Most of the local custom homes now have sprinkler systems installed for lawn irrigation during our hot, dry Texas summers.
Once the weather cools down and the grass stops growing, it’s easy to forget your custom designed home even has a sprinkler system, which could be leaving it susceptible to major damage if not drained before the first freeze.
Follow these steps to drain your system now so you don’t end up replacing it in the spring.
Freezing Temperatures Can Damage Lawn Irrigation Systems
As benign as it might seem, failing to drain the lawn irrigation system that came with your custom built home can be very detrimental for it over the winter.
Water expands when it freezes, so any water trapped inside the sprinkler tubes over the winter can expand and crack the tubes.
Once spring rolls around, you’ll find that the sprinklers won’t work since the water feeding through the lines is leaking into the ground rather than coming out of the sprinkler heads.
Of course, this wastes a lot of water and makes repairing your system very expensive, maybe requiring replacement of the entire system if multiple breaks are detected.
Yet preventing this damage is easy; all it requires is a few minutes to winterize your irrigation system by getting all the water out before the first freeze.
Drain Sprinklers for Winter in Just A Few Steps
There are two methods you can use to drain the sprinkler system that was installed when your custom designed home was built: manually or with a blow-out method.
You can do each fairly easily or call a sprinkler professional to winterize your system for you:
Manual Drain Method
Only use the manual drain method if your property is sloped or has a system specifically buried with a downhill slope to promote drainage.
Just shut off the main water valve, open the drain valves at the ends of the system as well as the stop and waste valves on the backflow, any check valves, and any other system valves; let it all drain for a while.
Once there is no water trickling from the system, cap the drain valves and close all other valves.
If manually draining the sprinkler system of your custom built home is not recommended or you want to be sure all water is out, the system can be blown out with compressed air.
This method requires a 10 cubic feet per minute air compressor with a quick-connect hose adapter, protective eyewear, and a second person to help you know when you’ve blown all the water out of the various parts of the system.
Simply close the main water supply valve, open your system’s blow-out port, and connect the compressor hose to the system with the quick-connect adapter.
Carefully blow out the system one section at a time by opening and closing the various valves along the way and slowly opening the compressor valve to blow the air through.
If the water lines are PVC, blow air at 80 PSI; if polyethylene, blow air at 50 PSI and the water will blow out of the open valves and sprinkler heads.
Once the system is empty, close all valves and replace drain caps.
Protect Lawn Irrigation Systems - Drain Them In The Winter
One of the best parts about building a custom home is designing the exterior including the landscaping just the way you want to make the best impression.
The sprinkler system installed during the building of your custom designed home plays an important role in keeping grass and landscaped beds looking their best, so protect that investment by draining it before winter sets in.
Properly winterized, your irrigation system will be ready to go once the weather warms and it’s time to start irrigating again!