Reno Maintenance : To begin the winterization, shut off the water supply to the irrigation system. Its always good to wrap the valve pipes with insulation tape. If you don’t have a main shut off valve, then we at Action Lawn and Landscape would gladly install one for you.
If you have an automatic system, then you have to shut down the timer. Most timers have a “Rain Mode” that you can use that simply shuts off the signals to the valves, allowing the timer to still keep all the programmed information. (Start times, valve run times, etc.) If you want to conserve energy use, Just shut off the power. All the programming will be lost using this method. Solid state controllers are good with electricity and use as much energy as a night light. However, mechanical timers use as much or more than a 100 watt bulb.
Remove the back flow preventer, remove water from the risers and cap the risers. Drain
the water out of the back flow preventer and put it in storage for the winter. ( You can also re-install after the water is drained out if you’d like.)
Make sure your backflow preventer along with any other above ground pipes are sealed with insulation on it to prevent any early/late season freezes.
Manual drain valves: If the valve is outdoors, it should be installed over a dry well (underground pit filled with gravel) to drain water away from piping. If the valve is indoors, make sure you can drain the water without flooding.
Automatic drain valve: These are for sprinkler heads and lateral pipes only. One should never be installed to a main pipe. the purpose of these is to drain out excess water from the sprinkler lines when the water is shut off.
Compressed air blow-out method. (Caution: use extreme care when blowing out the system- excessive pressure above 50 psi can damage valves or sprinkler pipes and sprinkler heads. it can also cause physical injury from flying debris. never stand over irrigation pipes, sprinklers, or valves during this process.)
First you must close the mainline sprinkler shutoff valve, then relieve the water pressure on the mainline by activation a circuit or zone from your controller. Activate circuit that is farthest from air connection before letting air into piping. Always keep a sprinkler zone control valve open from start up to compressor shutdown. Attach the compressor hose to the blowout adapter. Next set the pressure regulation valve on the compressor to 50 psi. Turn on the compressor and gradually increase flow of air until all sprinklers heads pop up. The amount of volume required depends on the length of pipes and number of sprinkler heads. Don’t blow any zone for more than two minutes at a time. Sustained heat form the compressed air can damage pipes and sprinkler drive mechanisms that use water for lubrication and cooling. Switch to another zone by advancing the controller to the next zone. Don’t turn the controller off at any time unless the compressor is shut off first. To ensure lines drain properly, repeat this process 2 or more times until only a fine mist appears from the heads.
When finished with all the zones, leave one zone on while shutting down the compressor from the mainline. Turn the controller off after process is complete.
If you would like professionals to do this. We here at Action Lawn and Landscape would gladly send out technicians to do this for you.