21 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by cabanasalon
Patch Instagram photo by cabanasalon

Cold Weather Means It's Time to Turn Off Irrigation Systems

Draining sprinkler systems and hoses now could prevent a lot of trouble later.

Cold Weather Means It's Time to Turn Off Irrigation Systems

Temperatures have already dipped below freezing, so Alpharetta officials sent out a reminder for property owners to turn off outdoor irrigation systems and protect water pipes from freezing.

Highs in the 50s this weekend just means it's a good time to finish draining and putting away the hoses, covering the outdoor faucets with insulated caps and turning off irrigation systems. Failing to get ready for freezing temperatures could do worse than just cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in plumbing repairs.

“Irrigation systems are very much a problem this time of year, as overspray freezes on streets and sidewalks, causing hazardous conditions for motorists and pedestrians,” explained Pete Sewczwicz, the city’s Director of Engineering / Public Works.  “If an accident or injury occurs due to ice caused by a sprinkler system, the owner of that system will be responsible for any injuries or damages that may result.”

Alpharetta also encourages residents to take a few simple measures around their homes to avoid costly repairs due to cracked water pipes.

  • Drain water from outdoor sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer’s or installer’s directions.  Do not put antifreeze in these lines as it is dangerous to humans, pets, and the environment.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outside.
  • Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs, and open your outside hose bibs to allow water to drain.  Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a pipe sleeve or UL-listed heat tape on exposed water pipes.

“A few inexpensive decisions now can help homeowners avoid costly repairs down the road,” said Sewczwicz.

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