Winterizing of your irrigation pumps

This is a repeat of last year but I felt it is THATY time of year!

I know you hate hearing the word, but let's face it, summer is closing it's door and it's time to start thinking of winterizing and storing your irrigation pump. Now I know you may be thinking, why am I offering advice on winterizing your irrigation pump when repairing them is my bread and butter? .......  Partially because my job is to help and satisfy my customers. Central Hardware wants the customer experience at our store to be the best. Trust me, there will be many pumps still rolling through our doors come spring, always has been always will be. We know we are the #1 choice when it comes to pump repair. Okay, lets get right to it. There are a few scenarios that irrigation pumps fall into: 1) Those that stay out in the elements 2) Those that are disconnected and stored in a garage, basement, etc. 3) Those that hire a company to manage winterizing 4) Those that store them at our store and let us manage it In order I'll address all three:

  1. Those that stay out in the elements:

  • There are plenty of people that just don't want to deal with disconnecting the pump and hauling it inside for the winter. This is certainly fine but take some advice and make sure of the following:

  • Be sure that the pump is protected from the elements. Dog house, insulation, wind block, well pit etc. Flint & Walling pumps are built to withstand the weather, but for longevity (especially at the cost of new pumps nowadays), cover it up or shelter it well.

  • Most are connected to a well or a hose that draws water from the river, lake or pond. This hose or piping will need to be disconnected and drained. River, lake or pond hose will need to be drained and put away. If you draw from the river, lake or pond and your going to store the hose outside as well, do yourself a favor and cover the ends of the hose to keep critters out in the winter. Usually a Ziploc bag with rubber bands or duct tape will do just fine, but that AFTER you drain the water out!

  • Once the above step are completed, time to drain the pump. If you were smart, you would have a 1/4" drain valve installed on the bottom of the pump, so all you would need to do is open the valve and let the water drain out. If you don't, it's probably got a plug on the bottom that you will need to unscrew. Get as much water as possible out of the pump, you would be surprised at how little water is required to bust a casting. Once as much water is out, put the plug back in or close the valve.

  • Fill the cavity of the pump with RV antifreeze. You don't want to fill it but put enough in to do the job, every pump is different but normally a gallon will do it.

  1. Those that are disconnected and stored in a garage, basement, etc.

  • The processes from above would still apply even if your storing it inside, unless where your storing it is heated. I would still recommend the RV antifreeze if storing in an unheated garage, it doesn't take much.

  1. Those that hire a company to manage winterizing

  • The onus is on them, the challenge of course is when they can get out there, hopefully before the 1st freeze!

  1. Those that store them at our store and let us manage it

  • What we do for many customers is store their pumps over the winter in a clean heated environment. Generally for a $50 storage fee, we inspect and test the pump completely so in the spring all you do is pick it up when your ready, hook it up and away you go. You still want to winterize lines and anything else that may be left out in the environment.

All the best! Rob

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