Leaving water throughout the freezing cold winter in your irrigation system can result in thousands of dollars of damage. For the winter months, the method of extracting the excess water from your irrigation system is called your irrigation system winterization. For areas such as Tacoma, Washington where temperatures usually fall below freezing each winter season, this should be a method you repeat each year to ensure no harm is sustained.
While wintering an irrigation system, three simple methods are used. This is because your home might have built many forms of irrigation systems. While the following techniques are best practice to drain your own machine on your own, it may be best to contact your local practitioners like Tacoma Sprinkler Winterization to get the job done properly if you ever feel uncomfortable conducting the maintenance.
Wintering Manual Valves
It is as simple as shutting off the irrigation water supply and opening all manual drain valves to winter a manual valve irrigation system. For first-timers, the difficult part can be to locate the manual drain valves. A manual drain valve usually has a lever on top to release excess water for those unaware. These are more than likely to be found at the irrigation system’s end or low points.
After full cleaning of the water from the mainline, open the boiler drain valve and drain all remaining water between the shut-off valve and the backflow unit. Open the test cocks and if your sprinklers have test valves, they will also need to be released properly to drain all the water in your irrigation system efficiently. Be sure to close all the valves once you have drained each drop of water. Your manual valve irrigation systems have been drained effectively.
Wintering Automatic Valve
Irrigation systems can drain water from the pipes automatically if the pressure drops below a certain PSI (pounds per square inch). Simply turn off your water supply is the way to initiate this winterization process. Once the water supply has been cut off, run one of your key sprinkler heads momentarily to alleviate the system pressure.
In most situations, the water in both the shut-off valve and the backflow system will still need to be removed. Similar to the manual valve irrigation system, to ensure that all excess water is drained from the irrigation system, you will need to remove any control valves separately.
Tacoma Sprinkler Winterization Using the Blow Out method
Use an air compressor to push excess water out of your sprinkler heads to clear your irrigation system. Although this approach is successful, it may have very dangerous consequences. If you have never previously worked with compressed air or have never previously made a blow to your irrigation system, this approach is complex it may be best to contact your local sprinkler guy instead.
You will need an air compressor, safety glasses and a coupler that suits your system to conduct this type of winterization correctly. Until starting the process, make sure that all your backflow valves are shut down. You will connect the air pressure system to the coupler once the backflow valves are secured. You should see a stream of water slowly emerging from the active irrigation head after slowly starting the air pressure (and not exceeding 90 PSI). When the water has drained completely from the effective irrigation head, the EPA says you must move to another one, moving slowly from the farthest to the nearest to the compressor.
Sprinkler System Services in Washington
Would you like to ensure the proper wintering of your irrigation system? And ensure that the irrigation system is ready for freezing cold weather. Having a knowledgeable and committed team to call on will help get the job done right for you.