Avoid costly repairs by winterizing your sprinkler system

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The sprinkler repair business usually slows down this time of year, but Southwest Irrigation Systems is slammed right now.

"We are preparing getting the parts necessary for the next week," technician Brad Greer said.

Greer said the calls they are taking now are from homeowners who learned their lesson from the last hard freeze.

"I did, personally myself, 70 to 75 repairs on PVBs because it snuck up on us," Greer said. "Nobody winterized. Nobody took the time to do it. We had a lot of breakage."

Winterizing your sprinkler system doesn't take long. Greer says not to worry about the ground sprinklers. It's the valve component you need to focus on.

First, turn off the shut off valve. Then, with the component next to your house, siphon the water and turn your intake valve parallel, and move the outtake valve 45 degrees.

If you don't, frozen water can destroy the parts inside and cost you a $400 repair.

"What you have is the insides are broken," Greer said. "Then you have to call a professional for that. There's a couple ways you can fix it with a kit, or back flow device."

You can also cover your system with a trash can to keep it warm. But avoid using a towel, because it can soak, causing a bigger issue.

"Once you do this, you're okay," Greer said. "If you don't, you might be seeing us in the future."

With temperatures expected to remain at, or below freezing, technicians know it'll be a busy few days.

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