Winterizing Sprinklers Properly to Avoid Damage

4 Sprinkler Winterization Tips from the Water Restoration Colorado Springs Experts

water pipe bursting on concrete

No one wakes up thinking that today would be a good day to deal with water damage in their home. If you’d rather not be forced to call water restoration Colorado Springs companies in the middle of a water crisis, give some attention to your sprinklers this fall. 


Some homeowners think that because the sprinkler lines are buried underground, they are safe from winter freezing. This faulty logic can lead to costly water restoration repairs. Some sprinkler components, like your main valves, stay above ground year-round and are likely to freeze, and Colorado winters can be brutal. Ten inches of soil will not be enough to protect your sprinkler lines. 


When your unwinterized sprinkler lines inevitably freeze, the water inside will expand. This pressure will then crack your sprinkler lines. It’s the same reason why indoor plumbing breaks in freezing temperatures. 


You won’t notice the damage right away, but come spring, you’ll find that your sprinkler system won’t operate correctly. Some sprinkler heads won’t activate and water will leak from any cracks in the line. Excess water can then kill large patches of grass in your yard. If the broken sprinkler line is close to your home, the excess water could even cause structural damage to your foundation. Whatever the case, you’ll have to hire a professional to repair your system.


4 Tips to Winterize Your Sprinklers and Avoid Water Damage

As one of the leading Colorado Springs water restoration professionals, ServiceMaster Restore recommends professional sprinkler winterization every fall. But for the DIYers, make sure you at least follow these four steps for successful winterization:

  1. Turn off the Water Supply
    Your sprinkler lines can’t freeze if there isn’t any water in them. Therefore, shutting off the main valve is critical. You’ll also need to shut off water in order to perform later steps in the winterization process.
  2.  Insulate the Main Valve
    After you turn off the water supply, you’ll want to be sure to insulate the main shutoff valve. Cover the exposed pipe with insulation foam, securing it with tape or zip ties. Covering the area with plastic adds another layer of protection.
  3. Disengage Your Sprinkler Control Console
    During the summer, many sprinkler systems will automatically run based on the time of day. But we don’t want this to happen in the winter. Even if there’s no water in your system, running your pump dry can lead to overheating (and costly repairs). Thankfully, many sprinkler systems have aRain mode.” This overrides any preset timers and keeps the sprinklers from running during unexpected rainy seasons. It also keeps your system from activating during the winter. If your sprinklers don’t have “Rain mode,” you can always disconnect the control console from its power source. The only problem with this method is that you will lose any timer settings and will have to recalibrate the controls in the spring.
  4. Drain Your Sprinkler System
    Just because you’ve cut off the main water supply, it doesn’t mean water isn’t still sitting in your sprinkler lines. You’ll need to drain this excess water, too. Most sprinkler systems will have:

    • A manual drain valve (if you’re on a slope and gravity can drain the water) 
    • Automatic drain valves


    One of the safest ways to ensure no water sits in your lines is using a compressed air machine to blast air through the system forcing any excess water out. 

    After the lines have drained, make sure to replace all end fittings. Leave end caps loose to allow for draining throughout the winter, but do not leave them completely open because that might allow dirt and critters to enter your sprinkler lines.

Need a Water Restoration Colorado Springs Company?

If you’re unsure whether you’ve followed the four steps above, call a professional sprinkler installation and repair company. If you’ve found yourself in the unfortunate situation of dealing with a burst pipe due to poor sprinkler winterization, give ServiceMaster Restore Colorado Springs a call.

For peace of mind and easy cleanup, call ServiceMaster Restore Colorado Springs to handle your smoke cleanup. We’re available 24/7. Call us at 719-633-9555

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