The end of the harvest doesn’t mean the end of work for farmers. Once the weather starts to get colder, it’s time to inspect and winterize your irrigation system for the season. If you leave your water system alone during frigid weather, the ice and cold can cause serious damage to your equipment. Protect your assets and hit the ground running in spring when you follow these tips on how to winterize your farm irrigation system.
Store Large Equipment Safely
Don’t leave your most expensive tools out in the cold. Find a safe place to store large equipment like center pivots. Make sure the space has cover from wind, snow, and ice. You should also find a storage space that keeps out any pests that are looking for a safe place to spend the winter. When your equipment is safe from the elements and local critters, it’ll be in better shape once you need it again next spring.
Shut Down Water Supply and Timers
Once you’re done using your irrigation system for the season, it’s a good idea to completely shut off the water supply. While you’re at it, shut down any timers or controllers that automatically start the system. This will give you complete control over your system and ensure that valves or pumps don’t start running without your knowledge throughout the season.
Drain What You’re Not Using
One of the most crucial steps in how to winterize your farm irrigation system is to drain any pipes you won’t use through the winter. If water is still present when the temperature drops below freezing, it can turn to ice and expand within the pipe. This can lead to cracking, bursting, and other pricey damage to your system. Use an automatic or manual valve to drain your system completely.
Protect and Insulate
After you drain the water from your irrigation system, you should insulate the various parts of the system. You can use plastic, foam insulation tape, or other materials to protect these assets from the cold. Cover your main shut-off valve and any above-ground pipes. You should also take the time to insulate your irrigation pump foot valve or any other backflow preventers that are above ground. However, take care not to cover air vents or drain outlets with insulation.
Do you have everything you need to keep your irrigation in good shape? Find valves, nozzles, and other high-quality, durable parts for your irrigation system when you visit Rural Water Direct today.