Protect Your Sprinkler System during the Winter Months by Winterizing
Because we live in a climate that has freezing temperatures in the winter months, sprinklers need to have water drained down from the exposed pipes to prevent bursting pipes. We also recommend having a professional winterization completed, where all of the water is blown out of the underground pipes and sprinkler components as well, to increase the life of your system.
Winterizations are completed in October each year. Nature’s Helper offers Express and Full-Service winterization.
We Work with Your Busy Schedule
We make it easy for you. You don’t even need to be home when we winterize your lawn sprinklers, as long as your sprinkler system water supply has been turned off and the inside drain has been opened.
Our Express Winterization makes it easy on you – you don’t even have to be home when we winterize your system! Homeowners simply turn off the water line that “feeds” your sprinklers and put a bucket under the drain valve and open it. We will take care of the rest, with an industrial air compressor to blow all of the water out of the underground sprinkler lines. We will also drain the water out of the backflow device and copper pipes that are above ground.
How to Turn Off Your Sprinkler System’s Water Supply for the Season
We make the Winterization process easy for you. You don’t even need to be home when we winterize your sprinklers as long as you complete these 3 easy steps before we arrive:
- Turn off the water line inside that “feeds” your sprinkler system. This is usually in the basement.
- Put a bucket under the drain valve and then open the valve to drain water from the pipes. The drain valve is usually inside the house; however, it can also be located outside the house by the backflow, depending on how the plumbing was installed. Please note: The “drain valve” may be a spigot, a ball valve, or even a plug.
- In the case of freezing temperatures, you can also turn the test cocks on the backflow to release the pressure and let all of the trapped water drain out.
Watch Becky as she walks you through the process!
If you require assistance, we will schedule an appointment with an approximate, 2-hour timeframe. We come into your home and turn off the water line that “feeds” your sprinklers. If you have an interior drain, we will hang a bucket under the drain valve and open it. We will complete the winterization with an industrial air compressor to blow all of the water out of the underground sprinkler lines. We will also drain the water out of the backflow device and copper pipes that are above ground.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sprinkler Winterizations
When Is the Best Time to Have Your Sprinkler System Winterized in Omaha?
It’s important to get your Omaha sprinkler winterization service ordered and taken care of before the first freeze. Any time the ground freezes with some water left in the underground pipes of your system, it can cause damage and burst or frozen pipes. While the time the ground freezes changes each year, it’s best to get your system winterized in October or even late September.
What Are the Benefits of Having Your Sprinkler System Winterized?
Having your sprinkler system winterized may be required to keep your warranty from being invalidated. Also, having your system winterized can protect your home. If the pipes freeze, they can burst in your home, which can lead to flooding and damage, usually in your basement.
Two of the big benefits of sprinkler winterization are the peace of mind and potential cost savings. When you winterize your sprinkler system correctly, you keep it safe over the winter, even if there’s heavy snow and ice. Your system is more likely to work right in the spring and less likely to need replaced or expensive repairs.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Professional Technician to Winterize Your Sprinkler System?
While winterizing your irrigation system yourself is an option, we don’t recommend it. You need a large-enough air compressor for the job, a good knowledge of your irrigation system and the experience to do a blow-out without causing damage.
A professional has the tools designed to properly prepare your system for the freezing temperatures of an Omaha winter. They understand your system model and brand and can correctly remove all water from the pipes to prevent your pipes from bursting.
Professionals also remove water from the backflow device and above-ground copper pipes, which some homeowners forget. Trained technicians know how to winterize without invalidating your warranty and causing damage to the system.
A technician from Nature’s Helper will check over your system during a sprinkler system winterization appointment. If there are any issues or concerns, they can note the problems for you to address before they become expensive fixes in the spring.
What Happens to Your Sprinkler System if It Is Not Winterized Properly Each Year?
In some cases, homeowners who do not winterize their systems find nothing happens. It’s possible to get a mild winter with no freezing in the pipes or other damage. However, in cases where water remains and freezes, it can expand and cause irreversible damage. Frozen pipes can cause water to flood a home and may require replacing the sprinkler system in the spring.
Even if a home does not flood, damage from frozen and burst pipes can cause leaks in the spring. This can mean low water pressure, uneven watering, and in some cases, a system that simply does not work and requires costly repairs or replacement.
Your sprinkler and irrigation system is an investment that affects the value of your home and keeps your lawn looking its best. Without winterization, you’re playing roulette with your system. One bad day of freezing can cause immediate and permanent damage.
What Is a Drain Valve and Why Is It Important for Sprinkler Systems?
Automatic drain valves can get added to the lowest point in a piping system to drain out water after every sprinkler use. You will need two to three automatic drain valves per sprinkler. Some versions have backflow protectors for added benefit.
Auto drain valves can help prevent water from remaining in the pipes, reducing the risk of frozen and burst pipes.
Is a Sprinkler Winterization the Same Thing as a Sprinkler System Blowout?
Yes. Many people call this service a “sprinkler system blowout” or “sprinkler blowout” because when a sprinkler or irrigation system is winterized, all of the water is blown out of the system using an air compressor to prevent water from freezing inside the pipes during cold weather.
Can Frozen Water in Sprinkler Systems Cause Pipes to Burst in the Winter?
Yes. In places where there are long stretches of time where the weather is at or below freezing temperatures, such as Omaha, freezing can occur in pipes and water lines connected to the sprinkler system if it has not been properly winterized in the fall. When water freezes, it expands and the expansion of water within the pipe can cause them to crack or burst or it can lead to damaged pump cases and valves in the sprinkler system.
What Can Happen if Your Sprinkler System is Not Winterized?
If the winter is mild and freezing is minimal, it’s possible nothing will happen to the system. Unfortunately, if your sprinkler system is not winterized and there is a lot of freezing it is possible for the irrigation lines to crack which can lead to sprinkler leaks the following spring and summer, or in a worst-case scenario, it is possible for water to freeze inside your pipes which could lead to significant flooding (and expensive) damage to both your home and sprinkler system.
What is a Backflow Device and Does It Need to be Winterized?
In homes connected to a city water supply, there is a backflow device (also called a “backflow preventer”) installed to prevent water from flowing out of your home and into the water supply line. The purpose of the backflow device is to prevent contamination of drinking water in the event that pressure in the water lines changes. If backflow devices were not installed, it would mean that any time there is a significant change in the pressure within the water lines, water from the home (which might contain human waste, soap or detergent, chlorine, fertilizers or pesticides) would mix with the clean water people are using in their homes (which is to say that it would be a mess!). Essentially, backflow devices prevent this from happening by only allowing water to flow into the home and they stop water if it ever tries to go into the main water supply.
If your home has a backflow device installed, we will also winterize (drain the water out) of the system and above-ground copper pipes as a precaution to prevent this system from cracking or bursting during the winter months.
Do You Need to Be Home During a Sprinkler System Winterization Appointment?
No. One of the ways Nature’s Helper assists you in saving time is by allowing you to make appointments when it’s convenient for you. You don’t have to be home, though you do need to turn off your sprinkler system water supply and open the inside drain, so our technicians have access. When you make your appointment, our team can answer any questions you may have.
What Are Shutoff Valves?
Shutoff valves allow you to turn off the water coming to and from your home. You need to shut off the appropriate valve before winterization to allow technicians to do their job.
How Long Does a Sprinkler Winterization Take?
In most cases, the process can take as little as half an hour. Technicians check to make sure the water was turned off. They then hook up an industrial compressor to the irrigation lines. Professionals work zone by zone, using the compression to blow air through the lines. Technicians from Nature’s Helper will also blow out boiler valves, the filter end cap and any other required areas. They will make sure all valves are closed, and everything is put back in place. Your system will now remain shut off until the spring when it can safely start watering your property again.
The process will take longer if there are issues with your system, or you have a lake pump system or a large system with many zones. If Nature’s Helper technicians notice any issues with your system, we’ll make a note so you can address them.
Prepayment is Required for All Winterization Services
Simply call us at (402) 334-2625 to pay with Visa, MasterCard or Discover, or you can mail in a check prior to your service. Freeze damage due to lack of winterization or because you scheduled your winterization after the first freeze of the season is not covered under your warranty. Contact Nature’s Helper today to set up your Winterization appointment!