How to Winterize Your Irrigation System


Learn how to winterize your irrigation system.

Having an irrigation system is one of the most convenient ways to care for your lawn in the spring, fall, and summer. However, when winter comes around you won’t be using it, and you need to protect it so that it’s ready to use when spring arrives again. Here’s how to winterize your irrigation system.


Make good use of foam insulation tape and a plastic bag. It sounds like a low-tech combination of materials, but it works great for protecting your irrigation system from the harsh temperatures of winter. First, turn off the water supply to your system and then wrap the main valve with the plastic bag before securing it with the insulation tape. The same goes for all above-ground piping. If your system doesn’t have a main valve, consider having one installed for more control and better prevention. It’s also important to insulate your backflow preventers and valves if they are above ground.  

Shut Down the Controller

If your irrigation system is automatic and uses a timer, make sure that you shut the timer down. For most systems, this means putting it in “rain mode.” This setting will keep all your pre-set times and the clock will continue to run, but the valves won’t activate, and no water will come through the system. An additional step you could take is to remove the wires connected to the master valve to ensure that the pump will never activate at any point during the winter. If your system doesn’t have rain mode, then your best option would be to completely shut off the power, which means that you’ll likely have to reprogram the clock and time settings when spring comes back around.

Drain the Pipes

In addition to insulation and shutting down the timer, you want to make sure that there is no water left in the pipes themselves. That water will eventually freeze and cause the pipes to expand and likely break. To save yourself the trouble, use the manual drain valve, the automatic drain valve, or the compressed air blow-out method to rid your pipes of any leftover water. The safest thing to do is to call an irrigation specialist and have this part of the process completed by a professional.

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For the past ten years, Edwards Lawn and Home, located in Linthicum Heights, MD has been offering premier residential and services to improve your property all year long. The options are endless from a new patio to a backyard fire pit, let the winners of Angie’s List Super Service Award serve you! If you’re interested in finding out more about our services or getting a quote, you can contact us online or give us a call at 443-341-6539. For more information about our services or DIY tips and tricks follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInYouTube and Houzz.

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