How to Dewinterize a Sprinkler System

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Nylon brush


Make sure the cap on the base of the vacuum breaker is on tight.

Priming a sprinkler system for the season takes only a few quick steps.

Once spring comes around, it's time to recharge the sprinklers and prepare the system for the season. Sprinklers that have been properly winterized should contain no water, and a cap on the base of the vacuum breaker was probably loosened or removed. You'll need to reverse these procedures to get your system ready for daily use. All it takes is a few minutes and the turn of a few knobs and levers to get the system ready for spring.


Step 1

Locate the vacuum breaker, which is usually near the manifold outside.

Step 2

Use a wrench to turn the small brass knob at the base of the vacuum breaker clockwise until tight. This will prevent water from spraying from the breaker.

Step 3

Locate the main water line.

Step 4

Turn the valve that connects the main line to the sprinkler system a half turn. This will turn on the water to the sprinkler system.


Step 5

Turn both valves on the vacuum breaker a quarter turn. This will release water to the manifold.

Step 6

Turn on the sprinklers, one zone at a time. This will flush water into the supply line and activate the sprinklers.

Step 7

Inspect every sprinkler head for obstructions and performance.

Step 8

Scrub sprinkler heads with a nylon brush to clear any debris and improve performance.



Heath Robert

Heath Robert has been a professional writer since 2001. Covering news, politics and local communities, he has worked for daily newspapers across Colorado, including the "Columbine Courier" and the "Colorado Statesman." Robert holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and political science.