Drip Irrigation Design Guide-System Winterization and Spring Start Up
System Maintenance & Troubleshooting
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In areas that are prone to freezing or for long periods of inactivity, we recommend winterizing your drip system. Winterizing is the process of removing water from a drip system that would otherwise damage the tubing and components during freezing weather.
Start by shutting off your water faucet or the mainline that supplies water to your drip system. Remove any hose timers, its batteries and store in a dry location. For irrigation valves, removing the internal rubber diaphragm will extend the diaphragms life.
Remove all drip hose end caps and allow the water to drain completely. To “blow out” your drip system, use of an air compressor is recommended as long as the pressure is limited to 30 psi or under. Higher pressures can result in damaging your drip tubing or components. Once the water has been removed, replace the end caps. This will help to keep out any dirt or insects.
In areas of harsh prolonged freezing, we recommend rolling up your drip tubing altogether. Removal of your drip tubing can easily be done by installing Direct-Loc fittings during the initial installation. These fittings make removal and installation of your drip tubing quick and easy.
Starting up your drip system for the spring is not unlike the initial walk thru you made during your systems installation, although Murphy’s Laws does seem to kick into high gear around this time. As stated before, keep your repair kit close at hand to deal with any problems that might pop up.
Start by installing fresh batteries in your hose timer and reprogram for a spring watering schedule. Install all water source connection components as before, inspect and replace any cracked or worn hose washers. Inspect the filter screen, clean or replace if needed. Reattach any drip lines that were removed, then remove all end caps and flush the lines. Once the drip lines have been flushed, replace the end caps and run your drip system.
Inspect all drip emitters, soaker hose dripline, sprayers and bubblers. Clean or replace any parts that have stopped watering. Check the drip tubing for any cracks, splits or for any areas that may have been chewed on by animals or varmints, repair or replace any tubing as needed. For drip systems using irrigation valves, reinstall rubber diaphragms, reprogram your controller and activate each valve to insure each are working properly.