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Old 11-18-2009, 09:24 PM
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Blu-Lock Job - Photos

I know Blu-Lock isn't new to everyone here. But it's something new for us up here in the NW. First time it's ever been available here. We did a few jobs last month using it - just to try it out and see if it made the job go faster.

Here are some photos I took, if anyone is interested.


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Old 11-18-2009, 09:26 PM
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A few more photos......



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Old 11-18-2009, 09:27 PM
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And this is the last set of photos I took....


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Old 11-18-2009, 09:57 PM
esnipe8 esnipe8 is offline
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Whats the benefit, flexible? Is that usually pulled, or always trenched then laid?
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esnipe8 View Post
Whats the benefit, flexible? Is that usually pulled, or always trenched then laid?
No insert fittings. The pipe fits inside the fitting and "Locs". No clamping. Sounds good in principle, but looks cheesy to me. I'll let Jim beta test it
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:38 PM
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how'd the install go?

time vs material?

do you feel good about standing behind a blulock install after doing one?
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esnipe8 View Post
Whats the benefit, flexible? Is that usually pulled, or always trenched then laid?
The benefit is no glue, no primer. All the fittings fit right together and no leaks - in like 5 seconds.

There are other minor benefits too. For instance, Blu-Lock is made of HDPE pipe, which is much more environmentally friendly in the way it's produced. Also, it comes in rolls, if you want. Which is nice because that means if my crew ever needs another 100' I can just go to my supplier and grab some and throw it in my back seat, all by myself. Much easier to haul around vs. 20' sticks of PVC pipe that need two people to lift it up on top of a big long truck rack.

Blu-lock is also flexible. It can actually make a pretty tight turn (almost 90 deg.) without bending. So if you dig your trench right you don't have to install 90s at the turns.

Mostly, the main benefit is speed. The system just goes together faster when you don't have to glue or primer.

It can be pulled too. But nobody pulls pipe up here in the NW. So that's a non-issue for us.
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Old 11-18-2009, 10:59 PM
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is pricing comparable Jim?
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1idejim View Post
how'd the install go?

time vs material?

do you feel good about standing behind a blulock install after doing one?
We did 2 installs so far. And will do another 3 or 4 in the spring, just to get a real good idea whether we want to go with it or not before making a decision.

The Good:
  • The stuff doesn't leak! Pretty simple to "lock" together and surprisingly not one leak.
  • It did save time. On each job we were able to shave about 1 full day off install time.
  • Took up a lot less room in our truck
  • Tech. Support was very helpful. Answered on the first ring and knew the answer to our question, when we got stuck.

.

The Bad:
  • Although the 100' Rolls were convenient in terms of taking up less room and easier to transport, they become very rigid on cold days and do not want to straighten out very well. On the first job we did in early Oct. it was still relatively warm and we were able to wrestle it out with a moderate amount of effort. But in the second job in late October it was much colder and the stuff just didn't want to unroll. When we did get it unrolled, as soon as it was cut it would "spring" back into a round shape again. So annoying that we finally decided that in the future we wouldn't use Blu-Lock again unless we used the 20' straight sticks. Fortunately, the pipe comes in both round rolls and straight sticks. So no more rolls for us.
  • You can't use it for a main line. It's not rated to handle constant pressure like that. So we still end up using PVC from the backflow device to the valve manifold.
  • It is more expensive than PVC. Mainly, it's the fittings that are more expensive. So we shaved off half a day in labor but it cost a few hundred more in parts. Not sure how I feel about that. I make money mostly off of labor, not parts. But the rep. says the key to this product is it allows you to get jobs done sooner and be able to lower your rates and also to get more jobs done each week, month, season. So for that reason, we're looking into it.

Overall, I am impressed with it. The pipe itself holds up very well under pressure. The fittings hold, that is. I wish the roll of pipe wasn't such a PITA to unroll. I was very disappointed in that. But overall, still favorable because it did speed up production by a significant amount. It's going to come down to whether it's worth the extra money. And I still don't have enough experience with it to tell for sure. Will know more next spring.
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Last edited by JimLewis; 11-18-2009 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 11-18-2009, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AI Inc View Post
is pricing comparable Jim?
The pipe isn't too much more expensive than PVC. It's the fittings that kill you. A "T" PVC fitting costs somewhere around 50 cents I think. One of the blu-lock compression fittings costs like $2.00. So the fittings are a good 4x the price of PVC fittings, in general.

Overall, though, that didn't make as much of a total price difference as I thought it would. It was maybe $150-$200 more expensive than if I had done it using all PVC. But given the labor it saved us, that isn't a bad trade off. If it means I land more jobs and can fit more installs in each week, month, etc. than it may well be worth it.
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