Do Sprinkler Systems Need to Be Winterized

No matter where you live if you experience winter temperatures for a day or three months that fall below 0 degrees there are certain steps you should take to protect your home. Many people think about their house pipes and do the necessary steps to make sure they do not freeze. The outdoors is often forgotten about, and that is why so many people ask later if sprinkler systems need to be winterized.

If you live in areas that experience extremely cold weather, you should definitely winterize your sprinkler system. Many times if you leave water in your pipes and there is a hard freeze, the water will expand and burst your pipes. Busted pipes are both a timely and expensive repair, so taking the necessary steps of prevention is crucial.

sprinkler system winterized

Sprinkler systems are a great way to add value to your home and in this article, we will explain why it is imperative to winterize your sprinkler system. You will also learn the typical cost of winterization and what is involved in winterizing your system.

Do Sprinkler Systems Need to Be Winterized

Yes, especially in colder areas of the country. Winterizing your sprinkler system prevents you from having to deal with busted pipes later.

Simply put, winterizing is the art of draining any water and turning off the water source from which your sprinkler system typically runs. Turning off the water before a hard freeze prevents busted pipes and runs into issues later.

When it comes down to it, if you live in an area that often freezes and for long periods, you should look at winterizing your irrigation system. You will need to winterize every year around October or before the usual hard freeze.

What Happens if You Don’t Winterize Your Sprinkler System

If you decide not to winterize your sprinkler or irrigation system and you live in an area where it freezes, you could run into a slew of problems. Oftentimes if there is water left anywhere in your system and it freezes, it will expand and burst pipes and parts that you will need to replace.

Rising your sprinkler system against freezing temperatures will be more of a headache than what it is worth. Oftentimes you will have to spend more money on maintenance and repair costs than it would have been to simply pay someone to winterize your system.

A busted sprinkler system can mean that water floods your yard and even your home, which will skyrocket your water bill and repair costs. Oftentimes homeowners don’t discover leaks until they have water running in the spring and leaks begin to pop up all over the yard.

When a hard freeze takes place, there are a variety of issues that can pop up with your sprinkler system. For one, the pipes can crack and freeze from expanding water. Another issue is that pipe fittings often crack and cause major issues. Lastly, the anti-siphon parts can freeze and not work properly after the fact.

A sprinkler system is typically a large investment for your home that adds curb appeal, but protecting it throughout the year is critical to use it for years to come.

How to Winterize a Sprinkler System

Rain Bird Rotor Heads 5000 Rotor Sprinkler Heads. 4-Pack

Taking the necessary steps to winterize your sprinkler system will save you from running into issues with freezing water that can significantly damage your irrigation system.

The first step you should take to winterize your sprinkler system is to turn off the main water valve that runs to your irrigation system. The last thing you want is water in your pipes when it dips below freezing. The water inside your pipes will freeze and expand, which can destroy the pipes of your irrigation system.

After you turn off the water, you should wrap the shut-off valve with insulation to protect it from freezing temperatures. Next, you want to shut off the power to your sprinkler system. You don’t want the pump to try and try to get water to your yard that can result in overheating and cause you to dish out a lot of money to fix it.

Lastly, you will need to make sure there is no water left in your irrigation system before freezing temperatures hit. Many recommend hiring a professional who can use compressed air to blow out any remaining water from your system.

If you don’t want to hire a professional, you can attempt it yourself by performing a manual or automatic drain valve method. It is recommended to use a professional because you definitely do not want to risk DIYing something, and in the end, if you did it wrong, and your entire irrigation system may be ruined.

When Should I Winterize My Sprinkler System

It is crucial to know when to winterize your sprinkler system to protect it from freezing weather. The best rule of thumb is to winterize your system before the typical first freeze of the season and to be safe even a few days before it usually freezes. You never want to wait too long, so getting your sprinkler system winterized before you head into the winter months is crucial.

Oftentimes in the winter months, you won’t need to water your yard anyway, so getting your irrigation system winterized early will save you time and money. The month you winterize your system will obviously vary from state to state, so if you live up north, you will likely want to winterize your system in late summer or early fall.

Anytime your weather forecasts below 0 degrees or below for extended periods of time you should ensure you have your system winterized properly.

How Much Does It Cost to Winterize a Sprinkler System

The cost to winterize your sprinkler system will depend on where you live. The price typically ranges from $70 to $250 and is definitely worth the money. The price will be larger if you have a bigger property and more irrigation systems in place.

Most of the time, the southern states will not need to winterize a sprinkler system; it depends on how often your area freezes and how long of a freeze you usually have.

While it may be an extra cost, having someone professionally winterize your sprinkler system will save you the hassle of having a system that has burst pipes from the freezing weather.

It is wise to have money set aside to hire a professional who will blow out the pipes and ensure your irrigation system is ready for winter, which will leave your mind at ease. After your pipes are winterized, you can stay bundled up inside without fretting about dealing with busted pipes.


Sprinkler systems are a great addition to any home because of the convenience they offer to keep a lush yard all year. In order to have a working irrigation system, you must learn how to maintain it during the winter months. Many wonder if sprinkler systems should be winterized, and they absolutely should in certain areas.

In many states that experience sub-zero or below-freezing temperatures for long periods of time, it is an absolute necessity to winterize your sprinkler system. If you do not winterize your irrigation system, you will be paying a ton of money to fix very costly repairs. Winterizing your sprinkler system is a crucial step for anyone living in colder areas of the country.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top