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Oasis Sprinkler Systems, Roger Berg
651.269.1679 . info@oasissprinkler.com

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Cold Weather
Care for your System

BackflowColdIn the fall it may be possible to get temperatures below 32 degrees before we have had a chance to blow out your sprinkler system. Any damage to the system can be avoided with just a little bit of action on your part.

The only portion of your system that is susceptible to this potential damage is the backflow preventer mounted on the side of your house. The rest of the pipes are underground and are insulated from the cold weather so there are no worries there. Shown here is a standard backflow configuration and some options to help make it through the cold period.

This is a standard backflow configuration. Yours may be shorter or taller, but all should look similar. You can see that this one has pipe insulation on the copper down pipe. This is helpful and only costs about a dollar or two at any hardware store.

 

  1. BackflowBlanketThe first thing to do is to place an old blanket or similar item over the backflow preventer just like in the image below and wrap it around tight. Obviously the heavier the blanket the better. This will keep the cold air from reaching the copper pipes. It's the same concept as putting a sheet over your flowers to prevent frost kill.
  2. Another good idea is to run one zone of the system for just about 10 or 20 seconds in the evening before you go to bed and in the morning before you go to work. This will flush out the cold water in the backflow preventer and replace it with warmer indoor water.

Methods one and two used together will ensure that you will have no issues with freezing during periods of cold weather. Often times method one alone is fine but it really only takes a minute to implement method two along with it. If you are comfortable with programming your controller, you can even have method two happen automatically.