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Irrigation Contractor License

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by RandalatA1Sprinklers, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. RandalatA1Sprinklers

    RandalatA1Sprinklers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    What is everyones opinion on being licensed as an irrigation contractor? Has anyone been in the irrigation business then new laws required licensing and if so, how were you affected?

    If you are pro licensing, what all should be included for licensing?

    I was reading one of Dana's old posts and I agree that just because you are licensed does not mean you are not a bottom feeder and/or do crappy work. I have seen many systems installed by bottom feeders and fly by nighters that don't even have a backflow, or the wrong type of backflow.

    :usflag: ooh-rah semper fi!
  2. holmesgts

    holmesgts LawnSite Member
    Posts: 41

    Semper Fi just stopped by the recruiter yesterday to pick up some bumper stickers for my truck. I'm not against licensing. My only concern is that the fees, continuing education requirements, ridiculous specifications and over zealous inspectors can really bog down productivity and make it really hard to compete with people who go under the radar. For example I worked in Cary NC, a rich suburb of Raleigh. I was speaking with the irrigation inspector one day and I asked him some of the requirements. I was baffled when he told me that you had to have 100% overlapping coverage. But then he said he gave some lee way on that? First 100% overlapping coverage isn't at all necessary. I have been doing this a long time and I won't even entertain any arguments on that point. All that requirement does is make the system more expensive to install and maintain for the client and it makes people who go under the radar even more competitive. How do you bid the job for the homeowners best interest or the inspectors? What kind of day will he be having and how much will that cost you?
  3. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,436

    First of all, thanks for your service to the country.

    Now let me get this straight, you have no problems with licensing except for the cost of obtaining the license and the time and costs of continuing education. You also have issue with overzealous inspectors and competing on an uneven playing field while having the customer's best interest at heart.

    Now explain to me how head to head coverage (which we won't discuss but you brought up) and an inspector's mood actually affect your bottom line if you are doing your job properly?
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  4. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,248

    He said "overlapping coverage" there is a difference.
    I would have a problem with inexperienced inspectors, what looks good on paper is not always the way to go and someone that's never installed a system should not be an inspector.
  5. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,436

    Educate me.
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  6. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,248

    Too many variables, sometimes 20-30 years experience is a good thing.
    Every area of a city is different same goes for every subdivision, every yard.
    Sometimes you need overlapping coverage sometimes head to head is too much.
    Depends on the soil, slope and maybe even the neighbors way of watering.
  7. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,835

    One example of looks good on paper but bad idea in practice is the strip between houses on a property line. On paper, 2 rows of heads should be used on these to give head to head coverage but if you do that, the area will be a swamp, even if shorten run times, because of the neighbor also watering and the grade there for drainage. The real world best thing to do is to only put a single row of heads along the house and nothing on the property line, even though it's technically wrong.
  8. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 446

    Overall I think the licensing requirement here in NC is a good thing. I hadn't been a contractor long enough and thus couldn't get grandfathered like many others, so I think they (those who were grandfathered) all should have to take a test and prove thier competancy. But I know it is a step in the right direction and is better for the public. I learned alot from going to the process of licensing and preparing for the test.
  9. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,436

    I agree with you, there are too many variables.
    Granted, toss in muni pressure constraints, infrastructure age and condition, public and private wells and our diminishing auqafers.
    I was taught that a system with 10-20% overlap of the head with the valve throttled 1/2 turn and the heads unrestricted would allow for future performance issues caused by dwindling supply and pressure. The heads throw is then adjvsted head to head.
    Again, i am not in disagreement
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  10. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,248

    It's been my experience that a flow control valve throttled 1/2 turn has little effect other than shutting off faster.

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