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As we enter into fall and colder weather, I often get the question from customers, what do I need to do to winterize my Alpine kit? It’s really as simple as blowing the system out with compressed air to clear the manifolds and lines and making sure your pump is also ready for the cold. Here is a list of steps you can use to prepare your Alpine kit for winter.
Remove the pump from the system and place it in heated storage for the winter. If this is not an option you can pump sprayer antifreeze through the pump and leave it outside for the winter. It is also sufficient to just ensure that the pump is drained of any fertilizer or water and leave it on the Air drill.
Then to winterize the manifolds, remove one cap from each of your manifolds.
Using an Air compressor blow out each manifold to clear the remaining Alpine from the manifolds and lines. 15-20psi should be sufficient to clear the liquid from each manifold and lines. Once that manifold is clear move onto the next one, and so on until each manifold is drained. I would suggest doing this step when the seeding tool is completely folded out to keep from getting fertilizer on the frame of the drill.
Once each manifold section has been blown out with air, make sure you replace the caps you had removed to keep debris from getting into the manifolds.
And that’s as simple as it gets. We don’t recommend running water through the system at the end of the year because there is a chance you may not get all of the water out of the system which could cause damage to plastic parts when it freezes. Also running water through the system allows the chance for algae to grow within the manifolds in the spring and this can cause issues with plugged orifices once you begin seeding. It is okay to run some water through the system in the spring to check for leaks and to dissolve any fertilizer crystals that may have formed in the lines over winter, but fill with fertilizer after.