While we’re lucky enough to experience the beauty of all four seasons in Ogden, we’re cursed with freezing, cold winters. But the beginning of winter means we can take a break from that summer lawn care regimen. But before the temperatures start to plummet, you need to tie up loose ends of your lawn care chores. Stash the lawn mower, rake up those leaves, and, most importantly, winterize your sprinkler system. Here is our easy guide to winterizing your sprinkler system in Ogden, UT.
Why Do I Need to Winterize My Sprinkler System?
Simply put, if you don’t turn off and winterize your sprinkler system, you risk permanent damage to your sprinkler pipes and other irrigation components. As temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, your pipes can freeze and break.
To make matters worse, long periods of freezing temperatures can cause your soil to freeze at the same depth as the underground pipes. You may not even notice your pipes have broken until you start watering your lawn in the spring and discover odd leaks and pooling water in your yard.
This kind of mistake can be costly, resulting in thousands of dollars in damage to your expensive irrigation equipment as well as irreversible damage to your lawn. You save yourself a lot of money and headaches by performing some maintenance in the fall to make sure your systems are ready for the brutal winter.
When Do I Need to Turn Off My Sprinkler System?
You need to drain your sprinkler system and then shut it down completely before the first freezing temperatures arrive.
Don’t risk freezing pipes by waiting too long. Keep an eye on the forecast once temperatures start to dip. This will likely be sometime in October or November but will vary depending on the year.
How Do I Winterize My Sprinkler System?
First, shut off the water supply to the lawn irrigation system. If you aren’t sure where to find the main shutoff, locate the pipes on the exterior walls of your home. You’ll find the shutoff somewhere near these pipes.
Wrap the main shut-off valve for your sprinkler system with insulation (any insulating material will work, even rags or a cheap material like pine straw). If you don’t have a main shut-off valve, consider installing one before the winter arrives. This can help you avoid expensive repairs and tedious maintenance tasks down the road. You will also need to insulate any above ground piping. You can use self-sticking foam-insulating tape.
Turn off the timer if you have an automatic irrigation system. This will prevent it from signaling to the valves. If you put the controller on “off” or “rain-mode,” you won’t need to re-program your timer in the spring.
If your timer activates a pump, you might want to think about removing connecting wires. This will eliminate the likelihood of the pump overheating. You can also shut down the power to your controller altogether, but you will need to re-program your timers when the weather warms. This will save electricity but can add a few extra steps come spring.
Don’t let a lack of time or know-how cost you thousands of dollars in expensive repairs. Need help tending to your lawn? Visit our Ogden lawn care page for more info!