The Farmer's Almanac 2012-13 Winter Prediction for our area: "The eastern half of the country will see plenty of cold and snow. Most eastern states – as far south as the Gulf Coast – will see snowier than normal conditions and cooler temperatures."
We service Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms, Charleston, Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, Summerville, Sullivans Island, Johns Island, James Island, West Ashley, North Charleston, Moncks Corner, Goose Creek and neighboring cities.
Call us now. 843-886-9314.
Winterizing Your Irrigation System
With a predicted colder winter just around the corner, winterizing your irrigation system should be among the autumn landscape chores on your list. Winter chill can freeze the water within those pipes, leaving cracks that allow water to escape once it has thawed. This means big trouble for not only your irrigation system now, but your lawn come spring.
Cracks can lead to a surplus of water that saturates the ground destroying soil, grass, plants, and possibly leading to disease and insects in the warmer months.
The easiest and safest way to winterize your system, of course, is to hire an irrigation contractor to do the job. When contractors winterize a system, they may install a freeze valve and/or other fitting for attaching a compressed air hose. The water in the system, then, gets "blown away" by the air pressure.
If you decide to do the job yourself, you can choose either approach, IF you're armed with the 'know how' and equipment. You could drain the system using the drain valve, and/or blow out the system the same way a contractor would.
The first step, however, is to locate the systems drain valves, turn off the main water supply and loosen the drain valve to let air inside or water out.
Even after you have drained water out of the system, remaining water may linger and can freeze, expand and crack piping, fittings, valves, and sprinkler heads that are made of brass, rigid plastic, and steel above and below grade. Freezing water in the backflow assembly will damage the internal components and could possibly crack the brass body.
Call us now. 843-886-9314.
Using an Air Compressor
An air compressor should be used to blow the water out of the zones. Please note that your system may require additional steps depending on the particular installation.
When using an air compressor, although not recommended for amateurs, always exercise care and patience. (Warning: Wear safety glasses to prevent eye injury due to the amount of pressure behind those valves.) The pounds of air per square inch, or PSI, must be set at a reasonable level, (A blow out of a system at too high a PSI, will cause damage) along with air volume (Cubic Feet per Minute) in order to accomplish this. Combining approaches is a surefire way to thoroughly drain the system. Opening the valves, along with running an air compressor through the system, insures that the system is completely drained. You'll see the water come out of each head and when you see only air coming out, you'll know the water's out. (Warning: Don't keep forcing air through the pipes when the water is drained; it could damage your pipes. Also, never turn off all of the valves while the compressor is still running! A valve must be open at all times. The goal is to blow OUT the sprinklers not blow UP the sprinklers!) The key to winterizing your system is to be patient and thorough in your approach.
In any area where freezing temperatures are possible, sprinkler winterization is a precaution worth taking. Neglecting to winterize sprinkler systems is often very detrimental, causing damage and unnecessary repair bills.
Remember, your irrigation system is an investment and Pleasant Landscapes can affordably assist you in winterizing it. We winterize irrigation systems for our customers in the Low-Country of South Carolina. We will inspect all system components to ensure that they are in running order and that costly spring time repairs are avoided. We can properly wrap or cover needed elements to help insulate them from the cold and drain your system to prevent harmful freezing. It's the cheapest insurance policy you can get for your lawn sprinkler system!
Isle of Palms 843-886-9314 ~ Summerville 843-851-8008 ~ John's Island 843-768-6808 ~ Daniel Island 843-216-4796