Winterizing sprinklers, fountains and bubblers

Winterizing your outdoor water features and sprinkler systems is a fairly simple, but important step in maintaining your gorgeous landscape. Though we’ve already hit temperatures below freezing in the Santiam Canyon and Stayton areas, the temps haven’t stayed low enough to really have an effect on pipes and hoses. It’s not too late to prepare your systems for the cold winter months ahead.



Sprinkler System

  1. Shut off your main supply line to the sprinkler system—if you have a backflow leave it OPEN
  2. Go to your sprinkler system controller and manual start each zone—this will relieve the pressure between the main and the individual zone valves
  3. Turn off the sprinkler system controller
  4. Stuff all valve boxes with insulation—especially the backflow valve box if you have one.
  5. In our area there is no need to blow air through the system as we do not get deep freezes.




Water Features

  1. Never turn off your water feature because of freezing weather—moving water in the pump and piping will not freeze if it’s moving.  If the water feature is shut off the pump and piping can freeze and break and then you will have a very costly fix on your hands.
  2. With freezing weather and then sun coming out in the afternoon, you lose water almost as much as summer evaporation—always make sure your water feature reservoir is full.
  3. If icicles form on your bubbler or water fall, or ice along the edge of your stream, ENJOY!  It’s a beautiful look that does no harm as long as the main water is flowing.