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Winterizing Your Irrigation System

Cameron Huntley - Friday, October 29, 2010
Winterizing Your Irrigation System
With winter around the corner it is time to start thinking about winterizing your irrigation system.  There are a few key components to winterizing.  If you are using a pump to pump from the lake, pond, or river, you will need to drain your pump.  Usually winterizing consists of removing the drain plugs from your pump.  You can find these on the intake side of your pump on the pump casing.  These plugs should be left out until the spring start up.  Draining the water from your pump should be done late fall before the first freeze.  After draining your pump, don’t forget to turn your controller off.  If you are not using a pump, you will need to go to your irrigation controller and reduce the irrigation run times.  During the winter, your landscaping will go dormant and it will not need as much water.  Another winterization component is to use a rain and freeze sensor on your irrigation system.  The sensor will stop your irrigation from running on days of rain or temperatures close to freezing.  It is unnecessary to drain the irrigation lines.  The soil temperatures do not get low enough to freeze buried irrigation pipes.  Any pipes that are above ground should be wrapped with insulation or foam to protect them from freezing.  
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