Do You Really Want to Do This Yourself? (Winterize Your Sprinkler System)


Sadly, summer is officially over. Fall is upon us and that means there are a number of projects that need to be taken care of before winter arrives. Even those people that live in the southern states, there are a few winter projects that need attention. For the rest of us, fall is the time to take stock of the successes and failures in regards to the plants in your yard. It is also the time when we have to winterize equipment. If your yard includes a sprinkler system, a very big project to complete before freezing temperatures arrive is to drain the water from the lines to winterize your sprinkler system.

Maybe I Can Do This Myself . . .

I often do a little Internet research before writing most of my blog posts and looked up the subject of winterizing a sprinkler system. One do-it-yourself website provided three options of how to do so – draining the system manually, using an automatic system and using an air compressor to “blow out” the system. Each method had its good points, but after reading the procedures, it was clear to me that winterizing a sprinkler system is a job better suited to a professional.

sprinkler system valves

As with any number of do-it-yourself websites, the authors assume you have a working knowledge of the system you are trying to work on. For example, on one site the directions were to open the boiler drain valve or the drain cap on the stop and waste valve. Unless you are a licensed plumber, you may not have any idea where those valves are located. I know I don’t have any idea where they may be located.

Since reading the directions posed some problems, I looked on YouTube and found several videos that went through the winterizing process. The main problem I found with the videos was where the filming was taking place. A number of them focused on temporary winterizing for people who live in Texas, which generally does not get as cold as in the Midwest. Following that procedure in Minnesota would not prevent your sprinkler system from being damaged. I did look at a few, but the procedure did seem a good deal more complicated and required more time than what most homeowners have available to devote to this process.

Maybe Not . . .

Considering how much a sprinkler system costs to have installed, and how much expert knowledge it takes to work through any issues with an irrigation system, having a licensed professional winterize your sprinkler system the right way makes the most sense.

If you do plan to hire someone, do it quickly as their schedules fill up. Contact your local Spring-Green office to determine if this service is offered near you.