Here’s How Much You’ll Pay to Winterize Your Sprinkler System

Normal range: $54 - $122

The cost to winterize a sprinkler system is $88 on average, but it can cost between $54 and $122.

How we get this data
Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Updated December 8, 2022
lawn sprinkler in grass turned off
Photo: valiantsin / Adobe Stock

Winterizing your sprinkler system is an important part of preparing your home for cold weather. It’s not an expensive process, but knowing your options and how much they cost can help you determine in which direction you should go. Should you decide to DIY this project, you can rent an air compressor for as little as $54 and get the job done in a day. On the other hand, if you have a larger yard with more than 8 sprinkler zones, you could pay as much as $122 to have a landscaper complete the process.

See the price range to winterize sprinklers in

your area
How we get this data
Normal range for U.S.
$54 - $122
  • Average
  • $88
  • Low end
  • $40
  • high end
  • $300

How Much Does It Cost to Winterize a Sprinkler System?

The cost to winterize a sprinkler system depends in part on how a service tech drains the water from the system.

Manual Drain Valve 

The average cost to winterize a manual drain sprinkler system is $75 to $150. You drain these types of sprinkler systems by turning off your water main and then opening a drain value to release the trapped water.

Depending on the terrain of your property, water may drain away from the highest points of your yard but sit in lower ones. This presents a problem as any water remaining in the pipes is subject to freezing, which can damage your irrigation system.

Automatic Drain Valve

The average cost to winterize an automatic drain sprinkler is $90 to $175. These systems automatically drain as soon as you shut off your main water supply.

However, like manual drain sprinklers, these systems are prone to trapping water in low spots.

Blowout Draining

The average cost for a sprinkler system blowout is $100 to $250. A sprinkler pro can perform this service on any kind of lawn sprinkler system, and because it uses high-pressure air to force water out of the pipes, it eliminates the problem of water sitting in low spots.

Even if you have a manual or automatic drain sprinkler, a service tech may suggest the blowout process if they feel that the elevation of your property won’t allow for proper draining.

How Much Does It Cost to Winterize a Sprinkler System by Number of Zones?

The typical sprinkler winterization cost of $54 and $122 assumes that you have an irrigation system with 3 or 4 zones. You may have more or less depending on the size of your yard. The more zones you have, the more you’ll pay to prepare your sprinklers for freezing temperatures.

Here’s a breakdown of the average cost to winterize a sprinkler system based on the number of zones you have:

  • 1 to 2 zones: $50–$75

  • 3 to 4 zones: $80–$100

  • 5 to 6 zones: $100–$130

  • 7 to 8 zones: $150–$250

Sprinkler System Winterization Cost Breakdown

When considering how much you might pay to winterize a sprinkler system, you need to take into account when you schedule the service, the different winterization methods, who’s doing the work, and whether you’re completing the work as part of a service agreement.

Time Frame

The exact time of year that you decide to winterize your irrigation system affects how much you’ll pay. Many landscaping companies in colder climates focus on winterization at the end of fall. During this time, these pros may offer reduced rates as they’re already traveling around your area to complete these services.

Should you decide to wait a few weeks longer to winterize your sprinklers, perhaps so that you can offer your grass one last watering before deep freezes set in, your landscape company may charge you for a higher-priced service call.

Winterization Method

The method a professional uses for sprinkler winterization will affect how much you’ll pay for this service. In some cases, depending on the slope of your property, you may have a choice between manual or automatic draining versus a sprinkler system blowout should you want to save some money.

In other instances, manually draining your sprinkler may not be enough to clear all the water from the system. In this case, you don’t have any choice but to accept the more expensive blowout method to ensure your lines are completely clear.


Typically charging a flat rate of $75 to $150, a local landscaping company is your best bet for winterization of your lawn sprinkler system. These professionals have all the skills and tools necessary to drain and winterize your sprinkler, no matter which style you have.

However, you also have the option to pay a nearby plumber a flat fee of $40 to $200 if you have a trusted pro in mind or local landscaping companies are too busy to fit you in. Plumbers tend to be slightly more expensive due to their advanced training and experience.

Service Agreements

Many sprinkler winterization companies offer service contracts that cover irrigation system winterization, springtime activation, and sometimes summer inspections. Bundling these services often results in greater savings than if you were to schedule each individually.

Cost to Winterize a Sprinkler System Yourself

winterizing irrigation sprinkler system by blowing pressurized air
Photo: Lost_in_the_Midwest / Adobe Stock

The cost to winterize a sprinkler system yourself can range from nothing but your time to about $30 to $60.

If your land slopes enough to allow for complete drainage of a manual or automatic drain irrigation system, you may be able to complete winterization at no cost.

If your land is relatively flat, it will be safer to use the blowout method to force water out of your sprinkler system. To do this, you’ll need to rent an industrial air compressor, which typically costs $30 to $60 per day.

Take note that winterizing a sprinkler system does come with some risk. The water in your sprinkler system is pressurized, so you have to be careful when opening valves to keep from damaging your system or hurting yourself.

Also keep in mind that an air compressor is a powerful piece of equipment that’s also capable of hurting you or your sprinkler pipes if you use it incorrectly. It’s vital that you carefully review your sprinkler system’s user manual to determine how much compressed air it can withstand.

Cost to Winterize a Sprinkler System Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor 

Assuming that you can winterize your irrigation system in one day, you may come out slightly ahead by paying for an air compressor rental rather than hiring a local pro. 

But when you consider the amount of time it will take you to do the job, the learning curve that comes with using an air compressor, and the risk that you don’t completely drain your irrigation system, it really makes sense to pay the little extra money to have a pro perform the work instead.

How to Save Money on Winterizing a Sprinkler System

If you’d rather not take the risks with DIY winterization but still want to save some money, consider the following tips.

Winterize Your Sprinkler System Early

As the end of fall approaches, start contacting local sprinkler winterization companies to learn about their rates. Remember that many offer discount pricing if you complete winterization by a certain date (typically a few weeks before the first anticipated hard freeze).

Pay for a Winterization and Activation Package

Seeing as you’ll need to pay a technician to return to your property to activate your sprinklers in the spring, look into purchasing a service bundle that includes both winterization and activation. In return for your purchase of a service contract, many companies will offer steep discounts.

Frequently Asked Questions

You only need to winterize your sprinkler system if you live in a region of the country that sees freezing temperatures. If you live in warmer climates, such as Florida or in the Southwest, you don’t have to worry about winterization because you don’t experience frigid weather.

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