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Time to prepare your sprinkler system before the first freeze

DENVER (KDVR) — For residents in the Denver metro area, cold weather is coming and it’s time to prepare for winter. While it’s only October, your sprinkler system should be turned off way before the snow hits.

Green Mountain Turf, a Colorado-based sprinkler repair company, breaks down the winterization process.

Shutting down your sprinklers before it gets cold is important because the standing water in the pipes will freeze, causing cracks. This can lead to hundreds of dollars in repairs.

In Colorado, October is known as “blowout season” which basically means that you need to clear your pipes of water, so they don’t freeze.

Green Mountain Turf recommends checking the forecast for the first freeze and giving yourself a few days beforehand to start the process.

With the first freeze advisory starting Friday night and lasting through Saturday morning, now is the time to blow out your pipes.

Winterizing your sprinklers

Some people choose to blow out their sprinklers themselves. Here’s how to blow out manual and automatic drainage systems.

If you have a manual drainage system, here are the steps to take, according to Home Depot:

  • Shut off the water supply to the system
  • Look for the manual valves at the ends and low points of the piping
  • Open all the valves and drain the water from the system
  • Make sure you also drain the backflow device

If you have an automatic drainage system, here are the steps to take, according to Home Depot:

  • Turn off the water supply
  • Briefly run one of the sprinkler heads to relieve the water pressure in the system
  • Automatic draining should begin, clearing the pipes of excess water

Green Mountain Turf notes that all sprinklers aren’t the same and a DIY winterization can sometimes lead to more expensive repairs. If you are unsure, call a professional.

Need more time?

The potential first freeze is just days away. If you don’t have time to get your yard winter-ready, you can still protect your sprinkler system.

According to BG Outdoor Services, when the temperature dips below freezing but isn’t cool enough to form ice underground, the pipes underground will be fine, but the above-ground sprinkler system is at risk.

While your underground pipes might still be at risk this weekend, be sure to at least cover the above-ground sprinkler components in a towel or a heavy blanket to keep the backflow device from freezing.

Winter is on its way. While Denver still has some sunny days ahead, it’s time to prepare for possible freezing temperatures ahead.

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