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3 Ways to Protect Your Sprinkler Pipes in the Winter

Sprinklers are an important addition to any garden. They keep your lawn looking hydrated and fresh, help keep your garden alive and, most importantly, save you the trouble of watering everything manually!

Many people opt for automatic watering systems to stay on top of their plants for them. While this can be a time-saving, labor-saving investment, sprinklers can create extra bills for you, if they aren’t properly maintained. See below for three ways to protect your pipes this winter.

  1. Insulate and Winterize Your System

One surefire way that your pipes will stay protected during cold weather is by insulating them. Insulation will keep your pipes protected from sudden cold snaps and long winters alike.

There are multiple materials that can be used to insulate pipes, such as heat tape, foam insulation, or cables designed to heat pipes. Though each has a different installation method, all are viable options to add an extra layer of protection to sprinkler pipes. Whichever is easiest depends on the home and the homeowner, as well as the size and complexity of the sprinkler system.

Homeowners must also take into account the prices of each different type of insulation, as well as the labor required to install them properly and whether or not the labor needs to be outsourced. Many companies, such as CMA Outdoors, can winterize your sprinkler system for you.

It’s also important that homeowners plan ahead of time, and can focus on protecting their pipes before a deep freeze. However, it’s never too late to insulate pipes, even if winter has already begun.

  1. Drain Your Pipes

An important step when winterizing your system is making sure there’s no more water in those pipes! Leaving water flowing through your sprinkler system is sure to result in a burst once the temperature drops.

Homeowners may be tempted to leave the sprinklers running, albeit on a much lower and infrequent setting. They may cite how they need to keep the water running through their faucets and shower heads during the winter to prevent burst pipes.

While that is true, indoor pipes have to be treated much differently than outdoor pipes. Outdoor pipes run the risk of creating ice, unlike indoor pipes that can safely dispose of water. As such, your process for caring for outdoor pipes should be far different than how you handle your water inside the home during the winter.

  1. Make Sure Nothing is Broken

Another way pipes can break – and not just in the winter, but year-round – is if the pipes are already damaged. Damage to the pipes can worsen over time, as animals, dirt and air can get into existing cracks and breaks in your pipes

Should these problems be left to fester during cold weather, the dry, chill air can get into pipes and cause a burst. This, of course, would not only be an expensive problem, but it could also lead to more problems. Again, professionals can inspect your pipes for any damage and take appropriate action to fix any problems.

So don’t let your handy sprinkler system become a liability! When it comes to protecting your sprinkler pipes, there are several steps you can take to keep your pipes safe during the winter season. Without taking measures to prevent pipes from bursting, you can end up spending thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements.


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