An irrigation system, particularly those with timers, help take the guesswork out of the timing of watering your lawn. In order to keep your irrigation system performing in tip-top shape, you should ensure that it receives regular maintenance. You also need to ensure that your system is shut off during the winter season if you live in an area that sees freezing temperatures.
You should shut off your irrigation system just before temperatures in your region begin to dip below freezing at night.
Don’t shut off your irrigation system too early. Often homeowners shut their systems down as soon as the fall season arrives because they believe that their lawn requires less water. This is simply not true. Unless your lawn is receiving hydration from adequate rainfall, you still need to water it through the fall season. Your lawn should receive 1″ of water per week unless it is in dormancy.
Shutting off irrigation systems just before the temperature begins to drop below freezing will help ensure that your system is not damaged. Excess water can remain in your system after use, whether it be in the pipes or in the sprinkler heads themselves. If this water freezes, it can cause cracking or other damage to your system, which can be costly.
When you are ready to winterize your system, be sure to consult the owner’s manual to determine the best steps to take for your unique setup. Here are a few helpful tips to get you pointed in the right direction:
- Turn off the controller for your irrigation system first, if it has one.
- Shut off the water.
- Drain all of the irrigation components that are above ground and may hold water. This process is typically done with an air compressor.
- If your irrigation system has a drip line, ensure that those lines are also drained.
- Be sure to recap your all system points that have been drained so that debris does not enter the lines. This can clog the system and again, end in costly repairs.
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