Sprinkler System Winterization: Why It’s Important

Winter LawnSprinkler system winterization is a recommended annual service that not only helps reduce potential freeze damage when temperatures drop, it also prevents potential liability around your home. The experts at Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage and Lighting know a thing or two about how to protect your landscape during the cold winter months.

Winterization for Southern Climates

The process and reasons why you should winterize your sprinkler system are a bit different than in colder northern climates. In Texas, for example, it is not necessary to completely flush the sprinkler pipes for two reasons:

  1. The frost line in most Southern states, including Texas, is approximately 8-10 inches. This means anything buried below that line is far less susceptible to freezing, which is why water, sewer, and sprinkler lines are buried at least 10-12 inches below ground.
  2. Winter weather in the South can mean 27 degrees or 70 degrees, depending on the day. Consistent freezing temperatures past a few days are uncommon. These breaks in temperature prevent the soil from staying cold enough to freeze water in sprinkler pipes.

It is important to note that Southern landscapes DO need watering throughout the winter season. Keeping plant and tree roots properly watered helps protect them if a sustained freeze occurs; dry soil allows that cold air to contact the roots, significantly increasing plant loss. Additionally, the soil around the perimeter of your home needs to maintain proper soil moisture balance year-round. For these reasons, the pros at Andy’s do not recommend shutting your system off or flushing the lines during the winter.

The Pros Know Best

At Andy’s, we perform a Winter System Prep in place of a true winterization. The core steps are pretty straight-forward, but the true value is in having a full diagnostic of your system done prior to freezing temps. We often discover line leaks, broken heads, and faulty valves that the homeowner was not aware of, which could have developed into even bigger repair issues. Every Winter System Prep includes the following service steps:

Andy’s Sprinkler Winter System Prep:

  • Test your rain / freeze sensor for proper functionality and adjust its settings in your controller. If you have a smart controller, we will verify proper connectivity to local weather stations
  • Ensure all sprinkler heads are spraying in your yard (and not on sidewalks, walkways, and driveways) by running a test cycle and visually inspecting each head.
  • Perform a leak test for any pre-existing damage.
  • Make any necessary repairs to the system (upon customer approval; repairs are not included in the Winter System Prep fee.)
  • Adjust your controller’s settings for Winter watering (yes, your plants and soil DO NEED WATER during the winter!).
  • A return visit in the Spring to run through the system and set the controller settings for Spring watering.

When Should I Winterize?

The best time for a Winter System Prep is before the first freeze. However, we are available whenever works best for you. If a freeze catches you by surprise, don’t panic; simply turn your system off at the controller, and we’ll come out to check your system so you’re ready for the rest of winter. And best of all, our Winter System Prep includes a return visit in the Spring, where we’ll check your system one more time and reprogram your controller for Spring temperatures!

To schedule your appointment, call the honest professionals you can trust at Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage and Lighting!