how to dewinterize sprinklers

Dewinterizing sprinklers involves reversing the steps taken to winterize them, so they can be used again in the spring and summer. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dewinterize your sprinkler system:

Tools and Materials You’ll Need:

  • Screwdriver or wrench (for system components)
  • Irrigation controller or timer
  • Garden hose
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves (to protect against dirt and debris)

Steps to Dewinterize Sprinklers:

  1. Turn Off the Water Supply:
    • Locate the main water supply valve that feeds water into your sprinkler system. This valve is usually located indoors, such as in the basement or utility room. Turn it on to allow water to flow into the system.
  2. Inspect the System:
    • Before fully turning on the water, inspect the entire sprinkler system for visible damage or leaks. Check for any broken or damaged pipes, sprinkler heads, or valves. Replace or repair any components as needed.
  3. Close Drain Valves:
    • If you previously opened any drain valves to remove water from the system during winterization, make sure to close them now to prevent water from leaking out.
  4. Check the Pressure Vacuum Breaker (PVB) or Backflow Preventer:
    • If your system has a PVB or backflow preventer, inspect it for any signs of damage or freezing. Ensure that it is closed and properly sealed.
  5. Slowly Turn On the Water:
    • Slowly open the main water supply valve. This gradual approach helps prevent water hammer, which can damage the system. Allow the water to flow into the system slowly.
  6. Activate Each Zone Individually:
    • Using your irrigation controller or timer, activate each sprinkler zone one at a time. Allow water to flow through each zone for a few minutes to flush out any debris that may have accumulated over the winter. This will help prevent clogs in the sprinkler heads.
  7. Inspect Sprinkler Heads:
    • As each zone is running, visually inspect the sprinkler heads to ensure they are functioning correctly. Clean or replace any clogged or damaged heads.
  8. Check for Leaks:
    • While the system is running, inspect for any signs of leaks, particularly around connections, valves, and pipe joints. Address any leaks promptly to conserve water and prevent damage.
  9. Adjust Controller Settings:
    • Review and adjust the settings on your irrigation controller or timer to reflect your desired watering schedule for the season.
  10. Program the Controller:
    • Program the controller to run the system according to your watering needs and local watering restrictions.
  11. Monitor System Performance:
    • Keep an eye on the system for a few days after dewinterizing to ensure it is operating correctly, and all zones are functioning as intended.

Dewinterizing your sprinkler system allows you to use it efficiently during the growing season. Regular maintenance and inspections throughout the watering season can help prevent issues and ensure your lawn and garden receive the proper irrigation.

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