It is the time of year and maybe a little pastime for those of you who are trying to figure out how to winterize your outdoor misters. Many people gather their information from internet postings.
I will post the top 5 tips on how to get your outdoor misters ready for the winter. It is time to say “so long” to summer in the northern half of our world and “hello summer!!” to the southern half.
Seasons change, and we must follow suit. If you will be experiencing winter soon, this post is especially for you.
Is it necessary to winterize my patio misting system? The general answer is a resounding, “yes!!” For a host of reasons that I will explain, you will want to care for your misters by getting the entire system ready for winter weather with no usage until it warms up again.
You must pay attention to winterizing your outdoor misters so that they will work for you again after the winter. Depending on where you live, winter can be rough! Growing up in North Dakota and Minnesota, I know how cold and miserable winter can be.
Additionally, I know how important it is to care for products left out in the cold. Many things can happen to items left out in the cold. Freezing weather can ruin your misters if you don’t follow an easy-to-winterize plan.
1. Turn off your outdoor water supply. If you have ever had frozen water pipes, you will never forget to follow this tip when getting ready for the winter.
It can be easy to let this happen if “Old Man Winter” pokes his head out earlier than expected. You must put this high on your list of to-dos for winterizing.
2. Unplug your system. Unplugging your system applies to those of you that have mid to high-pressure misting systems. With these systems, you will be using a pump that needs to be unplugged and put away from winter’s harshness.
Finding a spot that can’t freeze will help you have a well-working pump once the weather is warm and ready for misting again. If you are like me, write yourself a note where you put it.
I am known to forget these things, and when it’s time to use them again, I search around like a mad-woman, frustrated by my carelessness.
3. Remove your hose from the outdoor spigot and store it in the garage or shed. Removing your hose should be a no-brainer, but I must admit to leaving my hose outside in the winter many times and then paying the consequences for my forgetfulness.
Forgetting to remove your hose may not feel like a big deal, but remember that when water freezes, it expands and takes up between 10-15% more space. When it does this, it stretches and can crack the inner lining of your hose, making it unusable because of a silly mistake.
It isn’t so hard to remember removing the hose and draining the water before storing it. I have learned my lesson with this one!
Take care of your hose, so you don’t have to go out and purchase another one when the weather warms back up!
4. All of the hoses connected to your system also need to be removed. These fine hoses will have water residue in them, and, if left, they can begin to mold and essentially degrade them, causing you to purchase new ones when using your system the following season.
The hoses that allow water to flow to the nozzles can degrade if left out to freeze. When using it the following season, you can expect problems if the hoses aren’t allowed to drain before winter arrives.
To drain the hoses, loft them on your deck or a tree and allow the water to flow out the ends. Draining the water is easy and should not be left out of the winterizing procedures.
After removing all moisture from them, provide them a heated space out of the wind, snow, sleet, etc. Store inside for best results.
5. The misting nozzles need to be removed and dried as well. Hopefully, you have purchased high-quality misting nozzles such as stainless steel or brass that don’t rust or corrode, but even so, take the nozzles off and dry them off.
That was kind of a tongue-twister, “wet winter weather.!” Say that three times fast! Store these nozzles in a dry place where wet winter weather won’t be a factor.
Winterizing your outdoor misters is a straightforward procedure that almost anyone can do. The steps are effortless, finishing the process in less than 2 hours with most misting systems.
Some misting systems, granted, have many hoses and nozzles that might make it take longer, but the steps are all of the same.
Taking care of your outdoor misters in the Fall when the weather is still nice enough to work outdoors will allow you to follow the steps in a straightforward way rather than rushing through it when the wind is howling and the weather has turned ugly.
When you finish winterizing your system, take a moment to remember the great times you had using the misters this past season. Try to remember when they were first installed and then when you and your family used them during the scorching hot weather. I like to pause and intentionally reflect on a season as it leaves us with the one to follow. Sometimes, I feel remembering is a way to reconnect with our joy and gratitude for the beautiful experiences on the patio with the misters.
I know there is one nagging thing bothering me, so I must say it aloud. I beg you not to use chemicals like antifreeze when winterizing hoses and other system parts.
The antifreeze will not only degrade the materials, but it would be catastrophic if, in the spring, someone was misted with antifreeze, even accidentally.
Winterizing your outdoor misters is not a complicated process to follow. When a person thinks of winter and its harshness, much of the advice here is common sense. The main ideas are:
*If it has a plug, unplug it.
*Don’t allow the water to freeze your hoses or to freeze your water pipes. Disconnecting the hose from the house and remembering to turn off the water supply from inside the house for the winter will prevent frozen hoses from happening.
*Take care to get the water out of all the hoses. Moisture left in dark, small places can turn to mold in a hurry. Stop this before it can happen by allowing all the water to drain out the end of the hoses.
Don’t forget to take off and dry all of the nozzles and the other fittings. These should be stored somewhere out of the harsh winter elements.
All parts, including the pump, need to be taken care of without rain, sleet, snow, or ice bothering them. Even strong winds can harm your outdoor misters.
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time saying goodbye to hot weather. Growing up in the “tundra” of the North has made me a seeker of all things warm! Being in Arizona for the first time during the winter months should be interesting to experience. The locals will bundle up in down jackets, and I will be trying to figure out why? Or maybe I will become a “cold” weather person that bundles up like the rest of my Arizonan friends.
What are your plans for winter? What is the weather generally like in your part of the world during winter? Please leave any comments below. Have a great rest of the Fall. Enjoy.
Thanks for stopping by,