Winter is coming, and with it comes cold temperatures and, depending on where you live, snow and frost. Anything that is going to be outside all winter is going to need a little help to make it through, and that includes your sprinklers. While most sprinklers are built to last and to sustain even the chilliest temperatures, they still tend to need a little help making it through those super-cold months. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to get your sprinklers winter-ready!

Hit the Off Switch

Your plants aren't going to need watering in the wintertime, and neither is your grass. Therefore, one of the best things you can do is to simply turn your sprinklers off!

However, make sure you don't unplug the sprinkler control system or turn off all power. Doing so will cause you to lose any programming or settings currently set on your sprinkler system. Instead, just flick the off switch and leave it that way for the next few months.

When spring arrives, your sprinkler system will be ready to spring back to life!

Insulate Exposed Elements

Another smart thing to do to get your sprinkler system through the winter is to carefully insulate all exposed parts and pieces of your sprinkler system.

For most systems, this will include the main valve and above ground piping. While some companies offer professional insulation, you can easily do this job yourself by wrapping elements in foam insulation tape, which you can find at your local hardware store.

Drain it Dry

Finally, and most importantly, before you ignore your sprinkler system all winter, you'll want to make sure that all of the water has been removed from the pipes and the sprinklers themselves.

If you skip this step, you run the risk of trapped water freezing, expanding, and breaking your entire system.

Again, you can hire a professional to help you drain the water, or you can do it yourself via one of the following methods:

  • Using a wet vacuum to suction out the water
  • Performing a blowout with blowout tools
  • Utilizing your sprinkler's drain valves and watching and waiting for all water to drain out/dry up

As you can see, you've got some work to do before your sprinklers are winter-ready, but fortunately, if you can follow these tips and prepare ahead of time, your sprinkler system can make it through the winter unscathed.