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.