Did you know that water can remain in your irrigation system even after you’ve drained it? If that’s the case for your system, that means it could potentially freeze and expand during the cold winter months, then crack the PVC piping. Even with the more flexible polyethylene pipe, it can still expand under pressure and water inside can rupture the pipe walls.
To avoid this happening, implement the winterizing techniques like those listed below. If you don’t know what type of system you have its best to use the blowout method.
Manual Method and Automatic Method:
- If manual valves are at the end and low points of the irrigation piping, use the manual drain method. Shut off the irrigation water supply and open all the manual drain valves.
- If automatic drain valves are at the end and low points of the irrigation piping, use the automatic drain method. Shut off the irrigation water supply (in the basement) and activate a station to relieve the system pressure.
- In both methods, after the water has drained, open the boiler drain valve (or the drain cap on the stop and waste valve) and drain all the water that remains. Open the test cocks on the backflow device. If your sprinklers have check valves, pull up on the sprinklers to let water drain out of the bottom of the sprinkler body. When all the water has drained out, close the drain valves.
Blow Out Method:
This method involves blowing out an irrigation system with compressed air. It is best to hire a professional to perform this type of winterization method as it takes particular knowledge as well as stringent safety precautions.
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