Is it REALLY Necessary to Winterize or Blowout My sprinkler system?

winterize sprinklers

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We’ve heard it time and time again: I didn’t blow out my sprinkler system last year and I didn’t have a problem. Or, I’ve been doing it this way for years in order to save sprinkler blowout costs. Or, I have an auto-drain sprinkler system.

Well, it’s time to take off your stubborn hat and let us explain why it’s a good idea to have your sprinkler professionally blown out for the winter. After all, your sprinkler system is the longest lasting appliance in your house. Take a little care when you schedule a sprinkler blowout in Boulder, Greeley, or Fort Collins and you’ll get 40-60 years of life out of your sprinkler system! 

What Is Winterizing a Sprinkler System?

Many people often just turn off their sprinkler system and let it drain out. In that instance, we’re just hoping that evaporation takes place in the ground. Crossing your fingers nothing happens after the first freeze in the Colorado Front Range.

There is one potential problem with that method – sprinkler pipes are not always installed with the pipes parallel to the ground; there are often peaks and valleys in the pipe. In other words, there may be one part of your hose that forms a dip, creating a great place for water to collect and freeze. Even a little bit of ice in one spot will destroy the line over time.

When the water freezes and expands, the PVC pipe will likely burst in multiple places. Furthermore, frozen water trapped in the backflow assembly will cause destruction to the internal components of the pipe. This kind of damage would cost much more than the cost of having All Terrain do a professional sprinkler blowout from Fort Collins to Boulder and anywhere in between.

Sprinkler Blow Out vs Auto Drain System

Okay, so you have any auto drain sprinkler system. Let’s explain how these work: your auto drain sprinkler system has a spring. When there’s pressure, it pushes the spring closed. When you turn off the pressure, the spring opens and allows the water to run out. Or that’s the plan anyway.

If that spring doesn’t open for some reason, you have cracks in your pipe…or worse. Let’s face it, we’ve seen auto drains fail. Look at it this way – you are working with a $5 spring, burying it, and then trusting that it will work to protect your $2,000+ system. Not a very efficient way to save money on sprinkler blowout costs if you ask us! 

winterize sprinklers

Professional Sprinkler Blow Out

Maybe you blow out your sprinkler system with the air compressor you use to pump your spray paint or nail gun. Although the compressor you have at home may be great, it only offers a rating of 3-5 CFM (cubic foot per minute). Too much pressure can cause damage to the valves or piping and using a small shop compressor will result in it not having enough “free” air to properly winterize the system.

The compressors we use at All Terrain do not use a ton of pressure (think 55-65 psi to blow out a sprinkler), but they DO have a rating of 185 CFM which mimics water; after all, it’s not the pressure that’s the issue, it’s the volume. Often, your DIY projects result in using TOO much pressure and not enough CFM – and while your system may take it, over time the heads will simply fall apart.

Long story short, if you use the compressor you picked up at the local hardware store, you may have a ton of pressure, but it also leads to a lot of wear and tear on your system! Because that sounds less than fun, All Terrain has your back. 

Sprinkler Blow Out In Boulder & Northern CO

How does All Terrain Landscaping winterize your sprinkler system? The blow out method involves placing a small amount of pressure behind the sprinkler system using a commercial air compressor at only 55-65 psi delivering 185 CFM.  When properly done, the blow out method forces all of the water out of the sprinkler system so there is no chance of freeze damage throughout the winter months.

Let All Terrain blow out your sprinkler in Boulder to save them from the intense Colorado winter damage so you don’t have to deal with any of the risks. We’re pretty confident in our expertise, so confident in fact, that if any damage were to occur, we’d fix your Boulder sprinkler system at no charge. Schedule online or give us a call today: 970-500-5321.

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