It’s crucial to winterize your irrigation system with raining pivots and insulate any exposed pipes. Freezing temperatures can inflict damages that render the system useless. Rather than dealing with premature, expensive replacements, learn about the most common wintertime sprinkler system problems.

What Are Common Irrigation System Issues During the Winter?

1. Cracked Pipes

Water left in irrigation system pipes freezes as the temperature drops. Freezing water expands, putting pressure on pipe metal. It can take one expansion or more to crack the pipes. Even a minor leak can lead to severe water loss. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure all pipes have drained before temperatures drop. Have an irrigation system specialist use the blowout method with an air compressor for efficient drainage.

2. Clogged & Cracked Sprinkler Heads

Heavy rains can cause sprinkler heads to become waterlogged. Rain and assorted debris cause clogs that prevent water from spraying correctly. Remove all sprinkler heads and rinse them to dislodge debris and drain excess water. Otherwise, cracks can form when the leftover water freezes and expands. Protect them from freeze damage by keeping the heads in a dry, warm area, such as a heated garage.

3. Damaged Valves

Frozen water expansions can leave other irrigation system parts damaged, such as the valves and backflow devices. Pressure causes cracks that create leaks, low water pressure, flooded yard sections, and wastewater contamination. Using the blowout method prevents these problems, as does closing all valves. If your backflow device is above ground, wrap it with a backflow blanket to prevent freeze-related damage.


Work with the irrigation system specialists at Maxum Irrigation & Plumbing to maintain your sprinklers throughout the year. This reliable company helps commercial and residential clients throughout Waterford and the rest of New London County, CT, maintain beautiful landscapes. They offer 24/7 emergency plumbing and lawn sprinkler services. Call (860) 525-7000 today to schedule a consultation or visit their website for more information.