Winterizing Your Sprinkler System

Winterization is very important in the prevention of unnecessary maintenance and an increase in longevity for your in-ground irrigation system. This is not to be confused with general sprinkler maintenance, which typically involves the replacement of several worn-out/failed heads each spring.

Every few years, without regularity, there may be a larger issue that needs addressing, such as a non-functioning zone, rain sensor that needs to be replaced, or a leak near a connection point. These are all considered “normal” repairs not directly related to improper winterization.

Each spring, Garpiel Group receives calls from new clients requesting maintenance on their irrigation system. One of the questions we ask first is whether or not the system was winterized the previous fall and, if so, who performed the service. Our technicians utilize a standard procedure of steps to be followed for each system winterization. Although each system is slightly different, the same procedure generally applies to all. This helps to eliminate any missed steps that might lead to expensive repairs in the spring. Please remember to winterize your sprinkler system no later than Nov. 1 to avoid the potential for damage.

Some typical issues we see in a system that was not properly winterized:

  • Cracks or damage to the brass or plastic backflow prevention system.
  • Oftentimes, the copper and/or PVC can be damaged, as well.
  • Splits or cracks in the PVC/poly pipe throughout the buried lines.
  • Cracks can range from a fraction of an inch to several feet long.
  • Sprinkler heads with cracked outer sleeves, resulting from sitting water inside the base.