How to Winterize Your Irrigation System to Avoid a Homeowner’s Nightmare

As temperatures finally drop, it’s crucial to winterize your irrigation system to avoid the damage frozen pipes can cause. Any remaining water in your irrigation system can freeze and potentially crack even polyethylene pipes.

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To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to eliminate any leftover water in your irrigation system. Although you can remove water through auto drain, manual drain, and blowout, the trusted method tends to be blowout.

The blowout process entails using compressed air to blow out the various parts of the irrigation system, including sprinklers, pipes, and valves. Although there are resources that provide information on winterization, the process can be dangerous, so we recommend giving us a call to take care of it for you.

A simpler aspect of winterizing your irrigation system involves taking off and storing backflow prevention devices. A backflow preventer “is used to protect potable water supplies from contamination or pollution due to backflow” according to Google. They help maintain pressure so that water can flow from various fixtures.

People remove backflow preventers for various reasons, including to replace them, avoid theft, or prevent water from freezing within them. Regardless, removing a backflow prevention device remains the same.

Nine Steps for Removing Backflow Prevention Devices

Below, we’ve the broken down the process into nine simple steps so you can do it yourself at any time.


  • Find or buy two pipe wrenches
  • Place the first wrench on one of the large nuts on the upright pipes
  • Use the second wrench to hold the bottom bolt in place while spinning the wider bolt with the first wrench
  • If the bolt is crusted on, hit it with a hammer to loosen it all the way around.
  • If it still doesn’t budge, use a propane torch to heat and expand the bolt
  • Once it’s loosened, do the same process for the bolt on the other upright pipe
  • Remove the backflow prevention device
  • Cover the two open pipes still in the ground with pieces of cloth to prevent anything from getting in
  • Tie the cloth around the pipes with zip strips or rubber bands


Experts recommend storing it in a warmer room like the basement rather than the garage, because any remaining water within the backflow preventer could freeze and crack the device.

Don’t take the risk of frozen pipes by overlooking winterization. For more information about winterizing your irrigation system and removing backflow preventers, reach out to us today! Your safety and comfort are always our top priorities.