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4 Tips for Winter Maintenance of Your Irrigation System

Winter seems like a good time to put irrigation on the back burner.…behind the turkey dressing and baking racks. After all, your irrigation and water needs are less.

However, you need to be proactive during the winter to make sure your irrigation system is still in good health when spring arrives.

So here is what you should do:

1. Be careful not to puncture your pipes when you stake down inflatables or your Christmas light display.

Believe it or not, irrigation specialists receive lots of calls during the winter months to repair damage due to puncture holes resulting from inflatable and Christmas light staking.  So, be alert to this when staking down your decorations.  Also check the irrigation system after removal to ensure nothing is punctured.

2. Run/Test your irrigation system regularly.

You only need to do this for several minutes each month.  Doing so does several things.  Valves can become stuck from lack of use.  So, running the system prevents this.  Also, sprinkler head seals can wear out from lack of use.  Similar to a car or other machinery, if they sit parked over a long period of time, they might not work when you want to start it.  So regular use will prevent unnecessary repairs.

3. Make sure your system is ready if there is going to be a freeze.

Sprinklers and system components are also at a special risk of freezing and breaking during freezing temperatures. If a freeze is in the forecast, shut off the water supply to the system at the main shut-off valve and insulate the main valve. Also wrap up any sprinkler pipes that are above ground with insulation tape or tubes to avoid damage.  Insulate any backflow preventers and other above-ground components, as well. Shut off power to the sprinklers on the timer if you have automatic controls.

Some water may need to be drained from the pipes to prevent freezing and breaking, even in the South. There are a few different ways to do this, but it is best to call us to avoid damaging your system if you are unsure what to do.

4. Conserve water.

Remember your water conservation tips when running your system, though. Local waste water averages are compiled from November to February, so overwatering will drive up your water percentage for all the other months.

So there you go. If you have any questions or concerns about your irrigation system, feel free to contact Smart Earth Sprinklers today at 512-694-1147.

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