Your irrigation system provides hydration for your landscape, but it’s only needed for about half the year. Winter weather can easily damage it, though, when it’s not in use, so you need to take a few steps to ensure it’ll be ready come spring. Learn why winterization is important and how to increase the system’s longevity.

When Is the Ideal Time?


Schedule winterization services before the season’s first freeze—when the outdoor air temperature drops below 32 degrees. For Connecticut, that means you have until roughly mid-December. However, it’s best not to wait too long; you’ll need to schedule the service at least seven days before the first major freeze so the system is fully protected.

Water your lawn and garden one more time before the freeze to help the root systems conserve moisture during the cold months. Since grass and plants go dormant over winter, they’ll be okay until spring.

Why Is Winterization Necessary?

Water expands when it freezes, which can cause the system’s pipes to crack or burst. Both issues will cause leaks and severe water loss when you use the sprinklers again in the spring.

The manifold—the main pipe with numerous valves that distribute water to the sprinklers—can also crack because of freezing temperatures. Its plastic parts will shrink and break, damaging the valve that controls even water distribution. If the sprinklers freeze, expanding water pushes their nozzles up through the ground. Because of the added pressure, the sprinkler heads can pop off.

How to Prepare

Irrigation professionals will first open the valves to let the water drain manually. Then, they’ll use special equipment to remove any remaining water from the sprinkler system. One common method is the blow-out method, which requires a compressed air unit. The technician will use pressurized air to blow the water out of the pipes.


To get your irrigation system winterized this fall, trust Maxum Irrigation & Plumbing, located in Waterford and serving all of Connecticut. These licensed and insured professionals offer lawn irrigation services that keep properties throughout the state healthy and beautiful. Call (860) 525-7000 today to request a consultation, or visit the website for more information on their services. See the team’s latest work on Facebook.