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DIY: Protect Your Irrigation System During Temporary Freezing Temperatures

SNOW IN SEPTEMBER?! It is truly happening folks & it is COLD.

Below are a few steps that we recommend in preparing your irrigation system during these random cold fronts before you get the system winterized: 

First, you'll want to locate where the main shutoff to your irrigation system is and shut it off. This is most likely in your crawl space, although sometimes it is located outside next to your brass backflow device. 


Second, go ahead and find your backflow device. This is typically located outside along the back or sidewall of your house. Once you find the device, locate the two handles on the device that allow you to shut the valves off. You will want to turn those halfway off so that the handles are in between parallel and perpendicular to the pipe. Next, locate the multiple small test ports on the backflow. On the side of those, there is a screw that you can turn halfway off, just like you did with the main valves. You will want to make sure to do this.

      Third, there should be a hose bib next to the backflow device. You can turn this on so that the water on the outside of the backflow can drain.

Fourth, to provide a little insulation against the cold, it would be a good idea to wrap the backflow in an old blanket, towel, or a backflow insulator if you have one.

Fifth, if you go back to where you shut your water off in the first step, you should find another valve or cap that allows you to drain the water out from the inside of the backflow. If you have a small bucket or container, take that with you to catch the water, then go ahead and open that valve to drain it back.

The sixth and final step, find your irrigation control box and turn the dial located on the faceplate of the box to the “off ” position.

      If you follow those steps, it will provide some protection against some of the cold temperatures coming through, until we completely winterize the system in a couple of weeks! One thing to keep in mind is this process will completely shut off the water to your irrigation, so if the weather warms back up in a few days, you will want to turn everything back on in the reverse order of how it was shut off.

If these steps are too complicated, simply find the backflow device and wrap it in blankets or towels to insulate it. Then turn your irrigation control box dial to the “off” position. This will be a huge help in protecting your irrigation system.

**For irrigation winterizations, if you are already on our list for winterizations, we will be contacting you this week to schedule. If you have not been on our list and would like to be, please email Maddie at

Stay warm out there!

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