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Winterizing Your Home Sprinkler System

Many homeowners throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area have sprinkler systems installed. To no surprise, this is necessary given the hot, dry weather experienced throughout most of the year. While these systems make watering plants and lawns a breeze, the sprinkler system must be properly maintained, especially now that the colder months are upon us. As temperatures drop here in Texas, homeowners need to know the proper way to winterize their home’s sprinkler systems for the season.

Why Winterizing Your Sprinkler System Is Important

During colder months, the biggest concern is that the PVC pipes of your sprinkler system will freeze, preventing water flow. Once temperatures drop, ice can begin to form on the pipes. Over time, this ice will block the water flow, resulting in a rise in water pressure that can eventually cause the PVC pipe to rupture, sending water everywhere. The good news is that you can prevent this with little effort as long as you have the right knowledge and a plan in place

The best way to prevent this is to take action before the problem can begin. It’s advisable to winterize your sprinkler system right away before it gets too cold outside.

How To Stop Problems Before They Happen

  • To keep ice from forming on your PVC pipes, you’ll want to start by insulating any exposed pipes you may have in your sprinkler system. You can do this by wrapping them in heat tape or insulation tape.
  • When purchasing this kind of tape, always keep in mind the R-value. The R-value indicates the heat retention of each material. The higher the R-value, the better. For best performance, you’ll want to select an R-4 tape. However, this can be a bit more expensive.
  • You’ll also want to be sure to seal any areas that could potentially let cold air into your home and around your pipes. This includes caulking around doors and windows. Note: You want to make sure the temperature is above 45 degrees when caulking so that the material will sit correctly.
  • It’s also essential to check your wiring and dryer vents that connect with outside walls for any openings that need to be plugged or tightened.
  • Be sure to disconnect hoses and to turn off your water supply to outside faucets around your home before it gets cold. This will prevent pipes from freezing on the outside of your home.

When colder temperatures set in, things change a bit. But, if you follow this guide, you’ll be well-prepared!

Once It’s Cold

After the temperature dips, there are some additional steps you can take to prevent your sprinkler system and other pipes from freezing.

  • If the temperature is hovering around 20 degrees, you’ll want to turn on the hot and cold faucets to drip continuously overnight.
  • This constant dripping discourages ice from setting in and helps alleviate pressure inside the pipe. Once the tap is dripping, you’ll want to open your cabinets under the sink and near exterior walls to allow heat to circulate to pipes, again preventing them from freezing.
  • When it comes to your thermostat, it’s important to set it at the right temperature. If you leave your home for an extended period, do not set the temperature below 55 degrees to keep your pipes from freezing.
  • Additionally, be sure to shut off your main water valve. Once you’ve turned off this valve, turn on all your faucets and flush your toilets to drain all the water from your home’s pipes completely. Just be sure to turn all of your faucets to the off position before leaving your home.

Winterizing Sprinkler Systems Doesn’t Have To Be Daunting

Getting your sprinkler system ready for winter is a necessary part of regular maintenance for every sprinkler system. By taking the needed steps to keep sprinkler system pipes from freezing, you are working to ensure your system is long-lasting. Plus, it helps keep you from paying for costly repairs. If you’ve never dealt with winterizing a sprinkler system before, it can be a bit confusing and daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. The experts at Chorbie are here to lend a helping hand to any homeowner that needs assistance. Contact a Chorbie expert at (972) 697-5221 or request a quote today to get your home’s sprinkler system ready for the cold months ahead.

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