Protect Your System

The value of protecting a sprinkler system from freezing

“Freezing temperatures pose a threat to certain components within the backflow device of your sprinkler system. This device, typically located on the side or rear of your house, contains parts designed to yield under the pressure of freezing water, preventing damage to the metal housing and minimizing repair costs.

Even in light freezing conditions, these parts may become weakened, leading to slow leaks from the backflow. This compromised state increases the risk of sudden failure, often at unexpected times.

I recently encountered a repair situation where previously weakened parts failed in September. Such failures result in uncontrolled water flow from the backflow, potentially causing significant water loss, particularly if the homeowner is away. For instance, a flow rate of ten gallons per minute could flood nearby window wells and basements, causing substantial damage.

Given our climate, freezing weather can occur as early as October, with the average first freeze date falling around October 7. To prevent such incidents, it’s advisable to deactivate the sprinkler system before the onset of freezing temperatures. If you wish to extend the watering season, consider insulating the backflow by wrapping it with a towel and covering it with a plastic bag, sealed securely with duct tape.

However, it’s essential to deactivate the system entirely by the first week of November to avoid costly damage. While some may worry about adequate lawn hydration during the shutdown period, the cooler temperatures and reduced evaporation rates in October mean lawns require significantly less water than in summer months. Therefore, your lawn can thrive without the sprinkler system during this time.

Exercise prudence by deactivating the system early or employing protective measures until it can be safely shut down.”

Schedule A Winterization Appointment