View Full Version : First irrigation job anxiety.

04-04-2006, 01:45 PM
I gave a quote for an irrigation job that I think I'm going to get if I have the balls to do it. I'm one of those guys that knows he can do anything as long as he puts his mind to it. My last job, I worked at an Industrial Hardware store and know everything there is to know about plumbing. I know I could easily install an irrigation system in my own yard but I'd do it my way, that doesn't always mean the correct (legal-up to code) way. I don't want to drag my feet anymore, I want 100% confidence that I can do this not 90%. I work in MA and NH, in MA you need a licensed plumber to do anything in NH you can do what ever you want as long as you own the property. Do I have to hire a rip off plumber every time? I asked a local irrigation company to split a job with me and after he talked me into giving the customers info basicly told me that he has his own system and wouldn't be willing to work side by side with me. I'm hoping to find a local irrigation supplier that would come out in the field with me to make sure I'm going to do the job correctly. I guess the worse case senerio is I screw up and just have to fix it? no, it could get much worse than that! Okay maybe i will call in that plumber... Is there a place to go to completely educate myself on irrigation installation?

04-04-2006, 01:52 PM
I don't think the problem is the plumbing as much as the lay out. If you don't get proper coverage or you have to many heads in one zone you could get screwed. Maybe work part time for someone and any business you get for him you make a little extra.

04-04-2006, 02:37 PM
I do wonder what most of you installers do for plumbing taps, second water meters (so you don't pay sewage on outdoor water), and backflow preventers.

at least here you need to be a licensed plumber to do that work if you are going to pull a permit. and although I do replace backflows for service I call the plumber for new installs to make the tap and install the backflow.

Do any of you guys have your own licensed guy on staff? Do you have one guy that gives you a great deal and runs out there to do it if you are doing 30+ a year?

I still have to find a better system

04-04-2006, 02:39 PM
sorry about the attempt to hijack your thread...

read some books on design... see if you can either work for another company as a laborer for a couple of jobs to get a feel for the process or work at cost for a couple friends/family doing their systems.

Flow Control
04-04-2006, 02:55 PM

You really don't have many choices until you spend enough on plumbing per year to hire on a full time plumber. I am looking for someone close to retirement to try & get on hourly.

Mr. Hydro,

As an irrigator we have one job: To lay pipe inorder to keep the bushes wet:clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

04-04-2006, 09:15 PM
You could probably lay out a decent irrigation system on your own property, not much liability in that. That said, there are some key elements of an irrigation system that you need to know or have some experience with before attacking a client's irrigation system. That liability issue might dissuade you from experimenting.

See if you can get on a crew or find some classes where you can learn the calcs, the layout etc before you make the move to residential.

Dirty Water
04-04-2006, 09:46 PM
We get to make our own taps here in WA...As long as its after the meter.

Mr. Hydroseed:

The impression I get is that you are nervious about the actual install, while this is hard (on the body) the fact that you didn't even mention being nervious about the design indicates to me that you probably don't have a good understanding on proper system design.

I'd hold off on taking any jobs until you learn how to properly lay out a system.

Dirt Boy
04-04-2006, 11:52 PM
One resource is:

You can learn a lot here and the price is right!

04-23-2006, 12:17 PM
the only concern i have is getting plumbed legally into the main water line. I didn't mention that I was nervous about proper design is because I'm not. Even if i screw up the design, It can be fixed easily before back filling.

04-24-2006, 08:44 AM
Please don't design your system based on a website...this one or the one posted above me.....we can give you basic guidelines etc....but do not rely on that tutorials site that is designed for DIY and guys that can barely read.

My advice to you is to find another irrigator willing to show you how it's done....and pay him to do the job...you be the muscle and work alongside him or his crew...you will learn more doing that than you ever will reading books or listening to the losers on this site....yours truly included ;)

In fact..he doesn't know it yet...but Dmac is going to be giving me a lesson in plowing pipe sometime very soon.

04-24-2006, 08:55 AM
In fact..he doesn't know it yet...but Dmac is going to be giving me a lesson in plowing pipe sometime very soon.

Oh really.....................

04-24-2006, 09:03 AM
A good little story here...

A friend of a friend called me Friday to ask some questions. She knows I don't install anymore, but she is getting bids and had some questions. Got 2 bids so far, and they were bidding by zones. One was $425 a zone, the other was $375. One had 5 zones, the other had 3. One figured $400+ for the stub out, the other bid $100. Not sure of the combo though - $425 a zone, 5 zones, $100 for stub. Or which price went with what.

Then my buddy told me a little more. One of the companies that bid it, shows up in a sports car with pipe and materials on top of it. Young guys too. After they measure everything out by foot, they are talking to her in the house. Then they say, Hey I notice you have cigarettes on the counter. Can we bum a couple from you?

They might as well have asked for some beer while they were at it :drinkup:


04-24-2006, 10:06 AM
Tell your friend I'm real sorry about the smokes.......*sigh*

I just did a bid on saturday....3 rotor zones...1 spray zone.....tap fee...$2300
How much per zone is that? $575

The install I did last week was 2 rotor zones and 1 spray zone...no tap or timer needed for 1900...how much per zone is that? $633

I know which one I would rather do......and no drive time. sheesh....

I am banking on the first one being easier because Dana will do the pulling for me.....;)

PS....brrrrrrrrrr......today is going to suck!

05-01-2006, 03:01 AM
mr hydroseed I may be able to help.

I have the perfect irrigation training project getting ready to start soon. It is at my house 290 / beltway 8 area. I am a concrete contractor. I have broken & repaired more systems putting in driveways than I can remember, I have gotten a rough idea of what are the best heads & valves to use from trolling here. & I have hired a guy off of ebay to design a system for me. What I plan on doing is setting up the first zones on the lot I bought next door. (No grass yet) If the guy is a hack & the flow is not right or whatever else. The yard won't be getting all trashed from the corrections. & there is all the time in the world to get it right. Something concrete work doesn't offer. I am thinking about doing this as a buisness. I am 45 years old & the concrete work is starting to kick my ass. It is a unique oppertunity for me to learn. So I'm doing it myself to see if I could make a profit at it. You will make more money with more people but you can do this job by yourself if need be. And you don't have to keep illegals on the payroll. That right there is reason enough to take the pay cut for me. I hate being part of that crap. I'm serious & I'm starting this project wednesday if I don't sell more concrete work before then.
Also: I have two bobcats & a dump trailer should the need come up.

05-01-2006, 10:20 AM
Posted on wrong thread. Please disreguard this drible.