The idea of getting your irrigation system ready for winter needs to be done correctly to make sure there are no expensive repairs or replacements that need to be made in spring. The process of getting the system winter-ready requires all the water to be expelled from the system and all components. This is needed to help keep the water inside from freezing and breaking the pumps, sprinklers, valves, fittings, and other components.
While most things will contract when they get cold, this is not the case for water. As the water gets cool, it will contract; however, the contracting stops once it reaches 39 degrees Fahrenheit. When it reaches the freezing point, water will begin to expand. The force of expansion is enough to cause the fittings and pipes to burst, the valves crack, and the pump cases and sprinklers split open.
Draining the Irrigation System
The first step in ensuring your irrigation system is ready for winter is to drain it. This can be done with automatic or manual drain valves, which rely on gravity to eliminate water from the system. While this method is fine, there is no guarantee that all the water will be expelled from the system.
A better option is to invest in a winter blow out. With this, the professionals use commercial-grade equipment to ensure all water is removed from your irrigation system. This ensures that no damage can occur because of ice.
If your sprinkler system is attached to the domestic water supply, it must have a backflow prevention device installed.
An AVB (atmospheric vacuum breaker) device is installed downstream from every valve. They are winterized using compressed air when the zone is blown out. However, if you have a system with an RP (reduced pressure) or PVB (pressure vacuum breaker) backflow prevention device, you should never use compressed air to blow them out. The rubber seals located inside can melt due to the high heat of the air used.
Winterizing Other Irrigation System Components
While winterizing your irrigation system may seem simple, it is something that should be done by professionals. Damage can occur if you aren’t careful if you do not know what you are doing. As a result, you need to make sure you call the pros each year to handle this service.
The professionals understand that every station or zone must be blown out twice to ensure all the water is purged from the system. Also, once all water is purged, the valves for the backflow preventer should remain half-open. This will keep the backflow preventer from splitting or freezing in winter.
Call the Professionals for Help
As you can see, safeguarding your irrigation system this winter requires time and effort. Make sure to keep this in mind and call our team of professionals at The IDL Company to ensure your irrigation system can make it through the colder months of the year unscathed.