2031 Waldorf NW Grand Rapids, MI 49544
Phone: 616.735.2003 Fax: 616.735.2005

Fall Draining Procedure
For Gravity Drain Irrigation Systems
City Water & Well Supplied


Draining of your system is recommended during the month of October or before air temperatures fall below freezing (32 degrees F) for extended lengths of time, usually overnight.  During the fall draining procedure it is necessary to open all drain valves that were closed when system was activated the previous spring.  The following procedure is to be used as a guideline for winterizing your system.  (For blow out systems, please call Evergreen Underground Sprinkling Company ‘s service department to schedule an appointment to have your lines blown out.)

  1. (Basement-see figure below)  Water supply valve is usually (but not always) located in the basement or in a meter pit outside, near the water meter. If you have a well it is usually located near the well pressure tank.  It may have a pink tag hanging on it indicating it is the main sprinkler supply valve. You may now turn off the main water supply by slowly rotating the handle clockwise until it stops turning.  If this is a ball type shut off (most common) slowly rotate the handle clockwise ¼ turn until the handle is crosswise with the valve body & pipe.  Located downstream from (or beyond) the main shut off is another valve that looks like a faucet (boiler drain valve).  This valve is your back drain valve.  Place a pail under the spout of the back drain.  Open the back drain valve by turning counter clockwise until it stops.  Water should start running out of the piping and into the bucket.  This will continue for usually a short period of time and than trickle to a complete stop.   If draining continues for more than 5 minutes, carefully tighten the shut off valve until it stops.  (Do not over tighten as it may damage the supply valve).  If after several hours water continues to trickle out of the boiler drain, it’s highly probable that your main shut off valve may need replacing.  It would be a good idea to call Evergreen Underground Sprinkling Co. for service.  Note:  If you shut off the boiler drain valve and leave it closed for the winter it’s possible that a leaking main shut off will allow water to fill the piping up and freeze at the vacuum breaker damaging it.
    • (outdoors-see figure below)  At the vacuum breaker open the two testcocks (1/4 turn valves)  located on the side of the unit.  You usually use a flat head screwdriver or in some cases it might require a pair of pliers.  To open the testcocks you must turn them until they are horizontal or in the (9:00 & 3:00-typicall) positions.  Water may spray out the top testcock momentarily until the pressure in the system is reduced to zero.  You then partially close the top & bottom (main inlet & outflow) valves until they are at a 45 degree angle to the valve body.  If it has a round handle close valve by turning clockwise two full turns only (It shouldn’t be closed tight).  If equipped, open (1 or 2) boiler drains and allow the water to drain out completely. (leave open all winter)
    • Locate the in ground drain valve(s) for your system.  They are usually located in low areas of the terrain on your property depending on where the mainline is running.  Each is usually enclosed in some type of protective housing called a “valve box”.  The in ground drain valve box is usually round in shape an painted blue in color on the cover top.  These need to be accessed at least twice a year and should be cleaned around through out the season so they are easily located when the need arises. Open the cover by rotating it in a counter clockwise direction until it is released (this may require the use of a pair of pliers).  A small valve is located down inside (usually ball type with a red handle).  To open the valve, the handle must be turned ¼ turn in a counter clockwise direction until tight or inline with the valve body.  (A valve key may be purchased to assist in this procedure)  If a build up of dirt has accumulated within the valve box it should be removed prior to opening the valve so as not to seep back into the system.  Removal can be done by hand or by using a vacuum. Once you have completed opening the valve, water will flow out and soak away in the ground (leave valve open)  reinstall the cover by rotating clockwise until locked in place.  Failure to lock cover in place may cause them to become lost, or will allow rakes and mowers to damage or destroy them.
    • (Garage or Basement)  Place the controller on/off switch or dial to the off position.  If it has a digital display leave it plugged in for the winter, otherwise unplug.
    • Your Fall Draining is now completed!