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    THe GREEn insider

    Winterize Sprinkler Systems: Why It's a Necessary Step

    Posted by: Robert Palmer on November 19, 2018

    Ohio homeowners are no strangers to the impact of winter weather. Aside from piles of snow that createsprinkler-system roadblocks in driveways and icy conditions that introduce slipping hazards, the season also packs a punch to the health of lawns. Snow mold can accumulate and infect grass with fungal disease, while cold winds can dehydrate plants and damage both their interior and exterior.

    In these cases, preventative lawn care techniques like fertilization and aeration help properties withstand harsh winter conditions. But for homeowners with a sprinkler system, there’s another layer of defense to consider.

    The Impact of Winter Weather on Sprinkler Systems

    It’s a well-known fact that when water freezes, it expands. While this explains the quick spread of ice over the ground, it also explains why traces of water inside an irrigation system during the winter can lead to significant damage in the long term.

    The pressure of freezing water can rupture pipe walls as well as cause valves and pumps to burst and break—all valuable components that fuel a system’s operation. And with this serious damage comes expensive repair work in the springtime. After all, the failure of one component in a sprinkler system can cause water waste that compromises its overall performance.

    What’s also important to consider here is the warranty of the system. If a homeowner relies on gravity rather than proper drainage methods to clear out pipes, they run the risk of having their warranty voided by an irrigation service or parts provider. In fact, many warranties will specifically require that you winterize your sprinkler in order to get a refund.

    Winterize Sprinkler System & Prevent Future Issues

    The good news is that sprinkler systems don’t have to suffer in the colder months of the year. With proper winterization techniques—a job often best suited for trained professionals—these systems can gain the protection they need to withstand winter conditions and thrive once back in operation.

    Before the first frost hits, the water supply to the irrigation system will be shut off so as to prevent more water from entering its pipes. Then, whether it’s through manual drain, auto drain or the most commonly used blow-out method—a decision based on the nature of the system in use—all of the water in the irrigation components that could freeze is expelled from the system.

    With no remaining moisture left behind in the irrigation system, Ohio homeowners can be more confident in its future performance and reduce the need for costly repairs down the road. And in the case that other issues are blamed for faulty operation, these same homeowners will know they’ve followed the recommended (and often required) step of winterizing their sprinkler system to ensure optimal performance.

    Prepare Your Sprinkler System for the Winter

    Every homeowner wants to wake up to a healthy, beautiful lawn in the springtime. But just as important as the lawn itself are the systems that support these efforts.

    That’s where the value of winterizing a sprinkler system comes into play. Proper drainage of systems before the winter season helps ensure that the quality of the components are maintained, saving the time and expenses that come with having to repair or even replace systems.

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    Robert Palmer

    As the owner and president of Weed Pro, Rob Palmer is committed to helping Ohio properties look and feel their best. With years of experience in the field and a passion for helping property owners, he offers useful lawn care insight and advice on the Weed Pro blog.

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