View Full Version : Winterization Pricing

09-17-2004, 12:55 AM
Ok, I know this has been brought up before, but I just thought I would ask, since Blowouts are coming up fast.
what everyone charges for Winterization?
For residential, We are at 70$ for up to 9 zones and 7$ a zone afte that.
We regulate our compresors to o more than 40 PSI. We go through each zone 3X and take quite a bit of time at each location to make sure it is done right.
I know of some people doing it for 50 or 55 but it's my guess that thery are not regulating the air pressure, which would take less time and thus. less cost. The customer saves 15$ in the fall but is stuck with a mauch larger bill in the spring to replace damaged rotaty heads caused by excessive pressure.
I've also been thinking about increasing our price for lake systems.
All of our systems use On shore pumps and most of them use the Alge Queen filter. For those of you who are unfamilar with tis, it's a basket about the size of a 5 gallon pail filled with pea gravel. It does a wonderful job of filtering the water but it is not fun crawling into 40 degree water to pull this thing out.
We have been charging 85$ for lake systems up to 9 zones but Iam thinking that this may be a bit too low. All of our lake systems have a blowout point close to the driveway so you do not have to drag a hose too far, but getting into the lake kind of sucks.

I believe our pricing is pretty close to other professional contractors in our area.
What are you seeing in your area?
How do you contact your customers to arrange a time to perform this service?
Do you call, send e- mails or Send a postcard?

Thanks in advance for your input.

Critical Care
09-17-2004, 03:53 PM
Mike, I know one guy that charges $10 per zone, and others that charge $40 to $45 for four zones with $5 for every zone after that. I'm offering people who work with my wife $30 to four zones, plus $5 per each zone after that, but you'd be surprised that some people will complain even about that. Everyone else I'm charging $40 for four.

Some people out here draw water from the canal systems, others draw water from ponds fed by the canals, however since these canals are shut down during the winter its not likely that too many people will have to go scuba diving for their algae queen filters.

I'm renting a compressor for a week and because of this I'm calling people to let them know of the time frame.

09-17-2004, 04:00 PM
:p Sorry i put this on the wrong post. our co. charges 80 bucks for residential and 120 bucks for commercial sites plus any material charges if repairs are necessary. we like to do repairs at the time of the blow out, not wait until spring.

09-17-2004, 10:18 PM
We simply charge the same as a service call , 75 per hour, blowouts generaly take a half hour or less , we charge our normal 1 hour minimum . A service call is a service call , blow out the system or replace a head . We dont do repairs at the time of a blowout , if something needs fixing I call for another truck .We do charge extra for weekend and evening blowouts .

09-18-2004, 01:40 AM
:p Sorry i put this on the wrong post. our co. charges 80 bucks for residential and 120 bucks for commercial sites plus any material charges if repairs are necessary. we like to do repairs at the time of the blow out, not wait until spring.

Is that the rate to do a blow-out or is that your hourly rate for service?

Cause if that's the blow-out charge you could get nailed on some commercial systems out there. We installed a system on the Motorola Campua in Austin, TX that had 5000' of 6" mainline 4000' of submains and over 200 - 2" valves that averaged 80 GPM controlled by 5 controllers. You'd lose on the first controller.

Or something like the Austin Airport that had several miles of 8" mainline and 100's of valves. (Thank goodness we didn't get that one. We were low bidder because the owners wanted it for the visability and cut it to the bone. However our bid was rejected because we didn't meet MBE/WBE set-aside requirements!)

Now if'n y'all are gettin' $80 an hour for service work on residential and $120 for commercial, then this bald-headed old fat boy might aughta move up nawth.

No...grew up in Minn and I still remember those -30 and -40 temps and snow bung-hole deep on a tall barrel.


Critical Care
09-19-2004, 12:00 PM
Umm... Jerry... bald headed fat boy? That's not right! Didn't I see a picture of you in another thread? Didn't look like a boy to me. Cheers!

Green Grass
09-19-2004, 05:21 PM
My company does $50 for up to 6 zones then after that it is $5 a zone and we will blow out 3 zones a time for the 1st cycle then turn the air down and do each zone by itself.

09-21-2004, 10:52 PM
We never do any flat rate blowout/startup work unless it is a rare promotional event or for established systems and clients. We do several very large condos and large commercial jobs for fixed rates, and a decent portion of our established clientele as well. The rest, including anyone who calls, are done purely on service rate basis. We have a $50 minimum which covers 30 mins (in most cases from the time we left the last job) any time of the year for one person, or 15 minutes for two. We charge an additional $10 fee for the compressor. Additional man-hours are billed between 30 and 40 dollars per hour, depending on where.

We have about 1800 jobs that we do and we startup all but about 150 of them. They range from houses with 4 zones and 15 heads to houses with 20 zones and 300 heads to 5-clock, 100-zone condo systems.

As soon as we get going, we'll be using 2 trucks with single techs to do the jobs further out and 2 trucks with 2 guys each for the tighter routes in a few weeks here. We can run 2 hoses down a few stretches and really burn them up.

09-26-2004, 09:03 PM
I dont blow out systems here in NC. Just shut off the water and drain the backflow device. In & out in 5 min.

What would you all charge for this?


09-27-2004, 09:14 PM
Depending on how tight your route is, at least $20.

09-27-2004, 09:45 PM
I would charge the same as any other service call .

09-28-2004, 01:57 AM
Agreed. A stop is a stop, whether I am there 5 minutes to put on a new head, or an hour to repair a leak. They all get charged the minimum.

09-28-2004, 01:27 PM
Last year i was 40 bucks, but i think thats a deal. I live in a small town and its easy to get around.

09-30-2004, 06:34 PM
Bump it up, then. Get what you can. For that around here you'd have a hard time because of the competition in terms of quantity.

10-01-2004, 11:54 AM
$65 up to 9 zones, $75 10-12 zones + $4/zone over 12. labor rate is $65/hr.

We've done thousands of blow outs over the decades. We don't play with air like many people and don't have problems with pipe or heads.

We use 185 cfm compressors, regulate to 70psi in the off cycle, runs in the 50's or 60's psi while blowing. Set the clock for 3 min on zone 1, 2 min on the rest except the last one we manually shut down after killing the air. Each zone is walked and inspected for problems as the system cycles through. Service man makes notes of work needed for the next spring if any. Those notes are entered in our contact manager for calling in the spring.

Any zones that don't look empty after 2 min get a 2nd pass. Usually that is not required.

One and done is our goal. Long runs to last heads or qc sprays at the end of a zone can slow things down.

You have to remember that even under the worst circumstances the pipe does not have to be dry. Just empty heads and nearly empty pipe so no water fills any low spots in the pipe completely. A pipe 1/2 full of water has more than enough room to freeze and expand with ZERO damage. However with the nice big compressor that isn't happening.