Gain Time and Peace of Mind: Call the Pros
Autumn is upon us again, and with it a season of preparation. Putting snow tires on the car, making sure the heater is in order, cleaning out the chimney for a merry fireplace later… and when you have an irrigation (sprinkler) system, now is the time to get your system cleared out and winterized to avoid costly freezing damage.
What is winterization?
Air temperatures cool much faster than the soil, but when the ground freezes, so does the water in your irrigation pipes. Water expands when it freezes, so even a little water left in your system can cause hundreds of dollars’ worth of repairs to broken pipes, cracked heads and worse. Winterizing your system means having all the water blown out and replaced with air, and removing your backflow prevention device (if it can be removed) to be stored in a warm, dry location so its delicate inner parts aren’t damaged by the freezing temperatures. You won’t be able to use your system again until spring.
Can’t I do this myself?
Yes you can! You can rent an air compressor, haul it home, get it set up, get your system cleared, take off your backflow prevention device if it can be removed, haul the compressor back to where you got it, and hope you got your entire system taken care of. What you might save in money, you spend in gas, time and energy, and in a worst-case scenario, extensive repairs in the spring at start-up time. When you call a professional, you’re paying for the know-how of a trained and state-certified technician to ensure you get the job done right the first time, and we already have the equipment available so you don’t have to drive all over town!
It got below freezing last night! Am I too late?
Not to worry. Air temperatures reach 32 degrees Fahrenheit much sooner than the soil and groundwater do. Even morning frost and flurries don’t necessarily mean you’re too late to winterize your system. Soil temperatures take longer to change than air temperatures, meaning buried pipes take longer to freeze than dew on grass. Another reason to trust the professionals — we watch the weather like a hawk to ensure all of our friends and neighbors are cared for.
What else can Quality Care do for me?
We offer a full service irrigation maintenance program! This includes:
- Irrigation Start-Up: In the spring we will re-attach your backflow prevention device (if removed for winter), turn water on for your system, run through each zone to check for broken heads, adjust sprinkler coverage, and make repairs as needed. At the same time, we help you customize your program so your system runs the desired amount of water and time.
- Backflow Certification: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law! City code requires yearly testing of your backflow prevention device to ensure that it’s working properly and protecting your city water supply. Our state-certified technicians perform mandatory backflow prevention tests as required by city and state regulations.
- Midseason Checks: We offer midseason checks to help manage your irrigation system. This includes running through the system midseason to check for broken heads and leaks, adjusting sprinkler coverage and making repairs as needed. We can also help you adjust your controller to run the system based on weather needs– typically this is a drier time of the year when your irrigation system is required to run more often. This is helpful because irrigation systems typically run early in the morning when you might not see it run– therefore, you might not be aware of issues that need repaired.
- Irrigation Shut-Down/Winterization: In autumn, after your water is turned off to the system, we will blow out all remaining water in the system with compressed air to prevent freezing damage. If your backflow device is located outside we will remove the device and leave it with you to store in a heated area over the winter. If your backflow prevention device can be removed, it’s a very good idea to do so and keep it somewhere that will not freeze. Even if all water has been blown from the device, the plastic inner parts are subject to freeze damage and can break over the winter– and are surprisingly costly to repair!
- Repairs: We can make repairs to irrigation systems– as soon as you notice something looks wrong, give us a call! The sooner your system is in good repair, the better your lawn will look and the less money you will spend on wasted water.
Like many of our programs, any of these services are also available individually.