The Polar Vortex pressure system which circles the Arctic has recently been less stable due to increased arctic warming, reducing the North/South temperature difference, affecting the pressure and meandering of jet streams. This meandering sends cold air and record-low temperatures farther south into the continental U.S. than is normally experienced.

When temperatures plummet, pipes and valves may experience issues such as freezing and cracking, and eventually damaging leaks when they begin to thaw.  Not only could you cause extensive damage to your own property, but if a broken pipe leaks into common areas and freezes over, you have created a safety hazard. Follow these tips to avoid irrigation damages during below-freezing weather:

– Due to the severity of the Polar Vortex, turning off your master valve and draining the irrigation system will help you avoid costly repairs from potentially broken pipes.

– All exposed pipes and outdoor taps should be insulated for protection.

– It’s a safe idea to insulate your irrigation controller as well!

– Water should be shut off and back flow devices should be purged of water.

– Detach any hoses if applicable.

– Consider hiring an irrigation contractor with specialized equipment who can flush out water that could freeze and crack pipes, valves and sprinklers.

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