Frozen pipes on the south

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Green Sweep, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 321

    After watching the weather and seeing how another "Polar Vortex" is coming down and plunging us into another deep freeze, I'm just curious what if anything you guys in the south are doing? I know that a lot of the southern states are seeing abnormally cold temps. I also know that you do not winterize systems down there. I'm not sure where the cut off for winterizing systems is - North Carolina? South Carolina? I saw on the news the other day that Fort Meyers FLA was colder than Anchorage AK. Just has me thinking that you southern guys will definitely see some damage in the spring.
     
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Time to stock up on backflow preventers and bonnet/poppet repair kits up here in the north, before all the southerners get ours transferred out of here.
     
  3. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    You can keep them, we only had two cold days. 25-32 degree's the rest of the time.
     
  4. Crimson Lawn

    Crimson Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    Spoke to a friend in NW Florida. He said that they never really blow out systems and most backflows are above ground. Most of his customers call and get freaked out about 32 degrees but never want to be fully winterized, just shut the water off, run through the stations and call it good. Now that they have had several nights in the teens, might be leak city on start up day. I mentioned to him to have a stock of repair parts come spring.
     
  5. Stuttering Stan

    Stuttering Stan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,503

    Phone have been ringing steady. Blowouts are not real big around here. This has been an unusually cold winter and above ground backflows (with class 200 piping) have been cracking. It will be a busy spring with repairs. Until then, I am still in hibernation mode.
     
  6. MILS

    MILS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    I had 1 pvb repair this winter. There are a lot of people that water year round down here. But I do have several customers that ask me to winterize as well.

    But yes I do think March will be a busy month with repairs, which sounds great. Sometimes I would rather do repairs then installs.
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  7. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Gold Member
    Male, from Ark
    Posts: 3,413

    In my area it is the norm to remove the backflow but not blow out the lines. I've never seen freeze damage underground in my area but this has been the coldest winter since I began irrigation. Lows have been in the single digits a few nights which is uncommon. I'll guess I'll see if anything is broken in March or April.
     
  8. Irrigation Contractor

    Irrigation Contractor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 380

    We have been getting lows between 0 and 10 degrees. Blowouts are the norm for our area, but you would be surprised at how many forget. Normally we have 20-30 call up to mid January with busted devices.

    This year it has been over 40 and we even had 3 call in today. It is like clock work most of the time; freezing weather day or days, then the warm day comes which then thaws so the water fountains come alive. LOL

    I am still amazed at the power of frozen water and the amount of damage it can do. We have seen hundreds of feet of large mainline splintered in the trenches and some are on systems that were apparently winterized.
     
  9. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 321

    I have also seen a lot of shredded pipe. I tell the homeowner that we basically have to start from scratch. I had a customer last fall that never returned our calls to winterize. We left at least 5 messages for him which is documented in their account. That customer called the office last week wanting to make changes to his lawn care program. I took the opportunity to ask him if a competitor winterized his system. He said no, he just didn't have it winterized. I asked him if he wanted me to give him an est. for a new system. He sounded surprised! I explained to him that his lawn is perfectly flat (rare in Pgh) and that the water has nowhere to gravity drain. ALL of his pipes will be shredded. Bet he wished he would have spent the $95. Now will have to spend $4000! I'm happy because now I can finally get rid if his Toro garbage. -6 degrees as I am sitting here typing.
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  10. txirrigation

    txirrigation LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 977

    We have replaced 8 RPZ's this week. 95% of back flows around here are dcva's though, so it shouldn't be a huge problem.
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