Fall Sprinkler System Maintenance Tips
Each fall, you should winterize your irrigation system to keep it in prime condition for the next spring and summer. To do this:
- Check to see that your sprinkler system is functioning correctly. Make sure that your sprinkler heads aren’t blocked and are directed to the plants you would like them to water.
- Look for perpetual damp spots in your landscape (before the fall rains start!) as these might indicate a leak or broken line that will have to be fixed.
- Get your back flow checked. If you have an automatic sprinkler system, chances are that you have a backflow connection that is required by law to be checked annually. Contact your water provider to see if your back flow is due for a check up.
- Winterize your automatic sprinkler system by emptying it of water and turning it off for the season (this includes drip systems too!).
- Put garden hoses away for the season and insulate outdoor pipes. Empty and disconnect your garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Also be sure to insulate your outdoor faucets and any exposed pipes for the winter.
- Clear debris from your gutters and downspouts. This will prevent overflow and keep the water from your roof directed where you want it to go during the winter rains.
- Install a rain sensor. Rain sensors are designed to shut off sprinkler systems when rainfall reaches a preset amount, usually 1/4 inch. Once the moisture level subsides, the sensor re-enables the sprinkler system, resuming the previous watering schedule. Rain sensors should be mounted in an unobstructed area exposed to open sky – minimizing the potential for fallen leaves or other debris from blocking the sensor.