How to Winterize an In-Ground Sprinkler System

Winterizing your in-ground sprinkler system can help you avoid cracked pipes, broken valves and impaired seals next spring. And trust us, you don’t want to face issues like these – repairs can be costly and accessing the damaged components may mean digging up a large portion of your yard.

To prepare the equipment for the cold weather months you need to drain all the water from the pipes. Any water left behind can freeze and expand, and the resulting pressure can cause the pipes to burst.

So, how do you drain an in-ground sprinkler system?

Utah sprinkler maintenance

Manual Drain

One method of winterizing a sprinkler system involves the manual drain valves located at the ends and low points of the piping. To manually drain the pipes, take the following steps:

  • Shut off the main water supply valve
  • Open all the manual drain valves and allow time for the water to flow out
  • Once drained, open the drain cap on the stop and waste valve and the test cocks on the backflow device
  • Pull the sprinkler heads up to allow any excess water to drain away
  • Close the manual drain valves when the draining is finished

Blow-Out Method

Another way to winterize a sprinkler system involves the use of an air compressor to blow all the water out of the pipes. To use the blow-out method, wear eye protection and take these steps:

  • Shut off the water supply at the main valve
  • Use a coupler or hose bib to attach a compressor to the mainline
  • Activate the zone furthest from the compressor or the sprinklers at the highest elevation
  • Close the backflow isolation valves and slowly open the valve on the compressor
  • Activate each zone, starting with the one furthest from the compressor and working your way forward, until you see no more water draining from the sprinkler heads
  • Once a zone is dry, move on to the next, and turn off the compressor as soon as the entire sprinkler system has been drained
  • Disconnect the compressor, then open and close the isolation valves a few times to allow any trapped water to escape
  • Leave the valves about halfway open for the winter and open the test cocks on the backflow device

Get Help from a Sprinkler Specialist

As you can see, winterizing an in-ground sprinkler system is a challenging task, regardless of the method you choose. For that reason – and for safety purposes – it’s best to leave the task to a professional.

For expert winterization service in Salt Lake City or the surrounding northern Utah region, turn to the sprinkler specialists at Utah Professional Yard Services.

At Utah Professional Yard Services, we provide a full range of services for homeowners, including in-ground sprinkler system installation, sprinkler repairs and system retrofits. We take extreme care with every project, and we offer quality workmanship at a fair, competitive price.

To learn more about our sprinkler services, or to have the Utah Professional Yard Services team winterize your in-ground sprinkler system, contact our Sandy, Utah, office today.