With spring finally here, and the threat of freezing temperatures no longer bearing down, it’s time to de-winterize your irrigation system and begin to water again. To help you get your landscape flourishing, we have put together a simple checklist about how to de-winterize your irrigation system this spring.
Even winters that seem to go on forever must eventually give in to Mother Nature and allow the rebirth of spring to begin. As spring warms up and brings new life thoughts turn to landscaping, lawn care, and enjoying time outside after the long winter freeze.
Ensure Winter is Over Before You De-Winterize Your Irrigation System
The line between winter and spring is often blurry in the northeast with winter storms sometimes bringing snow and freezing temperatures well into spring. Ensure there is no chance of freezing temperatures in the forecast before you de-winterize your irrigation system and start any water flowing through it. This will eliminate the risk of damage to the system.
Inspect Sprinkler Heads
Sprinkler heads are one of the most vulnerable components of your irrigation system. They suffer abuse in the summer from lawn mowers and weed trimmers and the winter season finds them buried under snow, hidden from plows and shovels.
All this abuse can damage or clog sprinkler heads causing them to spray unevenly, watering some areas heavily while others remain dry. Spring is the time to inspect every sprinkler head carefully and clean, repair, or replace where necessary.
Check Your Sprinkler Pump
Inspect the pump and ensure that it is clean and clear of any dirt, grime, or obstructions. Turn it on and make sure it is operating correctly. A faulty pump that doesn’t start or runs intermittently won’t deliver water to the sprinkler heads properly, and in the heat of summer can damage your lawn and landscaping.
Examine Other System Components
Check the other system components like valves, plumbing, and electrical connections. Inspect the timer to ensure the time and date is correct and that it is programmed to meet your lawn and landscaping requirements. While not the most visible parts, these components are all critical to the operation of your irrigation system and an important step in de-winterizing your irrigation system.
Once you complete your spring cleaning and inspection, it is time to let the water flow, but slowly. The most significant hazard that starting your system poses is the sudden rush of water. Air trapped in the pipes becomes pressurized from the force of the water, enough pressure to cause fittings to rupture. Open the main valve slowly and allow water to circulate through the system gradually.
Your Irrigation Zones
Test the various zones of your sprinkler system by letting each run for about two minutes. This will ensure that air isn’t trapped in your pipes and allow you to see any additional problems with the specific zones of your system.
Spring is here and soon we will see all the green trees, lush lawns, and beautiful flowers that it brings. As you begin your spring ritual of cleaning and planning landscape improvements, take the time to inspect and de-winterize your irrigation system thoroughly. The summer season of fresh air, playing in the grass, and backyard barbecues is just around the corner and preparing now will leave more time to enjoy.