3 Reasons to Winterize Your Irrigation System

October 14, 2011

Piped IcicleIt’s easy to forget such things as winterizing irrigation systems. With the school year humming, holidays approaching and busy work schedules to keep up with, such winter maintenance tasks can easily slip one’s mind. However, failing to winterize is one of the most common causes of irrigation system repair. Here are three reasons why it’s important to winterize your irrigation systems:

1. Freezing temperatures can seriously damage irrigation systems.

When water freezes, it expands. Eleven cubic feet of water will become twelve cubic feet of ice. This hydro-expansion can cause fittings, sprinklers, valves, pumps, pipes and other parts of irrigation systems to burst and break. Draining your system of all water is the only way to ensure that it will still be in working order when spring arrives.

2. Your warranty could be voided if you don’t winterize.

Irrigation services recommend that you “blow out” your irrigation system rather than relying on gravity to pull all of the water out of the pipes, valves and other parts. Indeed, many irrigation services void their labor and parts warranties if the homeowner fails to arrange for blow out winterization services.

3. You can save money on expensive irrigation system repairs.

If your irrigation system freezes, the resulting expansion could cause most of the components to be destroyed, meaning that you will have to pay someone for irrigation system repair.

For these reasons, now is the time to winterize your irrigation systems – before November’s colder weather arrives. October is an ideal month for winterizing irrigation systems, since most parts of the country don’t have a hard freeze until later in the year.

Indeed, here in Portland we tend to see only one day in each October with temperatures under thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Climactic Data Center. In contrast, Portland averages five days of freezing temperatures in November. If you wait until next month, there is a higher chance that a hard freeze will hit and you’ll need to arrange for irrigation system repair.

[ photo by: SubZeroConsciousness ]