Your outdoor misting system has done a great job keeping your garden and outdoor living spaces cool and comfortable during the warmer months of the year. But you won’t be needing it once cooler weather settles in.
Since you won’t be using your patio misting system all winter, it makes sense to store it away for the season. However, merely turning off the water won’t be enough to ensure that your misting system is in good working condition when you’ll be needing it again.
Taking measures to prepare your misting system for the coming winter will prolong its life and save you money in unnecessary repairs.
How to Winterize Your Outdoor Misting System
If you have a misting system at home or in your place of business, it’s important to get it ready for winter, so it’s good to go when you use it again in the spring.
Winterize your outdoor misting system with these simple steps:
- Unplug the unit.
The first step to winterizing your misting system is disconnecting it from the power source. Remove the cord completely, if possible, or secure it with tie wires to avoid damage.
This step in the process is particularly important for those with high-pressure or mid-pressure misting systems. These types of outdoor misting systems have pumps that need to be unplugged and properly stored to protect them from the harshness of winter.
- Shut down the water supply.
This one should go without saying, but it still bears mentioning.
Make sure the water supply to your misting system is completely turned off. Any homeowner who has ever dealt with frozen water pipes will tell you that this tip is something you should always keep in mind when preparing your outdoor misting system for the winter season.
- Remove the hoses.
If you forget to remove the hoses from their misting system during winter, expect to pay a hefty price afterwards.
While leaving your hoses in place may not seem like a huge deal, water expands by around 10% when it freezes. As a result, the inner lining of the hose may stretch and crack, rendering it unusable by the time the season ends.
- And drain them.
The hoses could still contain water even after you disconnect them from the water supply and your misting system, so you must make sure to drain them completely before putting them away. Hoses that are inadequately drained when stored are at risk of mold growth and degradation.
Let excess water flow from your hoses by hanging them from a tree or your deck railings. After they have been drained and dried, keep them in a warm place away from the elements.
- Detach and dry misting nozzles.
The same principles apply to the nozzles of your outdoor misting system. You have to remove them, dry them out completely, and put them away in a warm closet for the winter.
Even if you have high-quality misting nozzles, such as those made of steel or brass that don’t easily corrode, you should still take them out and dry them to ensure that they’re in perfect working condition the next time you need them.
- Store in a dry/heated area.
The small and detachable components of your misting system, like the hoses and the nozzles, should not be kept in a cold area where they might end up getting frozen.
To ensure that they don’t sustain any damage from the cold, put them in a solid box and stow them in a warm spot throughout the winter season. Ideally, a heated closet in your home.
Is Winterizing My Outdoor Misting System Necessary?
Based on the points discussed above, the answer to this question is obviously a big, resounding YES! Depending on your location, winter can be rough and might cause various levels of damage to items that are left outside in the cold.
Failure to perform winter maintenance on your misting system will likely lead to the formation of mold and mildew and frozen water damage. Water expands when it freezes, having stagnant water in your misting system can cause the pipes to explode.
Can I Use Antifreeze to Winterize My Outdoor Misting System?
While using antifreeze on your outdoor misting system may seem logical, it’s actually a bad idea! Antifreeze, which is often used to prepare pipes and hoses for colder months of the year, is highly toxic. You don’t want to be spraying your loved ones with a toxic substance when you use your outdoor misting system again in the summer.
These are just a few, basic tips for protecting your misting system against the cold and possibly harsh winter that is to come. They’re simple enough to do on your own and will take you at least an hour to complete. However, you may also choose to enlist the help of an expert, for best results. An experienced professional can do a thorough inspection, make necessary repairs, and perform maintenance according to the warranty requirements of your system.