The National Weather Service issued the first freeze warning for the Hill Country today. In addition to protecting plants, neighbors may need to insulate exposed sprinkler cutoff valves or face frozen sprinkler lines when the cold weather actually arrives.
Local building practices leave a sprinkler shutoff valve exposed to the elements. While the valves and exposed piping are somewhat insulated, many neighbors found that the valves and pipes freeze and split during the first hard freeze. It sometimes takes 3-6 inches of insulation to protect the exposed lines.
Consider protecting exposed sprinkler valves when you cover your outside faucets and remember that, when a hard freeze is expected, a dripping faucet in the house can avoid emergency plumbing expenses this winter.