With winter weather just around the corner, your thoughts are likely turning to the winterization of your landscape. One task you don't want to overlook is preparing all outdoor plumbing and plumbing accessories for the winter month. Failure to do so can lead to burst pipes or expensive repairs in spring. The following tips can help you get your outdoor plumbing winter ready.
Tip #1: Blow out your sprinklers
Any moisture left in the sprinkler lines can freeze and expand in winter, leading to burst sprinkler lines and the need to tear up your lawn to replace them in the spring. Instead, turn off the water to the system and then have the lines blown out so no moisture remains. You can blow out the lines yourself but you will need to have an air compressor to hook up to the blowout valves.
Tip #2: Winterize water features
Ponds and fountains should usually be turned off for winter. In many cases, it is also a good idea to drain them and cover them so you don't have to worry about water freezing and expanding inside. The one exception is in deep ponds that contain fish – these should be filled appropriately and a pump should remain in use so that water circulation continues as necessary. For all other features, remove the pumps, drain them, and store them in a garage or shed until spring.
Tip #3: Protect fixed pumps
If you have a fixed pump, such as one that moves water from a nearby large pond, lake or stream to your landscape system, then you will need to take different steps to winterize it since it can't be brought inside. In this case, drain and blow out the remaining water in the pump. Then, pour antifreeze into the system so that there are no chances of water freezing and expanding. Just remember to drain the antifreeze into a bucket in spring so it isn't sprayed across your landscape.
Tip #4: Freeze-proof your faucets
The outdoor faucets are another source of winter woe if they aren't cared for. Fortunately, all you usually need to do is turn them off and place an insulated foam cover over the spigot. If possible, cut the main water supply to the outdoor faucet system. Also, don't forget to bring in hoses, spray nozzles, and sprinkler attachments so they aren't damaged by winter weather.
Contact a plumber in your area (like Towers Murray Plumbing) if you have any questions about protecting your outdoor plumbing.