Why should you winterize your home and irrigation system?
The answer is, to save money. Winter can be brutal on plumbing, especially on irrigation systems. When the temperature drops below 32 degrees water can freeze in pipes. Frozen water in pipes can expand causing the pipe to burst, which could lead to leaks, flooding, and other costly repairs.
When should you winterize your plumbing?
It is always best to winterize your plumbing before the first frost. You can start by disconnecting all garden hoses and covering the outside faucet with a spigot plug. Outdoor kitchen sinks should be shut off at the source, then open faucet to drain remaining water. You can also pour a small amount of antifreeze down the drain to keep it from freezing. It is also a good idea to shut off gas to an outside kitchen to prevent damages during the winter months.
What about pools and ponds?
To prevent damage you should drain your pool half way. Remove pool pump so it does not freeze. If you have an unheated pond it should be drained half way to prevent rocks around the edge from breaking apart.
Why should you professionally winterize your irrigation system?
Even if you drained the water out of your irrigation system, some water remains and can freeze, expand, and bust the pipe. Every drop of water has to be blown out of the pipes and heads to prevent damage. One reason why you should leave it to the professionals is because your home air compressor is not powerful enough to blow out your sprinkler system. Thinking of renting a more powerful compressor? Be aware that compressed air can cause serious injury, from flying debris. Professionals also know how to adjust air compressor pressure to the water pressure system uses, preventing any damage to your sprinkler heads and pipes. Professionals will also make notes on necessary tasks for spring servicing.
What about your fire protection sprinkler system?
As the temperature drops, the risk of freezing pipes in fire protection sprinkler systems increase drastically. You should have your fire protection sprinklers inspected once a year. It is important to act fast if your fire protection sprinkler systems freezes. Frozen fire protection sprinkler systems can cause costly damage.