Don’t Neglect This Fall Home Maintenance Chore

Karin Carr, Owner
Published on October 17, 2016

It’s hard to consider that in just a short time we’ll be bundling up for another winter but it’s on its way and there’s one fall maintenance chore that should never be neglected: Winterizing outdoor irrigation systems and faucets. The time to do so is upon us, so if this is your first autumn in your new home, we’ll walk you through the process.

Start with the faucets

1.The hose and splitters can trap water and cause the faucet to freeze and break. This is why it’s important to disconnect the hose and the splitters early – in case we have an early freeze. Drain the water from the hoses and store them in a dry place so that they don’t become brittle. A large plastic garbage bag makes a handy and appropriate winter storage container.

  1. Next, check the faucets for leaks around the spout and the handle. If the leak is happening at the handle, try tightening the packing nut first. If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the washer behind it. You’ll find a video walk-through of the process at
  2. Shut off the water to the faucets and then turn on the faucet. This will drain whatever water is left, again helping to avoid a broken pipe. If you can’t isolate the water line to the faucet, use additional insulation, which we’ll discuss in the next step.
  3. Even if you’ve drained the faucet, install a cover to further protect it from freezing. These are available at large hardware and home improvement stores.

Let’s move on to protecting the irrigation lines

PVC pipes have a tendency to crack and break when they freeze so it’s important to blow out your irrigation lines before the first freeze. It’s not hard to do but you’ll need some tools, a 100 psi air compressor and eye protection. Don’t neglect the latter – using compressed air can be dangerous.

Blow out the irrigation lines before the first freeze. Now, this isn’t a challenging project but it does require some equipment you may not have on hand, such as a 100 psi air compressor. Should you decide to tackle the job on your own, here’s a walk-through:

  1. Shut off the water to the irrigation system. If you can’t isolate the line, contact a plumber.
  2. Use a screwdriver to open the release valve, allowing air into the system. If you have flow sensors, remove them.
  3. Choose the release valve furthest from you and use the compressor to force air into it. It should only take a few minutes to blow all of the water out. Close the valve and continue on with each subsequent valve, closing each one when it’s finished.
  4. If your backflow system has ball valves, allow them to remain about half-open so that any leftover water to get out in a freeze.
  5. Open the release valves at the lower end of the lines to release any water that may still be trapped.

Keep safety in mind

The experts at Hunter Industries provide homeowners with the following warnings:

  • Wear appropriate eye protection. Hunter suggests that ANSI (American National Standards Institute)-approved eye protection is best.
  • Don’t allow the air pressure to exceed 80 psi for PVC pipes and 50 psi for polyethylene pipes.
  • Stand away from irrigation system parts while you’re pressurizing the system with air.
  • Don’t use the backflow or pump to blow out the system. First do the blow-out then drain the pump or backflow.
  • Don’t forget to close the manual drain valves when you’re finished.


If you don’t feel you can handle the job on your own, call a local lawn care company and let the professionals handle it.

About the Author: The above article Life is tough when your credit score stinks, so let’s fix it was provided by Karin Carr, an authority on Cherokee County real estate and a leader in the field of real estate blogging.  Karin has helped literally helped almost 200 families buy and sell homes since 2005.  If you are in the market to BUY or SELL a home, she can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 404-855-1807.

If you need help buying or selling outside of the Atlanta area, I can help you find a great Realtor®.  Just ask!

Are you thinking of selling your home? I’m very good at marketing homes to sell quickly, and for more money. If you’re a first-time home buyer then you’ll be in good hands. I’ve helped countless first-time home buyers through the entire process of buying that first home! I have a real passion for helping folks buy and sell homes here in the great state of Georgia and I would love to connect with you!

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following north Georgia cities: Acworth, Ball Ground, Canton, Kennesaw, Woodstock, White, Roswell, Milton, Alpharetta, Dallas, Powder Springs, and the surrounding areas.

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