Have You Winterized Your Irrigation System?
It is that time of year again for BELOW FREEZING TEMPERATURES! If you have not winterized your irrigation system, there is a potential for freeze damage to your backflow preventer.
The Basic Steps You Need To Complete Before Beginning A Winterization Method:
Step One: Shut off water to the irrigation system Completely turn off the water supply to your system–the valve box is located near the backflow with a ball valve shutoff. Step Two: Shut Down the Controller Shut down your controller. If you have an automatic controller, this is be by turning the controller to either rain mode or off. This will allow all your programming to stay intact so that you don't have to reprogram your controller in the spring. If you have a mechanical controller, you will need to completely unplug the controller. Mechanical controllers use a lot of unnecessary electricity if left plugged in. Step Three: Remove Backflow Next, you will need to drain the water from your backflow and remove the backflow preventer from your lawn sprinkler system. Once removed, the water pressure will drain from the system. Store the backflow someplace safe. Although, you can always re-install it once it's drained–a task best kept for the springtime. Some companies may even blow out the system, although this is not necessary.
Below is a picture of a backflow preventer that is most likely located in y our yard somewhere.
If your system has not been winterized and you do not feel comfortable with this, do not panic. Simply shut down the system at the controller, turn off the water at the backflow and place something over the top of the entire assembly to insulate it from the cold. A sleeping bag or heavy blanket would most likely be enough to keep the air from freezing the water in the elevated pipe. If you have an insulated box/rock over your backflow, you should be just fine.
Have a wonderful, stress-free holiday, and stay warm!