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Weatherizing your sprinkler system

Children Playing under the Sprinklers in City Park

In just a few short months, winter weather is going to arrive in the Virginia area, and homeowners with lawns are going to be faced with a few choices about maintaining their irrigation system through the freezing temperatures. Unfortunately, leaving them alone may not be an option. If there is still water in your sprinklers or the valve box that distributes it from the water main, it could freeze and cause damage to your plumbing.

The first thing to do is shut off water to the irrigation system. Once you've accomplished this, you need to drain your system. Depending on the type of sprinklers you have, you may be able to do this yourself, or you may want to call a DC plumbing contractor to come perform this task for you.

Typically, draining a sprinkler system involves opening the valves located at the low-end of the system and letting any water clear out. You also have to drain any fluid from the boiler drain valve or the stop and waste valve, depending on which you have.

If you have a larger irrigation system that covers a greater area, more complicated methods may be required, such as the blowout method, which involves shooting compressed air through the pipes to clear out any remaining water. This can be a somewhat dangerous procedure that should only be performed by a licensed plumber, so rather than trying to handle it yourself, we recommend contacting the Virginia plumbing specialists at John C. Flood to help weatherize your sprinklers.