Irrigation newbe

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by XLS, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,038

    As a company we are large and spread out . We have 2 irrigation specialist in our company located in areas to far to drive to mess up their day of work(4 hour drives) They are both out of service for this week they are on vacation ,

    local to me i have a neigborhood with alot of low grade systems and i have personally never did any of this kind of work ,and this is my situation . we had alot of storms last week and they came into the complex to mow and a few of the homeowners had no irrigation at all working the stom broke limbs and damaged the back flow preventers so after looking over the situation i found there is no irrigation company left in the area after a heart attack ended a company there so i decided to repair the pipes up to the manual valves (yes manual ) then 1 HO asked me to come over and this is the bad part.
    He wanted his system repaired and functioning .it to is manual valve system but never been on since he bough the home 7 years ago .after a hour we located his water main under thick bermuda and made the repairs to the piping to find there was NO flow into the lawn .........meaning i have to locate the heads in the lawn and uncover them to allow them to pop up and activate in the bermuda. Now assuming i repaired the piping and the valves are functioning correctly ,knowing i had water to the BFP how do i actually locate the heads. He told me the system was 10 + years old and they installed a large pool and bed in the rear but had did little to nothing in the front. where do i begin to locate the heads .. I found 1 on the corner of the drive near the curb but none of the others are visible with the lawn cut to 2'' what is next??????? I know at best i will have to repair several of the heads if not the whole system with my luck.

    Also I am considering after the money i seen that day in repairs only that there is alot to be had in certian areas . and i would like to find all of the information on installs and repairs i can so i have a better understanding on the time managment ,pricing ,and servicing of this type of work . so i can prep a guy at all of my locations for these types of situations. my guys were trained by this LCO that is no longer in business and it wil lbe at the end of the month before i can pic their brains about it at our meeting.
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,978

    Drop the sig, you're not getting any work from us, so who cares?
  3. Sprinkus

    Sprinkus LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,108

    Figure on 20 years of "training" to get a decent tech.
  4. GreenGuysLC

    GreenGuysLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 325

    Honestly if it has been 10 years, you may have a hell of a time getting it back. If there is water on the system and You know it is flowing water ... you can run the system ... some heads will pop up rather quickly .. and others will be obvious by the puddling of water in the sod. There will be very minor if any erosion damage done to the sod as the sprinklers operate beneath the top layer of the sod. Once you find one or two heads you can gain an Idea of the spacing used and perhaps an idea of the layout. If valve boxes are not visible or known those can be the real trouble to find. If he has added a pool did he make provisions for the system prior to the install of pool or did they cover or simply cut the system? I am in the middle of a restoration myself, but fortunately mine has only sat idle for 2 years. New Control box, one valve, and a handful of heads and we should be back in business.
  5. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,780

    man, you may be out of your league on this one.

    Even for us, it's a challenge to get that old of system that hasn't ran in 10 years. The main question is- Does repairing this system justify the cost vs replacing it.
    The most important thing when checking these systems out is to gather as much information as possible.

    I've done 3 so far this year.

    2 I've gotten restored with about $2000 each in restoration costs and a couple visits to each one. The last one had to be redone.
  6. GreenGuysLC

    GreenGuysLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 325

    I agree .. you have alot of info to gather. I have many questions with what you have listed. Is it on city water or an independent pump? If city, does it have a seperate meter? If Not do you know where the main line comes in? Are valves visible or known? Without atleast finding a valve can you even tell if you have water to the system? If he has had some digging done, did they cut the wiring going to valves .. did they cut into any pipes? You have a big headache on your hands for sure ..

    Oh, BTW .. I am in North Bama and for the right fee I guess I could come assist you ! lol
  7. mitchgo

    mitchgo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,780

    There's just too much that needs to be figured out that a newbie wouldn't be able to do on his own
  8. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 25,392

    10 yrs ?, sell the man a new system. Otherwise he will spend 90% of a new system and still have an old POS. I did that saturday, hasnt run in 5 yrs . Toro vision clock , plastic toro BF. Nope , not putting my name on that one.
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,708

    coward! :p
  10. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    I'm going to side with many of the guys saying new system. Their may not be a huge price difference in price for the customer and this way the new components will be covered under warranties, plus this will make all of your future service a thousand times smoother
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