What is Winterizing Irrigation System?

Winterizing an irrigation system is the process of preparing it for the cold winter months to prevent damage caused by freezing temperatures. It involves draining the water from the system to prevent it from freezing and expanding, which can lead to cracked pipes, valves, and fittings. Winterizing is essential for maintaining the longevity and functionality of an irrigation system, as well as preventing costly repairs in the spring.

Why is Winterizing Important?

Winterizing your irrigation system is crucial because freezing temperatures can cause significant damage to the components of the system. When water freezes, it expands, which can lead to burst pipes, cracked valves, and damaged fittings. These issues can result in leaks, reduced water pressure, and even complete system failure. By winterizing your irrigation system, you can avoid these problems and ensure that it remains in good working condition.

When Should You Winterize Your Irrigation System?

The ideal time to winterize your irrigation system is before the first freeze of the season. It is recommended to do it when the temperatures consistently drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). By winterizing early, you can prevent any potential damage caused by unexpected early freezes. It is better to be proactive and prepare your system ahead of time rather than dealing with the consequences of a frozen and damaged system.

How to Winterize Your Irrigation System?

Winterizing an irrigation system involves several steps to ensure that all water is removed from the system. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to winterize your irrigation system:

1. Turn off the water supply: Locate the main water supply to your irrigation system and shut it off. This will prevent any water from entering the system during the winter months.

2. Drain the water: Open all the drain valves and allow the water to drain completely from the system. This includes the mainline, lateral lines, and any other components that hold water.

3. Blow out the remaining water: Use an air compressor to blow out any remaining water from the system. Start with the furthest sprinkler head from the compressor and work your way back, ensuring that all water is expelled from the pipes.

4. Insulate exposed components: Insulate any above-ground components, such as backflow preventers and valves, to provide additional protection against freezing temperatures.

5. Store equipment properly: Remove any detachable components, such as sprinkler heads or nozzles, and store them in a dry place for the winter. This will prevent them from freezing and becoming damaged.

Benefits of Winterizing Your Irrigation System

Winterizing your irrigation system offers several benefits:

1. Prevents damage: By removing water from the system, you can prevent freezing and the subsequent damage caused by expanding ice.

2. Extends the lifespan of the system: Proper winterization ensures that your irrigation system remains in good working condition, which can extend its lifespan and save you money on repairs or replacements.

3. Saves water: By shutting off the water supply and draining the system, you can conserve water during the winter months when irrigation is not necessary.

4. Saves money: Investing in winterization can save you money in the long run by preventing costly repairs or replacements due to freeze damage.


Winterizing your irrigation system is a crucial step in maintaining its functionality and preventing damage caused by freezing temperatures. By following the proper steps and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure that your system remains in good working condition and avoid costly repairs in the spring. Don’t neglect winterizing your irrigation system and protect your investment.