One thing that should be on every irrigation system owner’s checklist in Kansas City for this next month is sprinkler winterization. Just because your sprinklers are underground and normally run themselves automatically, doesn’t mean they don’t need attention too! And since they do their best to keep your lawn green, why not ensure they get the best maintenance care as well? So prepare yourself by knowing the basics of what a Sprinkler Blowout or Sprinkler Winterization really is and the signs of a true Irrigation Professional. So that you can weed out who’s just going door to door in the neighborhood from a professional who truly wants to protect your system.
Why is Sprinkler Winterization important in Kansas City?
Your first weapon of defense is the knowledge of what a Sprinkler Blowout/Winterization is and why it is important. A Heritage sprinkler blowout or winterization is when an irrigation technician attaches an air compressor to your sprinkler system and blows out all of the water in your system. This keeps the water from freezing and expanding in your pipes which could cause cracks and major leaking in the spring time. It sounds like a pretty simple process but there are questions you, as a sprinkler owner, should be asking before hiring someone to do the job.
Second weapon of defense for sprinkler winterization – The Important Questions!
- 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 till 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? A 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 because with all the different brands out there your device could be damaged if not winterized properly.
- 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 the other is 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 controller? Same as with the backflow device, there are numerous brands out there and each have 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 truly set the fly by night companies apart from the professionals. If the answers are “I will be there between 8 and 12” or “Ummm, I only specialize in blowouts” this probably isn’t the guy 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.
Every spring Heritage Irrigation receives calls from sprinkler system owners who are trying to start up their system and are finding damages because their backflow device wasn’t properly winterized. We are happy to come out and fix the problem, but it can cost the owner up to $450 for these repairs. So play it safe, ask these questions to decide if is it worth taking the risk of going with the door to door salesman or should you find a more credible company?
For more FAQ on Sprinkler Winterization click below or call and speak to a Heritage Lawn Coach!