How to Prepare Irrigation and Drainage Systems for Winter?

When summer is behind us, and the plants are slowly going to rest, it is worth taking advantage of the last days of better weather and preparing the irrigation and drainage systems for winter in advance. This is important for the flawless operation of your irrigation and drainage systems.

In the winter season, when the temperature falls below zero, the leftover water freezes in the pipe and damages the system. So, the irrigation and drainage should be looked after like any other technical installation. To help you in this regard, we at Done Right have prepared a list of actions you should perform. Have a look!

Get Rid of Residual Water

The first and most important procedure that should be carried out before the winter season is to remove water from any tools and pipes in which it may be stuck, i.e., garden hoses, sprinklers, guns, or spray lances. This is important because if the residual water freezes, the tools may be damaged, and the expanding water in the hoses may tear them apart. It is worth equipping your irrigation and drainage system with drainage valves.  The drainage valves will help in the maintenance and save us a lot of time as these are equipped with a system that removes the residual water from the sprinklers and connected pipes. In the absence of drain valves, it is recommended to draw water with compressed air. This is the easiest and safest way.

Secure the Control System

Controlling the irrigation and drainage system also requires proper preparation for negative winter temperatures. The water controllers attached to the tap may be damaged, so disconnect them from the tap connections. However, suppose we use electromagnetic valves installed in boxes in the ground. In that case, we should remove the water from them manually – preferably using compressed air or disassemble them for the winter period. 

Tips to Shut Down the Water Irrigation System

When Performing a System Shutdown Yourself

  • Turn off the main valve and turn off the pump;
  • Disconnect the micro-sprinklers;
  • Open any section to “release pressure” from pipes;
  • Empty each section separately (opening the solenoid valves one by one), starting with the farthest one;
  • Increase the pressure gradually, watching the sprinklers appear one by one;
  • Maintain the air pressure in the installation not exceeding 3.5 Bar;
  • After blowing water out of the section, first, close the compressor valve, then the section solenoid valve;
  • Purge all sections at least twice;
  • Be sure to empty all boxes and water intake valves;
  • After emptying all pipelines, unscrew the filter dome, pour out the remaining water and clean the filter element;
  • Slightly unscrew the coils from the solenoid valves – you do not have to remove them; they must be loosely screwed into the sockets
  • Switch the controller to the off position;
  • Disconnect the compressor and wait until spring.

While blowing the system, observe not only the sprinklers but also the surface of the area. A heaving lawn will be an indicator of system leaks.

Last Advice

The last step is to dismantle the pressure reducers and filters. After disassembly and cleaning work, store all your irrigation and drainage system components in a dry place, from where they can be removed and installed again in the first days of spring. It is also worth remembering that the drain valve is installed at the lowest point of the irrigation system as it allows the automatic drainage of the irrigation system. Additionally, remember that winter is the best time to clean and service other garden tools.

Now that you know all the tricks to prepare your irrigation and drainage system for winter, we recommend you to have professional assistance, and a slight mishandling of tools can damage the components. In case you need a team of professionals to do the task for you, contact Done Right now.

Done Right is a team of experienced professionals know for the installation and maintenance of irrigation and drainage systems all around Florida. If you, too, need some assistance, knock at us. We are only a click away.