Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to winterize my sprinkler system?
Yes, all underground irrigation systems in the Northern states must be properly winterized each season. There are many exposed components to a sprinkler system, making them very susceptible to freeze damage. If a system is not winterized there will be cracked/damaged pipes, valves, manifolds & backflow preventers in the spring. To repair a system that was not winterized will typically cost over $1,000 in the spring. We winterize about 1,000 sprinkler systems each fall.
How much do you charge?
Our prices start at $80 for winterization service on systems with 10 or fewer zones when serviced prior to the second week of November. Complete pricing can be found on our main page & contact page. All sprinkler winterization appointments require payment upfront, even if you will be home unless you are a regular seasonal mowing customer. If you are unable to pay with a credit card over the phone via our secure system or in your client portal account, you will need to mail us a check which must clear the bank before we can come out. Returned check fee is $30.
Why do you charge more for my system because of [additional component]?
Our time is very limited in the winterizing season. When a system has an added feature like a crawl space, a pump to disconnect, a backflow to remove, indoor pipes to drain, multiple spigots, a complicated layout, large acreage, missing or deeply buried boxes, etc, our technician will spend far more time making sure your system is fully prepared for the winter.
Can I get a discount?
Yes, you can get a discount! Please see our discounts page for more information on our discount program.
Why has the booking process changed?
In an effort to reduce the number of times we have to email and call each customer to confirm a week/day, take the pre-payment, call a reminder to shut off the water, etc... We have a new process in place as of 2017 where your winterization will not be scheduled until your water is off and the pre-payment is in the system. This helps to reduce each booking down to 1 phone call to our office to book, and 1 confirmation email from our office, in an effort to make the process easier for both the employees in the office and the homeowner.
ALSO- This new process reduces the chance that you will miss our reminder email/call to shut your water off. When we arrive to perform the service and the water is still on, we can't do the job and will have to charge an additional fee to reschedule.
I want to call early to make sure I'm "on the list", do I need to?
If we have winterized your system in the past, then you are already "on the list" and should only need to call us once you're done watering your lawn, and once you have shut off your waterline. If you're a new customer, you can call us to set up a new account and make a pre-payment once you have your system shut off and the waterline closed.
I want to be home when you come, why won't you book an appointment?
We can do all of the work from the outside of your house if we have access to your valve boxes or external well. You can turn off or unplug your controller, and shut off the main water line from the inside. We do not have enough time to book exact time appointments unless we absolutely need to go into the house to perform the service.
If I'm not there, how will I know you did the service?
We will leave a colored tag on your system indicating there was a winterizing service performed. The next day the office will send an email confirmation that the service was completed. If there were any issues and the service was not completed, the office will contact you.
Why does your price increase after the first weekend in November?
We typically schedule multiple bookings from the same area on the same day to expedite service. It becomes very difficult to book winterizations in groups based on location when the season is over, but calls are still coming in. The travel time is increased making our expense increase. It also starts getting a lot colder outside and because of that, the crew will generally take a bit longer on each job because their hands get very cold.
Why should I pay Pro-Turf $80 or more for winterizing when I can get this service done cheaper from another guy who does the work as a side gig?
We all know the old adage "You get what you pay for." In this case, we feel this to be very true. Most of the people doing this service for a discounted price mean well but are not an actual irrigation company. Often times they are a local handyman who does not have the knowledge & training of irrigation systems that we do. Rarely does anyone offer a "Freeze Damage Warranty" like Pro-Turf does, and we repair at least a dozen systems each spring that used a cheaper service in the fall and ended up with costly freeze damage. This can run from $300-$1,000 in repairs for the homeowner to get back up and running. Think of our service as a program with insurance added for a small fee.
If you do have a problem with your system in the spring, who do you want to be dealing with? A handyman or maybe your neighbor's cousin who is not trained in irrigation fundamentals, or a company that has been in business for almost 20 years who specializes in irrigation? We have been around for a long time and we will be around for many years to come. If you have an issue with your system at any time throughout the year you can call us and we will make sure you are taken care of.
Do you need to get into my house to winterize my sprinkler system?
If we have never serviced your system we prefer to access the house so we can check for any internal drains, check how many zones you have, and locate any special shutoffs related to your system. We also place ID tags on your shut off valves for reference so that in future years you will know exactly which valve to shut off before we come out. A majority of the systems that we service do not need to provide access to their house. If the irrigation water valve is shut off in the basement we can usually do everything from the outside after the first year we come out.
I do not know where my valve boxes are located?
If you do not know the location of your valve boxes, this is ok. We will need access to your house so we can winterize your system by running everything from your controller. We also have underground wire detectors that can locate missing valve boxes with ease if you would prefer we locate them. Once we service your system for the first time we record all of the system specs, including valve box locations. You may not know where the boxes are located, but there is a chance we may have that info in our database.
I don't know how many zones I have?
That is ok, we will need access to your controller to check the wiring to confirm how many zones you have. Once we have this info we keep it all on file for future service needs.
How late into the season can I go before I have a freeze issue?
We highly recommend you have your system properly winterized as early in October as possible to avoid costly repairs. If not early in October, then we definitely recommend that you have your system winterized before November 1st. We typically begin to see our first signs of freeze damage in early November. Some clients wait until Thanksgiving to have theirs done, but that is pushing your luck. In 2013 we had a deep freeze in the 3rd week of October and saw dozens of cracked backflows that needed to be repaired at the homeowner's expense. Broken backflows need to be fully repaired prior to winterizing.
What is the Pro-Turf freeze damage warranty?
In the spring, any irrigation components that are damaged due to freezing will be replaced at no cost to the customer for parts or labor if Pro-Turf winterized their sprinkler system the previous season, prior to November 1st. Our warranty is null & void for any systems serviced after November 1st, or for any damage that already existed before we come to winterize your system. We make notes of any non-freeze damage repairs that you need when we arrive or any existing freeze damage that occurred before we come out, and we keep them on file for the spring. There is no warranty if you have turned the water back on, or if a service technician accidentally turned your water back on. We recommend alerting any plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc to NOT touch the sprinkler valve after the system has been winterized. If they do, call us immediately to have the system re-winterized!
Click here for warranty details
What if I find something broken in the spring?
If you start up your system and something looks broken, call us! We can tell if it's freeze damage or not. Broken heads or leaks in underground polylines are NOT considered freeze damage. If you have a broken head or other broken components when we arrive to winterize your system, we will have it noted in your account when you call in the spring. If you hire someone else to repair any damage before we have a chance to inspect the system for freeze damage, we will not be responsible for the charges under any circumstance.
I think you broke one of my heads when you came out because it popped up in the air!
If a head pops apart during the winterization process, it's not covered as a free repair, as the only reason a sprinkler head would "pop" is that it already has internal damage and there would be nothing we could do to prevent this from happening.
I have some repairs that I need, can you do them when you winterize to save a service call charge?
No, we can't. It's best to call us in September or earlier in the summer for repairs if you are aware of them. Otherwise, if a head or line is broken when we arrive, we will need to come out and fix it in the spring, there is not enough time in the schedule to fix it the same day as your winterization, and we do not carry the neccessary components this time of year.
What other services does Pro-Turf offer?
We are a full-service landscape contractor offering hydroseeding, irrigation, bark blowing, property maintenance & commercial snow management. Visit our website for more information about everything we do. www.ProTurfLandscaping.com