Pressure Vacuum Breaker

Now that we are experiencing lower temperatures and (finally) some rain, it would be a good idea to winterize your irrigation system before the next hard-freeze.  The following steps will help protect your sprinkler system and backflow device from damage due to freezing temperatures:

1. Turn “OFF” the manual shut-off valve (usually located near the meter) by rotating the handle 90º.

2. Briefly, cycle through each zone (from the controller) to relieve pressure in the main-line and zone pipes.  The residual water in the pipes  will then be below ground and not under pressure.  Leave the controller in the “OFF” position.

3. If you have a Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB), open the test cocks with a straight screw driver and rotate both valve handles  45º to prevent freezing/locking in the open or closed position.  Wrap/Cover the PVB (and any exposed pipes) to further prevent freezing.

In the BCS area, we would have to experience many consecutive days of freezing temperatures to damage below ground pipes.  Your main concern should be any part of your sprinkler system that is above ground level and/or your PVB.  If you have any questions, let me know.

Current Watering recommendations:

by Phil on July 29, 2014

The Irrigation Technology Center at TAMU reports that the current water requirement for grass is 0.75 inches per week. According to their 7 day summary, we have not received ANY effective rainfall in B/CS. Watch the forecast and water accordingly. You can avoid water waste (due to run-off) by dividing the run-time into two or three cycles (per week).


How to check for an irrigation related leak:

March 11, 2014

If you suspect a leak due to an excessive water bill or standing water in your yard; 1.Turn off all water using appliances (dishwasher, washing machine, irrigation system etc.) in the house. 2.Look at the leak indicator on your water meter dial. The leak indicator (see arrow/pointer in photo) will rotate if any water is […]

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In Texas, “Fall is for Planting”

September 21, 2011

NOW is the best time to plant your new landscape.  Springtime planting may be good in some parts of the country, but the fall season is actually better for planting and root establishment.   According to Texas Nurserymen, “Plant roots grow anytime the soil temperature is about 40° F or slightly higher, and this occurs nearly […]

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Spring Irrigation System Start-ups Checklist

March 13, 2011

Follow these steps to re-activate your irrigation system:   If applicable, open both manual shut-off valves on your PVB (Pressure Vacuum Breaker) and close the “test-cocks”. Open the system main water valve slowly to allow pipes to fill with water gradually. If these valves are opened too quickly, sprinkler main lines are subjected to high […]

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Landscape Irrigation frequency in Bryan/College Station, Texas

August 14, 2010

Infrequent and deep watering is preferred to frequent and shallow watering because the roots will only grow as deeply as its most frequently available water supply. Deeply rooted grass has a larger “soil-water bank” to draw moisture from and this will help the grass survive drought and hot weather that rapidly dries out the upper […]

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