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The Home Depot

Sprinkler Winterization Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Seasonal > Sprinkler Winterization Guide
Sprinkler Winterization Guide

Your sprinkler system is designed to stand up to the elements, but it’s not impenetrable. Once the weather gets cooler, and you’re not using you sprinkler system as much, it has to withstand long periods of inactivity, cold wind and rain and even snow. Take the steps necessary to protect your sprinkler system during the cold winter months.


Don’t get left out in the cold. Learn all about sprinkler winterization dos and don’ts by following this helpful guide.

  1. Your sprinkler system is designed to stand up to the elements, but it’s not impenetrable.

    1.Get Professional Help

    The last thing you want to do is ruin your sprinkler system while you are trying to preserve it. There are some parts of this job that could be dangerous if you don’t do them right and with the proper safety equipment. If you’re not completely sure what you’re doing, you should hire a professional to do the job for you.

  2. 2.When Should you Winterize your Sprinkler System?

    You should begin planning to winterize your home in late August. At this time, find a professional to do the work and give the system a once-over to see if you notice any problems. Try to schedule your professional to come before the first frost. This may differ depending on where you live – but a good rule of thumb is September or early October.

  3. 3.Draining your Sprinkler System

    The most important part of winterizing your sprinkler system is getting remaining water out of the pipes. That’s because any water that is trapped in the tubes will freeze and expand and that could damage the system. The way you get rid of water will depend on the kind of sprinkler system you have. Some systems have manual drains, others have automatic drains and some have a combination of the two. Your professional will know exactly how your sprinkler system works and how best to drain it. Your pro will also “blow out” your sprinkler system. That means that they’ll use compressed air to completely clear the pipes of water. Because of the use of high pressure air, this is definitely something that should only be done by a professional and with the right safety equipment.

  5. 4.A Few Caveats

    Remember that just because your sprinkler system is retired for the winter, that doesn’t mean that your plants and lawn won’t need watering. Talk to your sprinkler professional or lawn care expert about the best ways to maintain your plant life during the cooler winter months. This may mean you use warmer winter days to get out the hose and give your foliage a good watering. You could also put down mulch to help keep the ground warmer and more moist. Also, remember that just as you prepared your sprinkler system for a kind of hibernation in the fall, you’ll have to “wake it up” in the spring. Once you’re ready to use it again, run water through your tubes to clear them and make sure they are free of cracks or holes. Use that time to check all the parts of your sprinkler system to make sure they’re in good working order.


    Preserve your sprinkler system by protecting it from the effects of cold winter weather. After all, once you’ve made the investment to have it installed, you don’t want that money evaporating into thin air!

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