Sprinkler repair services in Colorado Springs

Sprinklers Etc Home Page Sprinkler Repair and Maintenance Services Frequently Ask Sprinkler Questions Sprinkler and Related Links Sprinkler Blog by Dana Adoretti Contact Sprinklers Etc in Colorado Springs
Sprinkler Repair Services

Spring Start-Ups

Fall Blowouts & Winterization

Draining Instructions


Draining your system properly is the most important thing you can do to protect it. Most Spring repairs occur because systems still had water in them when freezing temperatures hit. Knowing how to drain your system is very useful, allowing you to water during the warm Spring and Fall days while protecting it from below freezing temperatures at night. This type of weather is very common in the Colorado Springs area.

Start by turning the water off at the source, usually in a basement or crawl-space. There should be a drain relatively close to the on/off handle. Drain this last. If you were to open it now, not much water would come out. This is the same effect as if you take a straw, stick it in a glass of water, put your thumb over the end and pull it out. No water falls out. That is because no air is pushing it through. Once you take your thumb off, the water falls. Not until the drains outside are opened will water drain back inside.

So start by turning the water off. Then outside there should be a drain at the end of the valve manifold. The valve manifold is usually in the boxes below ground that have green or brown covers. Some manifolds are above ground with a series of plastic zone valves. The drain will be similar to a hose faucet handle, or a cross handle. Open this drain.

Now on the backflow device there are often a few drains also known as test-cock PVBvalves. These are usually a small valve with a slot to turn with a screwdriver. Some have small handles to turn. Turn these 45 degrees to open. Most backflow devices have two ball valves on them to isolate the water in case of a repair. Usually they are blue, red, or yellow handles. DO NOT CLOSE THESE. By shutting these you can trap water inside the steel ball, which would put it against the brass walls of the fitting. Then when water freezes it expands and cracks the brass ball valve housing. This is probably the most common mistake made when draining. The correct position for the handles is in a 45 degree position. Yes it looks crooked but that is the safest position for it.

Now get a bucket to catch the water from the drain inside the house. Open it up all the way to fully drain. You may want to leave it open all Winter long. If it drips all season this means your on/off handle isn't turned off all the way or is damaged and allowing water to slowly seep past it. If the drain is closed water will eventually fill the water tap to the outside and fill the backflow device or valves and probably damage them.

Now turn your timer off. If it is left in the "on" or "run" position it will continue to turn the valves on. Sprinkler valves are water cooled and not turning timers off can eventually burn out the valve solenoid.

The best thing for your system is to have it winterized or blown out by a sprinkler contractor. Most residential air compressors aren't strong enough to properly blow out the lines. A good contractor will use a commercial sized compressor hooked up to the drain or the backflow preventer to push water out of the system.

If you have any questions not covered here, please e-mail us and we will gladly answer them for you.

Sprinklers Etc in Colorado Springs -  Page Footer

2008 Sprinklers Etc., Inc. All rights reserved.