As fall comes on in the northern half of the USA, a homeowner’s thoughts turn to preparing the yard and gardens for the winter. For Netafim products especially, as they are designed very well to keep water IN the lines, careful drainage will keep all components safe from the elements over winter.
Here is a handy list of what to do with your Netafim drip irrigation system to prepare it for cold weather.
Pro Tip: Take photos of your system as you go in case you need to record any damage to parts you might need to replace and also to refresh your memory next spring on how all the parts go together!
These instructions are for Netafim’s Techline & Techline CV tubing.
Techline: Drippers in these products will drain some water from the dripperline each time the zone shuts off, but there are still a few important steps to follow.
Techline CV: This dripperline has a check valve in each drip emitter. These check valves hold water inside the dripperline, so care must be taken to ensure water is adequately drained from the zone.
Techline System - Manual Winterization
- If the drip system is connected to a hose faucet, go to the main water supply and remove the faucet assembly - the timer/controller, the pressure regulator and any filters you have installed. Then clean each item and store them inside for the winter. Remove the batteries from the timer to prevent any corrosion during storage. If you have a fully automatic irrigation system than these parts are likely permanently installed and may not be removable. Move to Step 2.
- Make sure you have a drain port at ALL low points in the zone. You can use a tee (TLTEE) or elbow (TLELL) with a threaded plug, or use a Netafim shut-off valve (TLSOV) that allows water to drain. If you have line flushing valves, take them apart and remove them from the system.
- If your system contains any polypipe or blank tubing it is essential that they be drained as well.
- If your lines run to an end that is not connected to an exhaust header, open any end-of-lines like the Figure 8 and make sure they drain completely.
- The filter should be disassembled, and the disc or screen element removed to allow water to drain. Leave the filter disassembled in the event that some water remains in the system.
- If you have an automatic zone valve, check with the manufacture and follow their advice.
Techline System - Compressed Air Winterization - System “Blowout”
- Follow the same beginning steps as detailed in Steps 1 and 2 above.
- Make sure you are using Netafim brand fittings, as other brands cannot be counted on to behave in the correct way under pressure.
- Netafim fittings are rated at 50 psi without using clamps, so adjust the air pressure from the compressor to not exceed 40 psi. The volume, not the pressure, of air going through the lines is what cleans them out, so you can know that 40 psi will do the job.
- Pressure regulators, which are often installed in the valve box along with the zone valve and filter, do not regulate air pressure are designed for water, not air - pressure regulators will NOT reduce the air pressure from a compressor.
- Make sure that ALL drain ports are open.
- Remove any line flushing valves from the system.
- Apply the compressed air until no water is seen exiting the tubing or fittings.
- Leave all the drain ports open until next spring.
Prepare for spring
- Order any new parts 2-3 weeks before spring arrives to be prepared.
- Tighten all the end caps.
- If you are using a hose faucet timer, put new batteries in your controller before you install it.
- Look carefully for any cracks and leaks in the system.