Winterizing Your Home Sprinkler System
As summer turns to autumn, homeowners around central California are turning their attention to all the things that need to be done to prepare their homes for the colder months ahead. Even though you won’t usually run out of fingers and toes counting the number of freezing days in Sacramento, they can and do happen. Failing to prepare your outdoor sprinkler system now can set you up for trouble later. Here’s why you should call Ace Plumbing.
Why Winterize Your Sprinklers?
Before we get into the “how,” let’s explore a few reasons why you should winterize your sprinklers.
- Damage: Water expands when it freezes. If there’s still water in the pipes and it freezes, the pipes can crack or damage. You can’t count on gravity getting the water out of your system for you.
- Repairs: Obviously, that damage leads to repairs. We should know; we spend a lot of time in the spring and summer repairing sprinkler systems for homeowners who failed to winterize properly.
- Warranty: Sprinklers are warranted, but that warranty can be voided if you’ve neglected key maintenance.
What’s Involved in Winterizing Sprinklers?
If your sprinklers run off your garden hose, winterizing is easy; you just pull up stakes, disconnect the hose, drain everything, and store it away ’til the weather gets warmer. But for an in-ground system, things are more complex.
Some sprinklers have drain valves that are meant to clear water out of the system; these valves may be automatic or manual. However, since many systems use pipe with a degree of flexibility — and because the ground can shift and settle in any event — those valves may not do their job as well as intended.
That’s why it’s often recommended to blow out the system using compressed air. That ensures that water doesn’t pool, freeze, and damage the pipes. Other parts of the system, like controls, rain sensors, backflow prevention devices, and valves, also need special attention.
Why Call a Professional?
It can be tempting to winterize sprinklers on your own. However, when you don’t do this sort of thing for a living, it’s easy to leave steps out. That, in turn, can lead to breaks and repairs later. There’s something else to consider as well: using compressed air to blow out your sprinklers is effective, but it’s also a good way to hurt yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing. Landing yourself in the emergency room is one of the quickest ways we can think of to wipe out the savings you’d get from a DIY project.
With all of that being said, for your winterizing essentials, call Ace Plumbing. Besides sprinklers, our HVAC tune ups can maintain and winterize your air conditioner and perform essential maintenance on your furnace or boiler all at once, so you’re ready for winter with one simple visit. We serve Folsom, Woodland, Rocklin and Sacramento.