The Effects of Frozen Irrigation Systems and How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

how to prevent frozen pipes

Sprinklers help keep your lawn healthy and looking its best. However, winterizing your irrigation system prevents the water from freezing inside the system and causing damage. We will discuss the effects of not properly preparing for winter and how to prevent frozen pipes and winter damage to an irrigation system.

Effects of Frozen Irrigation Systems Frozen Pipe Prevention

Frozen Pipes

If you don’t blow out your pipes before the first freeze of the season, it is likely that the water inside will freeze. There’s no room inside for the freezing water to expand. Therefore, the pipes can crack or burst in large sections.

Pipe installation is underground, so frozen pipes are one of the most costly and difficult repairs to make. To prevent frozen pipes damage, drain as much water as possible from the lines before they freeze.

Frozen Sprinklers

Water can also freeze inside sprinkler heads themselves. When the frozen water expands, the pressure from the ice can pop off sprinkler heads. Another possible effect of frozen sprinklers is that the water will expand inside of the plastic body of the sprinkler, resulting in cracks down the side of the sprinkler.  In addition, water can freeze inside the small supply tube that pushes the nozzle above ground.

Any of these issues require you to replace the entire sprinkler head with  new unit. Contact Agscapes Landscaping to schedule your sprinkler repairs today.

Frozen Manifolds

The manifold is the heart of your irrigation and sprinkler system. It consists of a main pipe and several valves. The valves control the flow of water from the manifold main line to the rest of the sprinklers. If water freezes inside the main pipe, it can result in cracking to the plastic which damages the attached valves.

The most labor-intensive part of any sprinkler repair is replacing a damaged manifold. However, you can avoid this by draining as much water as possible from inside the manifold. The majority of manifolds have a drain cap for easy draining.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Irrigation in winter is unnecessary, so generally you will drain and switch off your sprinkler system in the fall to prevent freeze damage.

View our step-by-step guide on how to winterize your irrigation system.


These are just a few of the effects of frozen irrigation systems. If you believe you have winter damage due to a frozen irrigation system, contact us at Agscapes Landscaping to schedule you irrigation system repairs today!

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