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How to Winterize a Sprinkler Pump

winterize sprinkler pump

Sprinkler pumps are meant to be used for lawn or garden irrigation or any application that requires high volumes of water to be pumped at a low pressure. Since sprinkler pumps are used primarily during warmer growing seasons like spring and summer, it is necessary to winterize sprinkler pumps in many areas of the country where winter temperatures cause water to freeze. When water freezes, it expands. If temperatures drop below freezing while there is still water in the lines of your sprinkler pump, your sprinkler pump could become damaged from the frozen water inside the pump expanding and possibly breaking the internal components.

Preserve the life of your sprinkler pump by properly winterizing it before the first frost.

You will need the following items to winterize your sprinkler pump:

  • Wrench
  • Spray gasket lubricant
  • Trash bag

Follow these steps to winterize your sprinkler pump:

Clean the Pump Housing

  1. Shut off the water to the sprinkler pump.
  2. Remove the cover from the pump housing.
  3. Clean out any debris you can see inside the pump housing.

Remove the Water from Sprinkler Lines

  1. Without reconnecting the pump to the water, turn the pump on for one or two minutes, or until all of the water has been pumped out of the sprinkler lines.
  2. Watch the lines carefully to make sure you turn the pump back off as soon as you see there is no more water coming out. You want to get as much water out of the lines as possible to prevent the water from freezing while inside the pipes and causing damage to the pump.

Drain the Pump and Pump Lines

  1. Disconnect the discharge line from the sprinkler pump so the remaining water can drain out of the pump.
  2. Remove the inlet line that goes into the pump and drain the water from that end as well.
  3. Using a wrench, open the drain valve on the bottom of the pump. You will leave it like this through the winter.

Lubricate the Pump and the Cover

  1. Once all water has been drained from the pump, spray all gaskets with lubricant.
  2. Check the pump for damage to gaskets. If any gaskets show signs of wear or tearing, it is a good idea to replace the gasket(s) before storing the pump for the winter.
  3. Replace the pump housing.
  4. Cover the pump with a trash bag to prevent new moisture from getting into the pump during the winter.