Save Money By Winterizing Your Own Sprinkler System
Every fall I get the letter in the mail asking if I want a local irrigation company to come and winterize my sprinkler system. I’ve seen my neighbors get the service. A truck pulling a huge air compressor on a trailer parks in front of their homes. They hook up a hose, and 20 minutes later it’s all over.
Every year I rip it the letter in half and throw it in the garbage. I will not be paying the $108 dollars for them to come and blow out my lines because I know how to do it myself.
What You Need:
- Air compressor : I borrow an 11 gallon compressor from a friend of mine. Anything smaller won’t work very well, but anything bigger will reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the task.
- Valve / Nozzle Combination : Valve is probably the wrong term, but you can see the item pictured here. I picked up both of these parts at my local hardware store for less than $10 and have been using them for 9 years now.
- Wrench : You’ll need to remove the valve bolt, and insert the valve / nozzle combination
- Extension cord: The electrical cord on the air compressor is usually pretty short.
- Turn off the water to the sprinkler system. The lever to do this is usually found indoors in the mechanical room of your home.
- Locate the valve bolt on the water line to your system on the exterior of your home. Remove the valve bolt, and insert the valve / nozzle combination.
- Plug in and turn on the air compressor. Let it fully charge until it stops running.
- Activate your system’s first zone from the control panel
- Attach the compressor hose end to your valve/nozzle. Your sprinkler heads will pop up, with the pressurized air pushing the water through the heads. Let it run until either a.) only air is coming out of the sprinkler heads, or b.) the pressure in your air compressor is completely exhausted.
- Remove the compressor hose from the valve / nozzle combination.
- Let the compressor recharge completely.
- If there was still water coming out of the heads when you removed the hose from the valve/nozzle combination repeat this sequence with the same zone.
- If there was no water coming out of the heads when you removed the hose, then increment your control panel to the next zone and continue.
Because the air compressor I used was much smaller, it took me about two hours to complete the task. I didn’t mind, however, because this time of year I spend my Sunday afternoons watching football and I can easily run outside for a few minutes occasionally to do the next iteration. It’s certainly a lot easier than writing out a check for $108.
Have you ever blown out your own sprinkler lines? How did it work for you?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock
Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger at night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children, Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always on the lookout to stretch his family’s budget as far as he can.