It is very clear that a few cold snaps were recently felt by the entire nation. Many states received a good amount of snow and ice over the last couple weeks, what most people are calling our Late Winter. It is important to be prepared for these frigid conditions and consider irrigation system frostproofing for an unexpected cold snap.
It seems the entire country was affected by the recent cold and snowstorms arriving late this winter. Even Florida was not spared, reaching low temperatures in the 30s.
In the unlikely instance that a cold snap hits, it is helpful to be informed on sprinkler irrigation system practices.
A good practice is to turn off the sprinkler system when temperatures below freezing are sustained for any prolonged amount of time. Water inside the pipe expands and can bring a lot of damage to your sprinkler system, especially when the pipes cannot accommodate this expansion.
Some sprinkler system components could blow apart when the temperature get low enough to invoke freezing. Even though irrigation sprinkler system winterization is not necessary in most of Florida, other parts of the country should observe proper winterization to prevent this.
For a cold snap, it may be necessary to drain the pipes. Consider shutting off the water supply to the irrigation system using the main valve, which should be insulated to protect it from harsh winter temperatures and prevent it from freezing.
Remove the water from the pipes and sprinklers because it could freeze, expand and break the pipes. There are a few ways to drain the pipes including a manual drain valve, an automatic drain valve or the compressed air blow-out method. Since there could be potential safety risks we recommend contacting your local irrigation specialist for professional winterizing.
Polyethylene pipes or commonly called as poly pipes can accommodate the expansion of freezing water, but the fittings like those in PVC pipes, can break apart.
PVC pipes are rather resistant to freezing, but the fittings that hold pipes in place are very vulnerable to cracking into sharp chunks and require repair.
Some damage preventative measures include shut off and drain your backflow, and cover the pump with a blanket to protect it from freezing. Check for leaks the first time you use your irrigation system after a freeze since a cold snap could damage pipes. Make sure your rain sensor is working to assure proper watering schedules.
Thank you again for visiting the Hessenauer Sprinkler Repair and Irrigation blog and website. Be sure to bookmark our blog and website for more news, tips and advice concerning commercial and residential sprinkler irrigation here in Orlando, Central Florida and surrounding communities. To discuss an irrigation or drainage project, contact us at 407-302-2227 today!