3 Facts about Sprinkler Winterization (Blow Out)
1) When to Winterize your sprinkler system
The first week of October is a great time in Northern United States to shut of the sprinkler system to prevent damage.
When soil temperatures reach around 40°f – 50°f, lawns will begin going into dormancy. Lawns will start going a greenish yellow and will stay that way till spring. According to Central sod farms (1), Inc. the lawn/grass does this to preserve energy.
2) Why Winterize?
Every sprinkler system needs to be winterized. Getting your lawn sprinkler system winterized for the cold weather in the Northern United States is crucial for keeping your lawn irrigation system ready for spring and summer next year. This will help with costs of sprinkler repair. To winterize the water must be blown out of your lawn sprinkler system to prevent freezing.
When water is expanded by 10% as it freezes this energy has to go somewhere and it will crack the hardest of materials. Ice will break any part on a sprinkler system including steel pipes and backflow devices, causing a lot of damage and costing money in the spring for sprinkler repair work. Water can move a 10-15 ton of rocks and a 3 inch solid steel ship hull when frozen. Your sprinkler system has no chance with this amount of power (2). That is why you need to remove water in your lawn sprinkler system in the Northern United States.
Here at Sprinkler Master in the Northern United States we are professional sprinkler technicians. All we do is repair sprinklers, and the majority of sprinkler repair is caused by sprinklers not being winterized, or not doing it properly.
3) How to winterize a sprinkler system
Can you do it yourself or have a friend do it? Yes, with the proper tools, and knowledge. The majority of sprinkler repair in the Northern United States comes from sprinkler systems not being blown out correctly.
The right tools:
The major key when winterizing a sprinkler system is having a large volume of air go through the system. To do this the common person needs to rent an air compressor for around the same price as Sprinkler Master charges to come do it for you. We are licensed, insured and backup our work. Most sprinkler systems cost around $60 to winterize.
Can I use my home or small air compressor? When people use their small air compressor almost always it does not work and will take most of your day up. You need around 80-100 cfm (3), an average residential air compressor does 2 cfm. Blowing it out with a small compressor is taking a big risk(4). To blowout your system it does not matter if your air compress goes up to 100-200 psi you will need air volume and psi to push all the water out of the sprinkler pipes (5).
Here at Sprinkler Master Northern United States all we do is sprinkler system repair. We do thousands of sprinkler repairs every year and a majority of our customers are people who did not winterized their sprinklers system right. We are licensed and insured; we back up our work!
Sprinkler winterization(blowout) prices start at $60 for an average sprinkler system under 6 zones.
Sprinkler Master Northern United States go through a 5 steps checklist to turning off your lawn irrigation system.
- We will shut off your main line or stop and waste valve.
- We will then hook up our commercial air compressor and run through each zone to insure that each zone on the sprinkler system is adequately drained to prevent damage.
- We then set the sprinkler timer accordingly for winter use.
- If necessary depending upon your sprinkler system, we will open the bleeder valves.
- We shut down the back flow turning the ports to open and putting the ball vales to a 45° degrees.