Steps for Turning Off Your Sprinkler System

Turning off your sprinkler system is a relatively simple process that you can typically do on your own. Here are the general steps for turning off a typical automatic sprinkler system:

  1. Shut Off the Water Supply:

    • Locate the main shut-off valve for your sprinkler system. This valve is usually located in your basement, crawl space, or an outdoor utility box. It may also be in a valve box in your yard.
    • Turn the valve handle clockwise (to the right) to shut off the water supply. If the valve is in a valve box, you may need a special valve key to access it.
  2. Drain the System:

    • Open the drain valves or drain caps, if your system has them. These are typically located at the low points of the system. This step is important to prevent water from freezing in the pipes during the winter.
  3. Turn Off the Controller:

    • If you have a timer or controller for your sprinkler system, turn it off. This step will prevent the system from automatically running.
  4. Manually Activate Each Zone:

    • If you want to ensure that the lines are completely empty, manually activate each zone from the controller or the individual valve boxes. This will allow any remaining water to be released.
  5. Protect Above-Ground Components (Optional):

    • If you have any above-ground components like backflow preventers or above-ground piping, consider protecting them from freezing by wrapping them with insulating materials or blankets.
  6. Mark Valve Locations (Optional):

    • If you have underground valves that are hard to locate, you may want to mark their locations with stakes or flags for easier access in the spring.
  7. Regular Maintenance (Optional):

    • This is a good time to inspect the entire system for any visible damage or issues. You can also clean or replace sprinkler heads if necessary.

Remember that the specific steps may vary depending on your sprinkler system’s design and components. If you’re unsure about any part of the process or if you have a more complex system, it’s a good idea to consult the user manual for your system or seek the assistance of a professional irrigation service to ensure it’s done correctly. Additionally, consider the climate in your area, as winterizing your system may be necessary in colder regions to prevent freezing and damage to your irrigation system.

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