Denver Landscapes, Building, Designing and Maintenance
Preparing Your Sprinkler System for Winter
Prepare your sprinkler system for winter by expelling all the water from the irrigation system and equipment.
Do not trust manual or automatic drain valves. The system should be blown out with pressurized air.
To determine the best-sized compressor for your system, know the gallons per minute (GPM) that flow through each zone.
If your irrigation system is attached to domestic water, it is required to have a backflow prevention device.
Home Sprinkler System:
The concept of preparing your sprinkler system for winter must be done correctly to assure there are no costly repairs and replacements to make in the spring at system start-up. The process consists of expelling all the water from the irrigation system and equipment. This is necessary because water freezing in the irrigation system will break pipes, fittings, valves, sprinklers, pumps, and other system components.
Most substances contract as they get cold; however, when water-cools, it contracts only until it reaches a temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Upon further cooling to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, water expands as it turns to ice. Water expands and increases in volume by one-eleventh, so 11 cubic feet of water will form approximately 12 cubic feet of ice. This expansion force is sufficient to cause pipes and fittings to burst valves to crack, and sprinkler and pump cases to split open.
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