How to Prep for Winterizing a Sprinkler System How to Prep for Winterizing a Sprinkler System

What You'll Need
Shut Off Valve
Air Compressor

There are some steps that you have to take in order to prepare for winterizing a sprinkler system. This is needed for homes that have a pop up sprinkler system installed in the ground. The sprinkler system needs to be drained completely of all water in order to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting as a result of the cold. This is a moderate level task that can be accomplished by anyone following the steps and instructions provided in this article.

You should mark a time on the calendar ahead of the first frost and just before the onset of cold weather to accomplish this task. This will help to remind you to prepare the pipes for the winterization process and to save your sprinkler system from any damage.

Step 1: Your Home's Sprinkler System  

Because every home's sprinkler system may be different it would be difficult to describe the precise location of all of the main switches and shut off valves for your system. Obtain a schematic drawing or map of your home's sprinkler system in order to mark off the location of the main shut off valve for the sprinkler system. You should also know where the drain valves are located and the mainline that feeds water to the sprinkler system.

Be able to identify these points so that you know what you are doing when you go through the process of draining the water and prepping your sprinkler system for winter.

Step 2: Shut Off the Main Water Valve

With the schematic drawing of your home's sprinkler system in hand, locate the main water valve. More than likely it is located in the basement of your home but again since all systems are installed differently do not rely on this article to tell you where it is located in your own home. This is why you need the schematic drawing.  

Once you locate the shut off valve, turn it clockwise in order to close the valve. This will shut off the water to the sprinkler system.

Step 3: Drain the Water from the Sprinkler System 

Once you have shut off the main water feed, your winterizing prep has not ended. There will still be a residual amount of water left in the pipes leading to the sprinkler head that need to be drained in order to prevent the pipes from freezing and exploding. Go to the drain valve, which should be identified on your plans and open it up. This will manually drain the water out of the pipes. Keep the drain valve open until the water has completely left the system.

Step 4: Use a Air Compressor

For any water that remains in the system you will need an air compressor. Run the air compressor at between 60 and 80 psi and attach it to the mainline for the sprinkler's water system. This will blow any remaining water out of the system. Once you complete this process, detach the air compressor and close up all remaining valves that are open.

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