One minute your irrigation system functions correctly, the next it doesn’t. In the event of an emergency, it’s necessary to know how to shut everything down. But what if the sprinklers won’t turn off even then? There are steps you can take to prevent damage before a professional arrives. Take a look at this article to ensure you know how to turn off the water to your sprinkler system.
Reasons to Turn Off Your Sprinkler
If you ever notice an area of your lawn that seems too damp, it may be the sign of an irrigation system malfunction. Similarly, when the weather starts to cool down, you won’t need to use your sprinklers at all. When a sudden freeze threatens the area, you should know how to shut your system down.
Steps for Turning Off Your Sprinkler System
Take these four steps in order to safely turn off your sprinklers:
1. Use the Controller
This process is straightforward – head to your system controller and hit the proper “off” button. You may find this switch located near where you would turn off the sprinklers if it were to rain. Try not to unplug the box, as doing so can erase your schedule settings, which you’ll have to fix later on. If you turn off the water this way and nothing happens, there’s an underlying issue that a professional needs to address. In this case, you’ll need to shut down the water at the source.
2. Use the Backflow Device
Look around the exterior of your house or in the basement to find the backflow device. This is a decent-sized piece of equipment that has two sprinkler system shut off valves, labeled “B” and “C” in the image below. Either handle will do the job. Turn one to an upwards position, and the water should stop immediately. When in doubt, attempt this option first, especially in the case of an emergency.
3. Use the Main Water Supply Line
If you get to the backflow device and you notice a leak, try this method. Head to the location of the main water supply line for your home, which will be in your basement; in plain sight or in a utility closet. This line connects to your street and provides your house with water. Once there, you’ll see two levers – one for your home and one for your sprinkler system. Turn the lever for your sprinklers so it’s at a 90-degree angle from the pipes. This action will shut off the water. This is usually used for winterization – the video below can help you find where to turn off the main water supply in your system.
4. Drain the Pipes
If there isn’t a problem, and you want to prepare your system for winter, you’ll need to drain your pipes. To make sure this is handled correctly, schedule a time for an expert to come out and do it for you. They will make sure everything is in working order. This is a key step in our Winterization Process, which protects your sprinkler system from freezing and prevents pipe damage.