Winter in Tulsa brings cold temperatures that can wreak havoc on your sprinkler system if it’s not properly winterized. Neglecting this crucial step can lead to costly repairs and even the need for a full system replacement, not to mention wasting precious water resources. That said, this article shares our top tips for your Tulsa sprinkler system, ensuring your investment stays protected and ready for use in the upcoming spring season.
Our expert advice will walk you through the essential steps, from shutting off the water supply and draining irrigation lines to insulating backflow prevention devices and making necessary repairs. By following these guidelines, you can avoid the common pitfalls homeowners often face when grappling with the challenges of sprinkler system maintenance during Tulsa’s cold winter months. With proper precautions and a commitment to routine care, your sprinkler system will emerge from winter in optimum condition, ready to keep your landscape lush and vibrant all year round.
1. Turn off the Water Supply
The first step in winterizing your sprinkler system is to shut off the water supply. Locate the main shutoff valve for your irrigation system and turn it off. This valve is typically located in your basement, garage, or near your water meter. It’s essential to ensure that no water is entering your sprinkler system while winterizing to avoid the risk of freezing and subsequent damage.
2. Drain the Pipes
Once the water supply is turned off, the next step is to drain the water remaining in your sprinkler system’s pipes. Residual water in the pipes can freeze and expand during winter, causing potential damage and costly repairs. There are three primary methods for draining irrigation lines:
– Manual Drain Method: Open all drain valves and let gravity do the work. Once the water has been drained, close and secure the valves tightly.
– Automatic Drain Method: If your system has automatic drain valves, they will automatically open and release water when the pressure drops. Make sure to inspect these valves for any issues before winter arrives.
– Blowout Method: A professional method that involves using an air compressor to force any remaining water out of the system. This method can be dangerous if not done correctly, so it’s best to hire a professional irrigation contractor to handle this task.
3. Protect the Backflow Preventer
Backflow preventers are essential components of your sprinkler system, as they prevent contaminants from entering your home’s water supply. As these devices are usually located above ground, they are susceptible to damage from freezing temperatures. Ensure that you insulate the backflow preventer with insulation foam or a specialized cover, available at most hardware stores.
4. Inspect and Remove Sprinkler Heads
Before winter arrives, it’s a good idea to inspect your sprinkler heads for any damage or wear. This will allow you to address any issues before they become more significant problems during the thawing process in spring. Remove any sprinkler heads that show signs of damage or are clogged, and clean or replace them as necessary.
5. Insulate Your System Components
Besides protecting the backflow preventer, it’s also essential to insulate other exposed components of your sprinkler system, such as above-ground pipes, valves, and timers. Use foam insulation tape or tubes to wrap these components, and secure them with duct tape or zip ties. Pay particular attention to any areas that have had issues with freezing in the past.
6. Seal Off the Main Shutoff Valve
After ensuring that all pipes and components have been adequately insulated and protected, it’s crucial to seal off the main shutoff valve to your irrigation system. Wrap the valve with foam insulation and use a plastic bag to cover it, securing the sealing with duct tape. This extra layer of insulation helps prevent any residual water in the valve from freezing and causing damage.
7. Set Your Irrigation Controller for Winter
Many sprinkler systems are equipped with timers or smart controllers that automate the watering schedule. To prevent your system from turning on during winter, either set the controller to its “off” or “rain” setting or program a custom schedule that accommodates the colder months. This is particularly important for ensuring that no water accidentally enters the system while it’s winterized.
8. Make Necessary Repairs and Upgrades
Winter is the perfect time to address any existing issues with your sprinkler system and make upgrades that will improve its efficiency and performance. Examine your system for leaks, broken components, or outdated equipment, and schedule any necessary repairs with a professional irrigation contractor. Upgrading to more advanced components, such as smart controllers, rain sensors, or water-efficient sprinkler heads, can help save water and reduce your utility bills during the warmer months.
Winterize Your Tulsa Sprinkler System with Expert Help from Extreme Irrigation & Lawn
Winterizing your Tulsa sprinkler system is a crucial task to ensure your irrigation system remains in optimal condition throughout the cold winter months. By following our top tips today, you’re protecting your investment and setting the stage for a vibrant and healthy landscape when spring arrives.
At Extreme Irrigation & Lawn, we understand the importance of properly winterizing your sprinkler system and the challenges that Tulsa homeowners face in the process. That’s why our expert team is here to help you protect your sprinkler system and provide the professional knowledge and services needed for a successful winterization.
Don’t risk costly damage to your sprinkler system due to freezing temperatures or improper winterization procedures. Instead, trust Extreme Irrigation & Lawn experts to guide you through the process and ensure your system is ready for the colder months. Contact us today for a consultation on winterizing your sprinkler system, and gain peace of mind knowing your landscape is in good hands with our experienced technicians.