Restoring & Restarting the Sprinkler System after Winter

After snowful winter, you can turn on the Sprinkler system from its hibernation. But compared to turning it off, turning it on needs some precautions. After the winter season, plants in our garden expect water to grow again. This article gives a detailed explanation of every step to turn on the system.

Why turn off a Sprinkler system in winter?

We always hear the word ‘Winterizing,’ which means the preparation done before the winter for irrigation. Most lawn owners turn off their sprinkler system installed for irrigation before spring.

Gardening Tools

The winter season will have heavy snowfalls in many areas of America, which can damage the system.

The pipes and valves can damage if any cold snaps move into them. But turning off the system when the plants are still growing can result in a dead; landscape.

Prep before turning on a Sprinkler system:

Once you decide to turn on a Sprinkler system after winter, you need a small prep before turning it on.

Due to the winter snowfall, the valves and pipes of the system can have cold snaps flow into them.

Walk through your yard to inspect the system’s condition before turning it on. Remove if you find any dirt and debris on the system with a cloth.

Inspect the sprinkler head, pipes, and valves thoroughly because a slight amount of snow left In them can damage the entire system.

After your thorough inspection, please turn it on slowly by following the steps in the article.

Tools required to turn on a Sprinkler system after winter?

A few tools to gather before turning on a Sprinkler system. They are,

  • Sprinkler valve key
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Pencil
  • Paper
A sprinkler system

Steps to turn on a Sprinkler system:

Steps to follow to turn on a Sprinkler system after winter are below.

Step: 1

The first step before turning on the systems after winter is to find the main shut-off valve in the system.

Mostly this valve is found outside the control box or anywhere in the crawl space or basement.

This valve typically looks like a ball pipe, and don’t mistake your house’s main water line for the sprinkler line.

Step: 2

Find the vacuum breaker above the ground and close to the close that is a backflow preventer. You need to find the plastic or copper valve assembly that connects two pipers in the system.

Step: 3

As the vacuum breaker has two valves, distinguished from the shut-off valve. Take a screwdriver, as there is a slot available for a flathead screwdriver. With the help of this screwdriver, turn the valves to 45 degrees.

Step: 4

The vacuum breaker of the system has two shut-off valves that connect to the pipes. Hold the handle or lever that you can see on the valves and open each valve by turning it to the respective pipes.

Why turn off a Sprinkler system in winter
Step: 5

Every vacuum breaker has a bleeder nipple on the side of the valves of a Sprinkler system. This drains any residual water when the system is turned off during winter. If there is a cap, screw it carefully.

Step: 6

Now, you have to be careful while opening the main valve of the sprinkler used for irrigation. Open it by turning its parts slowly, taking time until to hear the sound of water filling.

If you open fast, there can be a water rush which causes future damage. The water rush can make the sprinkler caps fly off.

Step: 7

The next step is to do a manual check from the control panel to each irrigation part. Check carefully after slowly turning the sprinkler, and hear the sound of whether the water is flowing or not. Do not allow water to rush fast.

After inspecting, carefully check the main valves, pipes, and other system parts.

Step: 8

You have to check the system once again to see whether the system is working without any leaks or damages. Open each valve box and inspect every part of the box. Check the main valve, vacuum breaker valves, visible piping sprinkler heads, and other parts.

Step: 9

While inspecting, if you find any trouble, use. Manual and check the details about the issue. If you can solve it on your troubleshoot it, if not consult any technician about the problem.

Step: 10

After completing your work on your side, then set the timer to waste the water from the sprinklers. Set the time according to your lawn and garden.



A Sprinkler system is used to irrigate lawns and gardens to water plants. Many gardens that own this system turn it off in winter because it can cause damage to the system.

Once the winter season is complete, if you plan to turn it on, it takes work to turn it on. Every gardener gathers some tools before turning them on. There are many precautions and steps you have to follow before turning it on.


Can we turn on the sprinkler system on our own?

Suppose you hire a professional to turn off the system. In that case, getting the professional to turn it off is better. You may need to learn the connections and make some mistakes.

Is it necessary to turn off the system in winter?

It is unnecessary to turn it off, but during winters, the heavy snowfalls can cause damage to the system and allow it to get cracks.

How to find out if the valve is open or not?

If the valve handle is parallel to the valve, then the valve should be open.

Can we turn on the system without water?

You can turn on the system by running the water into the sprinkler heads to check the flow of the water.

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