If you’re a homeowner with a sprinkler system, you might be wondering when you should turn it on each spring. Of course, you don’t want your lawn to die from lack of water, but you also don’t want to waste money on watering your lawn when it’s too cold outside for grass to grow, or when there’s an abundance of other rain that season.
Many homeowners will start to think about their lawns at this time of the year. There are a few factors to consider when thinking about when to blow out your sprinklers. In cold climates, you may not want to blow them out until the ground has thawed. In hot weather, you may want to blow out your sprinklers as soon as the temperatures are consistently above 80 degrees. (Of course, this will vary depending on the type of sprinkler system you have and the type of grass you have. For instance, Bermuda grass is more resistant to heat and may fare better in summer weather, while cool season grasses may need more water during the spring and fall.)
When should you blow out your sprinklers? In the fall, when the temperature drops below 50 degrees, you should disassemble your sprinklers by removing the heads, coils and screens. It’s a good idea to wrap the pipes in plastic to prevent them from freezing. The parts can be stored in a box in a dry place.
Sprinkler systems should be turned off in the winter when the watering season is over. You’ll know it’s time to clean the nozzles when you feel a chill in the air. When fall temperatures begin to drop, it’s a good idea to consider insulating your sprinklers to protect them from freezing temperatures. Here’s everything you need to know about when and how to blow out the nozzles.
Time of watering
Heritage Lawns KC recommends winterizing irrigation systems before temperatures drop to the point where water in pipes freezes. The exact time depends on where you live and when the watering season ends. This happens in late fall in most areas. It is best to winterize pipes and irrigation systems just before an extreme freeze, when the days are still warm enough for the pipes to thaw.
Why should you blow out your sprinkler system?
Irrigation systems are different from the pipes that run through your home. They are sensitive to cold, which causes the water in the pipes to freeze. Flushing the nozzles can help prevent damage. This is a preparation that will get your hoses and sprinklers ready for use next spring. Failure to perform winter maintenance can lead to winter damage, which can cause the irrigation system to malfunction. In addition, irrigation water contains dirt particles, weed seeds and other contaminants that can clog sprinklers. A good blower will remove the dirt that accumulates during the watering season. Blowing out the sprinklers protects them and makes them ready for use next spring. That way you know they’re ready to go when it’s time to water again. According to Voss Landscape, blowing out sprinklers is a task that is easily overlooked or forgotten, but if not properly insulated and blown out, the first frost of winter can lead to cracked, damaged and broken pipes in the spring. When water freezes, the molecules expand and can cause serious damage, which you won’t notice until you turn the system on. Repairs can be not only complicated, but also expensive. To avoid this trap, all water should be drained from the system during winterization.
How do I blow out the nozzles?
There are several ways to flush sprinkler systems. If you have a large system, you can hire a service to winterize the system. If you want to save money, you can also insulate them the DIY way. According to the lawn forum, an air compressor with a high CFM is recommended for water injection, not a higher PSI. This protects the pop-up heads from high pressure that could damage them. Avoid air pressure above 40 PSI when flushing nozzles to protect heads and valves.
Use of a portable air compressor
It is recommended that the outlet pressure of portable air compressors be set at 40 PSI. Let the cylinder fill for a few minutes until it reaches its maximum, which in most cases is 120 PSY for a 15 gallon compressor. After you connect the compressor, open the sprinkler valve and slowly open the air to let the water out of the hoses and sprinklers. If you are using a small system, remember that the air supply usually lasts 30-60 seconds before the pressure in the tank gets too low to be effective. The goal is to get all the remaining water out. It is best to repeat this process for each area of the sprinkler system to ensure that all water has been removed from the hoses and sprinkler heads. If you have a more powerful air compressor, this laborious process will be much faster. Do not exceed 40 PSI as this may damage the sprinkler heads. It’s not worth fixing them to try to speed up the process. Slow and steady is the best rule to follow. It’s best to take your time getting all the water out of the pipes and heads, without going too fast or blowing into the pipes with too much air pressure. Ideally, this is done when the nights are cold and the days are warm, so the natural warmth of the day can evaporate the little leftover moisture in the irrigation system and you’ll be through the winter with dry hoses ready for use when spring starts watering.
Blowing out sprinklers can be a tedious process, but it’s a task that can save you a lot of work and money for next year. After the irrigation season ends in the fall, the irrigation systems are put into winter mode to prepare for the next year. Make it a habit to check your irrigation system every fall, just before the first deep frost in the area. You can hire a service to do the work for you or do it yourself with an air compressor. It is important not to use more than 40 PSI to prevent damage to the sprinkler heads. Start with one area at a time and work your way down. While this can be a time-consuming process, it pays to set aside a few hours to remove all remaining water from your sprinklers and hoses. When it’s time to turn your system back on in the spring, your hoses and sprinklers will be operational and ready for the new watering season.It’s mid-summer, it’s hot, and it’s time to water your lawn so that it stays green and lush, but don’t forget to do it at the right time so you don’t waste water. Although there seem to be a lot of different opinions on the proper times to water your lawn, there are some general rules that you can follow to ensure you don’t over or under water.. Read more about how to de-winterize sprinkler system and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What temperature should you blow out sprinklers?
The temperature and the weather can be two of the main factors in deciding when to blow out your sprinklers for the season. If you’re the type of person who can remember when you last had your sprinklers kicked on, then you’re probably also the type of person who had a problem with your lawn watering bill last year. Use those memories to your advantage by checking the weather forecast for the day, and if the day is going to be warm, you can bet the sprinklers are going to get a workout. If you’re new to landscaping, you might wonder how to know when to blow out the sprinklers. The answer is, it depends on the season. Blowing out the sprinklers in the fall and winter is a good idea because this will prevent the build up of leaves, ice, and other debris that can clog the sprinkler heads. Here’s how to determine the optimal time to blow out your sprinklers.
At what temp will irrigation pipes freeze?
If you’re in a region that gets cold in the winter, you may worry about freezing pipes, but what about your irrigation system? Too few people realize how easily a sprinkler system can freeze and burst. And you don’t need to have frost in the air to have pipes freeze; nearly every area experiences the dreaded “freeze and thaw” cycle, where sprinkler lines can freeze in just a few hours. When winter first starts to creep in, many people are tempted to head outside and blow on their sprinkler lines to direct water away from them. It may seem like a harmless act of protection, but let’s be honest: it’s all about vanity. Whether we admit it or not, it’s very tempting to want to see our lawns green and healthy looking, even if it’s only for a few weeks. But if you’re tempted to turn on your sprinklers to keep your grass green, it’s important to remember that doing so can cause damage to your irrigation system.
What month winterize sprinklers?
The summer is over, and it’s time to winterize your sprinklers before you store them away for the year. A few simple steps will make sure your sprinklers are ready for next season, and you can save yourself some work next spring. Winterizing your sprinklers takes only half an hour, and you don’t need expensive tools to do it. All you need is a wrench, a screwdriver, and a couple of rolls of tape, all of which you probably already have. When it comes to fall lawn care, there are a lot of things to think about. While it might seem like an exciting time of the year to get out there with the mower and pruner, it’s important to consider all the factors that will affect how your lawn looks throughout the fall. One of the first things you need to do is winterize your sprinklers.
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