This weekend I did some poking around and figured out how to get our in-ground sprinkler system ready for the winter. I’m recording the steps here so I can have instructions on hand next year…
1. Turn of all of the irrigation valves, located in the grass next to the sprinkler heads.
2. Shut off the system backflow pipe (next to the main water valve) by turning the two handles perpendicular to the pipe.
3. Using two five-gallon buckets, empty the contents of the sprinkler pipes by opening the two drain faucets and letting all of the water flow out. One faucet is located in the same cabinet as the main water valve, while the other has it’s own compartment in the downstairs bathroom. Note: this is a two person job! If you try open one drain at a time, the water pressure can play a trick on you and cause some minor flooding. Don’t ask me how I know… just believe me, okay?
4. Leave the drain faucets open through the winter. To catch any drips, a five-gallon bucket can be hung from the drain next to the main water valve, while a smaller cup fits nicely under the drain faucet in the bathroom.
Just remember to close the faucets again before firing up the sprinklers in the spring!