As the weather continues to be erratic, it’s important for all pump owners to know how to winterize their pumps and controls. Even if you’re in an area that doesn’t typically get harsh winter weather, there’s truly no telling when an unexpected snow/ice storm might hit. If you aren’t prepared, you could be looking at a lot of costly damage.
In this article, we’ll quickly discuss why winters can be so harmful to pumping systems, and some ways you can help prevent damage.
The Importance Of Winterizing Your Pumps And Controls
Why is winterization important? Because your pump is a closed system, full of water. If the water freezes up, you’ll be in trouble. Water expands when it freezes, so it can easily burst pipes, or potentially even damage the pumping mechanisms.
Depending on where the pipe bursts, you could also be looking at further damage from water and ice continuing to flow and freeze wherever the burst occurred.
Some lawn watering systems bury their lines and hoses deep enough that freezing isn’t a concern, but this is relatively rare. Any other pumping system might be in danger if it freezes.
There are a few different ways to potentially protect your pump:
1 – Bring the pump indoors
The best-case scenario is if your pump is portable and can simply be unhooked from the larger system. Then you can open up the ports, drain the water, and move it inside to an area that won’t freeze.
If your pump is primed with water from another source, like a hose, don’t forget to shut that source down.
2 – Drain the pump
If the pump can’t be physically relocated, your best move is still to shut it down and drain it. If there isn’t water in the system, there’s nothing to freeze. You may have to use an air compressor or similar setup to push all the water out.
It’s possible for a sufficiently extreme ice or hailstorm to damage a pump that’s been drained, but this doesn’t happen too often. If you’re concerned, use tarps or similar coverings to add protection.
3 – Call for help
If you have a particularly complicated pumping system, your best bet might be to call the company who installed it. They’ll have the best advice for how to protect it in winter.