By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaHomeowners should winterize outdoor pipes soon, and don’t forget about the lawn sprinklers. A few precautions now can save a lot of time and headaches come springtime, says a University of Georgia expert.Winter temperatures dip well below freezing, even in Georgia. It’s simple. When water freezes, it expands. Freezing temperatures can cause the water in a small, exposed pipe to expand. If the water expands too much, the pipe bursts, says Kerry Harrison, an irrigation expert with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”With home irrigation systems, you wouldn’t know you had any pipe damage, probably, until you turned it on for the first spring watering,” he said.The past few Georgia winters have been relatively mild. This winter, however, is predicted to be a bit cooler, Harrison said.Two-inch freezeMost built-in-ground sprinkler pipes will be OK, because only the top two inches of the ground freezes in most of Georgia. Pipes should be well below this level. Other irrigation components, like backlog prevention valves, are at ground level, though, and could be in danger.If there are any exposed valves or pipes around your home, tape them up or “use a good ol’ sack to wrap them,” Harrison said. Home-improvement stores have many tapes, foams and gadgets to keep these pipes warm on cold, winter nights.The tips of sprinkler heads can hold water. When frozen, they can rupture. The whole sprinkler system holds water, too, even when it isn’t being used, like in the winter. Don’t forget to drain the system, he said. If you don’t drain it properly in the winter, your sprinkler could be a geyser when you turn it on next spring.”Arrangements should have been made in the installation process to have a way to drain those lines that would hold water,” he said.If you’ve bought a home with an installed irrigation system,find this drain valve. Some systems are equipped with automatic drain valves.Manual careDon’t forget about the manual, or “hose-dragger,” systems. You can do two things:* Leave the hoses hanging outside. But disconnect them from faucets.* Disconnect, drain and store hoses someplace with a constant temperature. This will prolong the life of the hoses.Whatever you do, if you leave hoses undrained outside in the winter, don’t move them or touch them. You could be the one to break them. Frozen hoses are fragile, Harrison said.Pump pipesPrivate water users and rural residents with wells should check out their main water pump. There is usually a half-inch pipe connected to the pressure switch. If it’s metal, it probably won’t freeze. If it’s plastic, it might freeze and burst. This could cause the water pump to fail or continue to run and cause some major winter repairs.But if all these precautions fail and a pipe bursts, there’s still one thing to remember. “Know where your main water cutoff is,” Harrison said.Farmers should start preparing irrigation systems for winter weather, too.”Obviously, farmers need to make sure that all of the drain ports have been opened and the water that could be held in that cavity is drained out,” he said.Farmers should check all the wiring in an irrigation system and contact a trained electrician to repair or replace frayed or loose wires during the winter, he said. This can prevent a time-consuming breakdown next spring.
Two goals in each half by Olawale Abisoye and Michael Ohanu ensured that the Benin Arsenal continued their free fall in the last five games, a clear signal that they may return to the second tier of the domestic league. MFM shot into the lead at their Agege Stadium fortress in the 39thwhen Abisoye headed in the corner kick by Jonathan Zikiye. The same Zikiye provided the assist when his free-kick was concerted by Ohanu in the 58th minute to ensure maximum points for the Olukoya Boys.In Group B, FC Ifeanyiubah maintained its strong hold here, dispatching Kano Pillars 1-0 in Nnewi. Uche Iharulam scored the winner for Ifeanyiubah in the 66thStrong on the heels of the leaders is Akwa United. The Promise Keepers are just two points adrift of Ifeanyi Ubah.Ndifreke Effiong’s 4th minute opener set the Akwa Ibom team on victory path before Mfon Udoh’s eighth goal of the campaign in the 72nd minute ensured a 2-1 win away to Heartland FC in Okigwe. Chidiebere Ajoku’s 57th minute effort that cancelled Ndifreke’s early strike was not enough to earn the Naze Millionaires a share of the points at stake.At the Tafewa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, goals from Abba Umaru and Ismaila Gaya helped struggling Wikki Tourists to a 2-0 win at home to visiting Rivers United of Port Harcourt.Despite being reduced to ten men for most of the second half, Katsina United managed a lone goal victory against Kwara United at home. Usman Usele got the only goal of the fixture on 13 minutes.Enyimba and Sunshine Stars shared the spoils in Akure.Phillip Aura’s brace aided Yobe Desert Stars to a 2-0 win at home to visiting Go Round FC in Damaturu.In Kaduna, Jabiru Samurai’s late penalty eroded Nasarawa United’s hope of sharing the spoils away to Kada City. Maigishiri Mohammed hand earlier put the visitors in front on 61 minutes, before But Mohammed restored parity ten minutes after.The games between Remo Stars and Rangers as well as Niger Tornadoes against Lobi Stars were postponed, due to the former and latter’s involvement in the continent. MATCH-DAY 11Wikki 2-0 Rivers UtdKatsina Utd 1-0 Kwara UtdSunshine 0-0 EnyimbaMFM FC 2-0 InsuranceYobe Stars 2-0 Go RoundKada City 2-1 Nasarawa UtdAbia Warriors 1-1 Plateau UtdFCIU 1-0 Kano PillarsHeartland 1-2 Akwa UtdEl-Kanemi 0-0 Gombe Utd NPFL… NPFL… NPFL… By Duro IkhazuagbeBendel Insurance’s road trip to Lagos ended a fruitless journey yesterday as MFM FC earned maximum points to stay on top of the Group A of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL). Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram