In Washtenaw County, September is the time when hints of fall begin to appear. A few trees are turning, nights get a bit colder, and the cider mills open for the season. It is also a good time to begin winter preparations inside and out!
How to Winterize Sprinklers
Sprinkler systems need to have all the water blown out of them before winter freeze-up. If you have an air compressor you can do the job yourself and save the service fee ($50-75 is typical in this area).
According to Family Handyman, the job can be DIY if you have the time and energy! Here’s their guide:
Close off both valves on the backflow preventer. Then remove the plug on the blow-out port and screw in a quick-connect hose adapter. Snap on the air hose and connect the other end to the compressor.
With a basic quick-connect coupling, you can use your air compressor to clear water from your sprinkler system for the winter. Just be aware that even the largest home compressor isn’t powerful enough to blow out the entire system at once. But you can probably blow it out zone by zone.
DIY Sprinkler Winterization
Set the compressor air pressure regulator to a maximum of 80 psi for rigid PVC pipe systems, or 50 psi for flexible black polyethylene pipe. Then turn off the water supply and set the system timer to open just one zone. Next, open the manual drain valve at the end of that zone (if equipped). Then, connect the air line to the blow-out port as shown. Connect the other end of the air hose to the compressor and blow out the line. The heads should pop up and spit out water.
Disconnect the hose as soon as they run dry. Don’t overdo the blowout—without water cooling the plastic gears, they can melt in less than a minute. So move on to the next zone and allow the heads to cool. Then go back and blow out each zone a second time.
Let’s Hire a Professional!
If all of the above sounds like too much work, here are a few local Ann Arbor area companies that can provide sprinkler winterization!
- Top Flight – http://www.topfliteirrigation.com
- Daily Rain – https://dailyrain.com
- Terrafirma – http://www.terrafirmalandscape.net