08 Dec Winterizing Your Irrigation Pipes and Water Features
Well, it’s that time of year again. With the winter season approaching, now is the time to start preparations for winterizing your irrigation pipes. Even though we might not have to “dig out” like the folks in, say….the New England states, we Tucsonans can still commonly see surprisingly low digits from time to time throughout the season.
Considering the ever-changing weather patterns and the possibility of drastic fluctuations in the temperature, it is recommended that you should know how to winterize your water pipes and water features in order to keep them from freezing up. Otherwise, a frozen water pipe can often swell and burst, causing a lot of inconvenience to your life, time and finances. For a small investment of time and money, you can help reduce the headache that goes along with a broken water pipe.
Winterizing your pipes also contributes to a more energy efficient lifestyle, thereby lowering energy costs in the overall scheme of things. With the money you’ll save on the electric bill, you could buy mocha lattes or fuzzy slippers or whatever else helps you stay warm and toasty. We don’t know about you, but to us, that sounds a lot more fun than having to shell out money for a broken water pipe repair.
There are many helpful resources and tips on the internet that show, step-by-step, how to winterize your pipes and water features. If you’ve had a drip irrigation system installed in your yard, then Santa Rita Landscaping recommends that in order to insure the proper operation of your system; the valve, brass anti-syphon, Y filter and pipe above ground, all need to be well-insulated every winter to protect from freezing.
This can be accomplished by using some type of wrap insulation on the main water supply pipe and anti-syphon, that is above ground. You can purchase an Insulation Bag that will cover the anti-syphon, from local irrigation suppliers. If your valve is located in an underground valve box, it is usually protected; however you may want to lay a piece of insulation in the box on top of your valves to better help insulate them.
Fountains and water features, if not completely drained, should be kept running during times when the thermometer drops below 32 degrees. This will help to prevent pumps and lines from breaking due to water freezing.
The pipe or flexible poly tubing after the valve is generally protected from freeze as this pipe is installed after the valve and only has water in it while the system is running. When the water is running, it is less likely to freeze.