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Irrigation System Winterization

“Nothing burns like the cold.” – George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones

With the cold temperatures of winter quickly approaching, it’s time to winterize your irrigation system. Winterizing removes any remaining water from the system to minimize the risk of freeze damage to pipes, valves, and fittings.

Focal Pointe begins winterizing irrigation systems in mid-October, completing all shutdowns by mid-November. In our area (Illinois and Missouri), that is the optimal timing to complete the work prior to the arrival of freezing temperatures.

Focal Pointe uses the blowout method to winterize systems for both commercial and residential properties. The shutdown process follows these basic steps:

  • We connect a high-powered air compressor to the irrigation system through a winterization connection or a backflow device.
  • Using just the right amount of air pressure, any remaining water is pushed out through the sprinkler heads.
  • We repeat this process for all irrigation zones on the property. Each zone typically takes 3-5 minutes to shut down.

During the month of April, Focal Pointe returns to open and test these irrigation systems, ensuring they are ready for use throughout spring and summer.

We often receive questions from homeowners or building managers who are worried about their irrigation systems the first night the temperature drops below 32° F. In most cases, there is no risk of freeze damage until the temperature drops below 28° F. If you are concerned, you can help prevent freeze damage prior to shutdown by turning off the water and opening the test cocks on your backflow device with a screwdriver, allowing any water to escape.

Improper winterization can result in costly irrigation system repairs. Don’t get burned by the cold – contact Focal Pointe to winterize your system.