it part of your warranty? Skipping the winterization of your irrigation system is never a viable option, especially if your system is still under warranty. Most installers include details in the contract that all warranties regarding labor and parts will be void if the homeowner fails to arrange proper blowout and winterization services.

When to Winterize Your Irrigation System

Timing your sprinkler system for winterization depends on Mother Nature.  In South Dakota, the general rule of thumb is to have the service performed before or during the middle of the fall. The most common time frame for sprinkler winterization is between October 1st and Thanksgiving. You will want to ensure you have it scheduled for before the first hard freeze. A hard freeze is when the air temperature outside drops to 28 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

How to Winterize Your Irrigation System

Just like it’s important to ensure the task is completed, it’s also essential that it’s done properly. Not taking the time to do it properly could also run the risk of costly damage. When winterizing your system, always follow these six critical steps.

Step One: Shut off the Main Water Supply
The first thing you want to do is shut off your main water supply. It may be in your garage or underground. If the main shut-off is outside, make sure it is protected against freezing and well insulated. If your system has valves to prevent backflow, shut these off, too.

Step Two: Shut off the Timer
If you have a newer model with “smart” technology with an automatic timer, go ahead and shut that off. Many newer systems have a “rain mode” that allows you to power down the timer without losing any programmable information, and this is typically safe and ok to do.sprinkler blow out

Step Three: Drain Your System
Third, you will want to drain your system. It’s not enough to turn off the system. You must drain the water out of it as well. This is the most time-consuming but critical step to winterizing your sprinkler system. Draining your system involves one of three methods: manual drain, auto drain, or blowout. To do this, you need to know what types of irrigation systems you have. Check your manual or call in a professional to help.

Step Four: Open All Drain Valves
After emptying the mainline, make certain that no water remains around the various valves.

Step Five: Insulate Any Above Ground Element 
Finally, make sure all the above-ground parts of the sprinkler system, including any exposed pipes, backflow preventers, and the main shut-off valve, are wrapped in foam covers or insulation tape. Doing this will help protect your pipes and all parts of your system from Old Man Winter.

Step Six: Hire a Trained, Knowledgeable Professional
Does all of this sound like a lot of work? It can be a challenging and daunting task. And if not done properly, it can damage your system. Why take the risk? Save time and money and have a knowledgeable, trained professional winterize your irrigation system.

Schedule Your Irrigation Winterization Service Now With Eagle Lawn & Landscape Inc.

As your full-service landscaping company, Eagle Lawn & Landscape Inc. provides top-quality irrigation services for residential and commercial clients throughout the Sioux Falls area. We can winterize your irrigation system and ensure the work is done safely and correctly, saving you time and long-term expenses. Learn more and schedule your winterization service now before it’s too late.

Looking to upgrade your system? We also install state-of-the-art, high-quality systems with all the smart technology features of today. We use high-quality sprinkler and irrigation products and feature the Rain Bird Sprinkler systems. Schedule your winterization or learn more about our unique irrigation systems by contacting us online or giving us a call at 605-366-1111.

Stay tuned for next month’s informative article on all things lawn care and landscaping by following our monthly blog.

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