Today, Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape provides a closer look at how to winterize your Denver sprinkler system. An automatic or even a simple sprinkler system can make life easier in the summer. Keeping your landscape healthy doesn't need to take a lot of time and work when you have a great irrigation system. Although sprinklers are not needed over the winter months, you do need to prepare them for our freezing Colorado temperatures.
To prevent damage caused by harsh weather conditions, it’s important to know how to winterize your Denver sprinkler system and take care of this important fall chore.
Know Your Climate
The first step in winterizing your sprinkler system is to identify the type of weather conditions you will be dealing with over the winter months. If Denver was a more moderate region, you could get away with minimal preparation for winter. Since the weather does get pretty frigid around here, you’ll need to prevent damage such as cracked lines due to expanding ice.
Shut Off the Water and Turn Off Your Timer
Since we experience harsh winters, the next step to take in preparing your sprinkler system for the colder months is to shut down the water supply at the main valve. This will prevent water from entering the system, then freezing and damaging your pipes as it expands. Next, find your system's controller or timer and set it to rain mode if that option is available. If not, you can just disconnect it from its power source.
Drain Remaining Water
Next, it is important to remove all remaining water from your sprinkler pipes to minimize the risk of bursting. First, you will need to remove the backflow preventer as well as any above ground valves and put them in storage. You can then start to drain the water from the pipes using a siphon or pump – this is very time consuming and may not remove all the water. A more effective method is to use a compressor to blow the remaining water out of the system.
This is done by attaching your compressor to the backflow prevention riser and manually opening each valve, starting at the highest elevation and working your way down. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge and gradually increase the pressure as needed. When you finish with each valve and replace their caps, you can blow out the main line in the same way.
If you plan on winterizing your sprinklers yourself each year, it is a good idea to make a chart or map of your system, indicating the locations of valves, drainage point on each pipe and the elevation. This will make it much easier when it comes repeating the process next year.
Now that you know how to winterize your Denver sprinkler system, and the work it involves, you may decide to forgo this DIY project and call in the experts. Altitude Sprinkler and Landscape offers professional sprinkler repair and maintenance services, including sprinkler blowouts, so that your irrigation system will be protected all winter long. Contact us today.