6 Questions to Ask When Scheduling Your Sprinkler Blowout

unnamedIt’s gotten a little chilly in Kansas City this week! The cool air is a reminder that winter is coming which means we should all be preparing for it to freeze. Of course, that means warm clothes and heating up our cars before work but it also means protecting your sprinkler system. Unlike the water pipes that run through our homes, our irrigation systems must be winterized by performing a sprinkler blowout to avoid damage that won’t be discovered until springtime.

Be Informed When Scheduling Your Sprinkler Blowout

Irrigation systems are both automatic and underground which means they are easy to forget about. To help the Heritage homeowners who are enrolled in our irrigation system maintenance program, we automatically schedule the winterization, along with the rest of the systems annual maintenance, to ensure it is not forgotten.

For homeowners who are not a part of this program, this is our reminder for you to schedule your blowout, spots fill up fast! Now, if you have not already chosen a company to blowout your sprinkler system, remember to ask these question before you book:

  • Do you have a pressure regulator on your air compressor? How much pressure do you run?
    • Sure, Old Faithful is beautiful but maybe you should wait until next summer to get your fountain project started. When blowing out a system any more than 80 pounds of pressure is dangerous to the sprinkler heads and connecting pieces. Which could mean that even though you did your part winterizing you will still end up with cracks and leaks this spring.
  • Do you have experience with MY brand of backflow device?
    •  The backflow device is what keeps your drinking water separate from the water which drains through your lawn. You want to ensure whoever is working on your sprinklers has experience with YOUR backflow brand to keep it from being damaged during the winterization process.
  • Will you drain the pipes in my basement?
    • The two most common areas that a sprinkler system can be connected are in the basement off your main water line and outside next to your water meter. If your system is connected in your basement this is an extremely important question to prevent freezing and later flooding in your basement.  Luckily, if your backflow is connected near the water meter the pipes are deep enough they won’t freeze.
  • Are you familiar with MY brand of sprinkler system controller?
    • Just like your backflow device, there are numerous brands out there and each brand has different qualities. Some controller manufacturers recommend unplugging the controller while others say just set it to the “off” position. Protect your system’s specific needs to avoid problems later on.
  • Will you set an actual appointment?  Do you repair systems as well as blow them out?
    • These two questions will highlight the professionals.  If the answers are “I will be there between 8 and 12” or “Ummm, I only specialize in blowouts” they probably aren’t the right guys for the job. Look for someone who can tell you “I will be here at 8.” and “If I break something, I’ll be back to fix it! Even if you don’t find the error until next spring.” That type of professional is there for you in the long haul which will benefit both you and your irrigation system.

Bonus Note: The Truth About Auto Drain Systems

Some homeowners have what is called an auto drain system which obviously leaves you to believe that it will automatically drain. The truth is, only half of the pipes will drain out automatically (from the valve to the head) but the main line portion still needs to be blown out.

For more information on sprinkler blowouts or to schedule your appointment, contact your Lawn Coach today!