Preparing Your Sprinkler System for Cold Weather
With freezing temperatures rapidly approaching, it’s time to make sure your sprinkler system is ready for the winter. If you don’t take precautions now, your sprinklers can be badly damaged when the water in them starts to freeze, and those costly repairs can add up quickly.
Here are a few things you can do to help mitigate the risk:
Switch Off the Water Supply
Switching off the water supply is the best way to make sure the shutoff valve doesn’t freeze, and it protects the sprinkler system in general. Without any water, there’s a much lower risk of your pipes and sprinkler heads breaking during a hard freeze.
The water supply to your sprinkler system is connected to your house water meter. Each system usually has a shutoff valve located after the meter and before the sprinkler system backflow preventer. This shutoff valve should be turned off and your backflow preventer properly drained.
Protect Vulnerable Components
The parts of your system that are above-ground and thus more vulnerable need to be protected, whether this involves draining them or insulating them. Systems installed in and around the Tulsa area in the last 30 years should all have an above ground backflow preventer located around the base of the home.
The backflow preventer will need to be properly protected against freeze using a heat tape device and an insulated cover. For systems that do not need to run throughout the winter, the backflow valve will need to be shutoff below ground and drained.
Rain & Freeze Sensor
Installing a rain/freeze sensor is always a good idea. The rain sensor controls unwanted watering when we have received measurable rain and the freeze sensor suspends watering when temps are starting to near freezing. Frozen pavement can be dangerous and frozen plants can be costly to replace.
For systems that have a freeze sensor that need to run periodically through the fall and winter, you will want to schedule run cycles to start later in the day rather than in the morning. Morning temps can be the lowest of the day and the freeze sensor will not allow watering if temps are near 37°. If you program your run times in the mid-afternoon, the temps should usually be high enough to allow the cycle to run.
Winterize Your System
You need to properly winterize your sprinkler system, no matter what kind of system you have. If you’re not sure what needs to be done to protect your system, contact us for help.
Get Your Outdoor Areas Ready for Winter
With the number of early cold fronts we’ve had this year so far, it’s past time to winterize your sprinkler system.
Call us at 918-299-LAWN, and we’ll get your system ready for winter!