Friday, December 2, 2011

Should I Winterize my Sprinkler System?

Lexington sprinkler repair can winterize your irrigation system, preparing it for the cold freezing weather if it is deemed necessary.  Winterizing can be an important step in maintaining your system because it prevents damage that could lead to costly repairs.  Individual consideration is given as to whether it is needed (It may be warm enough to let it slide) and, if it is needed, which method to use.
Although freezing temperatures are short-lived in the Lexington South Carolina and Chapin areas, they still can pose a threat to lawn sprinkler systems.  For this reason, you need to winterize your system before the first freeze of the season, draining and removing all water either by manual drain, auto drain, or blowout.

 The manual drain method is used when manual drain valves are at the end and low points of the irrigation pipes.  This is the easiest and less invasive method.  Your contractor will shut off the sprinkler water supply, and then open all manual drain valves.  Once water has been drained from the mainline, he will drain all the water between the shut off valve and backflow device.  Then he can let all the water drain through the bottom of the sprinkler, closing the manual drain valves when all the water has drained.
In some areas of the Country or on the more high end systems, the automatic drain method is used when automatic drain valves are at the end and low points of the irrigation pipes.  They can open and drain automatically when air pressure in the pipes falls below 10 PSI.  Your contractor can activate these valves by shutting off the sprinkler water supply, and then relieving the pressure in the system by activating a zone.  The rest of the draining procedure is like that of the manual drain method.  Your system could actually have a combination of manual drain valves on the mainline, and automatic drain valves on the lateral lines.

The “blow out” method requires your contractor to use an air compressor.  He will remove the backflow device to attach the compressor OR install a quick connect on the water supply side of the system.  The valves will then be turned on one by one, and the compressor will be turned on to blow out all the water.  He will then move from one valve to the next, repeating the process.  Once he has finished the blow out, he will turn off the control panel clock timer.

Lexington Sprinkler Repair can assist you in maintaining the integrity and operation of your system by winterizing it.  If you live in Lexington or Chapin, you know that freezing pipes are indeed a possibility.