This $3 part can save you thousands after a bitterly cold winter night

Tired of blowing out your sprinkler system each year in preparation for cold. You wait and wait for the day when the temps dip below freezing to validate the hard work you did to purge every last drop of H2O from the myriad of pipes and elbows and rotor heads.

If you live in a part of the country where freezing pipes are a primary concern, then there is one simple device you can install in just minutes that will always be watching over your pipes and protecting them from damage year round

What is the name of this oh-so-valuable part? Its called a lateral drain!

Lateral drains (sometimes referred to as freeze drains) are a very simple device that do not require any electricity, maintenance or attention on your part to work. Simply install them and forget about them! Each drain works using a one way valve that stays open  when there is not pressure in the system, and it closes itself whenever there is water in the pipes. The primary benefit of the automatic drain is that it will allow the water that remains in your pipes after shutting off the sprinklers to have an easy path out of the pipe.


Broken pipes occur when the water inside your pipes reaches a freezing temperature and expands as it turns to ice. Without anywhere to go when it expands the ice will force it’s way out of the pipe either by splitting the pipe or breaking a valve or rotor or worst of all a backflow preventer!

You can purchase automatic drains in a variety of styles, but each uses the same primary design to allow the left over water to pass through them. Some drains use a spring to control flow while others use a loose metal ball inside the device that moves out of the way to let water by.


Sprinkler warehouse carries all full selection of automatic drains at low prices!

valve box with lateral drains

How to repair a backflow by installing a new “Bonnet & Poppet”

Cold weather is finally here and regardless of where you live there are certain things you need to know about your sprinkler system that will help you to avoid unwanted repairs or costly repair service calls.

If you have a sprinkler system, chances are that you also have a backflow preventer. A majority of backflow preventers are designed with a fail-safe in mind to prevent irreparable damage. The following guide will outlines the steps necessary to repair your own backflow preventer if freezing temperatures have damaged it.

1. Shut off the water supply to the backflow preventer.

Shut off of the bottom valve

  •  Turn the water supply off to the backflow by turning the lower handle (as shown)





inside_empty2. Remove all broken plastic parts from inside the device.

  • Unscrew plastic bonnet
  • Remove any broken pieces from the inside
  • There should not be any plastic pieces remaining inside the device
  • DO NOT mess with metal piece at bottom inside the device as it has a spring below it that would hurt you.


poppet-stack3.  Screw in new bonnet / poppet kit hand tight ONLY.

  • Place bell on top of metal screw and tighten small nut just enough to hold the metal bell on the device and still rotate by hand with some tension. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN!
  • Cover device with a blanket if freezing temperatures persist






Sprinkler Warehouse carries two brands of kits. Click on the images below to learn more about each and purchase at a guaranteed low price.