Winterizing Irrigation Lines

In parts of the country where cold weather and below-freezing temperatures set in, it is necessary to get irrigation lines prepared to prevent cracking and damage from freezing water. With the growing season coming to a close and plants getting ready to shift to their dormant stage, here are some tips to get your irrigation system prepared for winter.

Why Winterize the Irrigation?

When temperatures drop below freezing, any water remaining in the irrigation system can freeze and cause the pipes to swell and burst. Winterizing the system prevents costly and unnecessary damage. Even systems made from more flexible polyethylene pipes can still crack.

How to Winterize Your Irrigation System

The most efficient method of winterization is blowing excess water out using forced air. Use an air compressor with the appropriate Cubic Foot per Minute rating for the size of your irrigation line, connect it to your system while at least one valve is open, and turn it on. Make sure all the valves are closed and labeled with a tag stating the system has been winterized. This is also a good time to track how much water was used throughout the season if you have a meter reading on your main line.

How Hydretain Can Help Winterize the Irrigation System

Just because the irrigation system is turned off, it doesn’t need to mean dry turf and plants. Apply Hydretain before the irrigation systems get turned off, and get in one last watering. Hydretain is a hygroscopic humectant that turns water vapor in the soil back into plant-usable liquid, cutting watering needs in half. In winter months, desiccation commonly occurs in frozen or dry soils or areas affected by strong winds. By converting soil moisture vapor into plant usable droplets, Hydretain helps to replace the moisture lost to desiccating forces and protects plants from drying out during the harsh winter months. One treatment of Hydretain lasts for 90s days, so this will last you through much of the dormant season and help plants get by with less water and without regular irrigations.

Getting your irrigation system ready for winter is necessary but it doesn’t need to be difficult or signal tough times ahead. With the right technique and with Hydretain, you can keep things running smoothly until spring.