Once the growing season is over and the harvest has been completed, it will be time for the winter winds to come howling onto your farm. Don’t be caught unprepared; make sure that your farm irrigation system is properly prepared for the winter. From insulating assets to protecting your valves, we have four crucial tips to help you winterize your large-scale irrigation system.
4 Tips To Successfully Prepare Farm Irrigation Systems For Winter
Before the first frost and well before the snow begins to fall, you should take the time to properly winterize your farm’s irrigation system. Failing to winterize your irrigation system can result in frozen pipes and broken equipment.
Tip #1. Insulate Your Assets
The farm irrigation winterization process starts by shutting off the outdoor water supply. Next, you should protect the main shut off valve from the soon-to-be below freezing temperatures. One of the easiest ways to protect the main shut off valve is through insulation. In addition to insulating the main shut off valve, you will need to insulate any above ground piping. Before you apply the insulating tubes of self-sticking foam insulating tape, make sure that all of the water has been drained from the pipes. If water is left in the pipes, then they might freeze or burst during freezing temperatures.
Tip #2. Drain Any Pipes
As mentioned in the preceding tip, make sure that you drain any and all outdoor pipes that will not be used during the winter. Water can easily expand and freeze during extreme temperatures. If the water is left in your pipes, then regardless of insulation, they could freeze and burst. To drain your pipes use an automatic or manual drain valve. Take the extra time needed to drain any long, industrial watering hoses before storing them for the winter.
Tip #3. Protect Valves and Backflow Preventers
Make sure that your backflow preventers and all above ground valves have been properly insulated. The air vents and rain outlets on the backflow preventers should not be blocked by insulation. Insulation foam or tape can and should be used on these parts.
Tip #4. Store Any Large Pieces of Equipment Indoors
Whenever possible, your large pieces of farm irrigation equipment should be safely moved indoors. Subjecting your irrigation equipment to the cold winter temperatures can reduce longevity and cause unwanted damage.
With these easy-to-complete winterization tips in mind, you and your farm irrigation system will be well prepared for Old Man Winter. For additional farm irrigation tips, contact one of the irrigation experts at W.P. Law.