Irrigation Winterization

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by andyslawncare, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Stuttering Stan

    Stuttering Stan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,503

    Rather than insulating the BF, why don't you open it up and pour some blinker fluid into it? It's cheaper than antifreeze and works just as good.
     
  2. rlpsystems

    rlpsystems LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 471

    I hook up downstream of backflow when I winterize. If i have to, I use the last testcock to connect to, and I do not use all the cfm available. I have messed up at least three back flows by "lettin her rip" through there. My backflows ALL have unions so I remove and store in my shop......Those booklets that come with the stuff you buy is good for throwing in the trash......again.....field experiance....
     
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 46,449

    Field experience is fine when you can afford to waste a few RPZs, but I have yet to ever hear how a backflow preventer died over the winter after having been voided of water according to mfr instructions (and valves and drains set to prevent the entry of water into the winterized plumbing)
     
  4. rlpsystems

    rlpsystems LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 471

    Roger that....
     
  5. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457


    I can see you wanting to make more , but those clients of yours are actually clients of an irrigation contractor , who may also want to make more from his clients by offering lawn maintenance services. I have seen many lawn maintenance companies actually lose customers because they tried and failed to repair or maintain the sprinkler system .

    Nothing beats experience , and experience comes with a price , irrigation systems dont all winterize the same , the principle is similar but systems differ
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  6. SPEEDSKI

    SPEEDSKI LawnSite Member
    from TN
    Posts: 67

    MDIrrigation, we must be long lost brothers, since that is what I was going to say. I would like to add to
    this, so here it goes.

    It will be coming as fall gets closer. We will email our Winterization Notice to all of our customer base in october. We will then get a few replies saying my lawn guy is now doing them for $35.00 (yes, you heard it right and it happened even more last year). We got tired of explaining what they are about to do, so we now just tell them "no problem" and we note each customer for Spring Start Ups. We had a guy driving neighborhoods with a 5 gallon compressor in the back of his truck and he was having trouble plugging into the homes outlets because they were tripping. LOL

    Anyway, even if you charge a normal rate, you better be ready for when you get the call saying, "you did not winterize my system properly" or a shut off that leaks / does not close all the way and the phone call at 10 pm on Thanksgiving. It happens to every irrigation contractor on the planet, so it will happen to you. I know, I know....but it is so easy, just blow air through the lines right? But when you have to fork out $400.00 for one backflow to keep that customer happy and keep the lawn account you will understand.

    If you are doing all of their services; start up, backflow test, and blow out. Then I do understand, but if you are just wanting to make some extra money at the end of the year, then it is BS.

    Try and work with a local "Irrigation Contractor" and network each others clients.

    There are very few Lawn Companies around here (even the large companies) that do quality irrigation. Besides one or two, all of them end up call us real irrigation contractors when they need 2-wire system work, ground faults, locates or anything that does not involve fixing a head or nozzle. This is why we do charge them out the ass when it happens. They all try and take the blow out money from us (which is our end of the year stash), but when they need us we are suppose to now "work together" to help out a fellow green industry friend.

    To those of you that do landscaping and irrigation and do it well, then you too understand where I am coming from.

    I do not think people are trying to "not help you" but you have to understand that all of us did not have a forum when we got started, we all learned the hard way or did the proper research. I would be glad to explain the entire process we use to blow out, but you need to PM me and I would like to talk to you over the phone first.

    Good Luck to you.
     
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,603

    The only way to learn about winterizing is to melt fittings, launch heads and learn how to "throttle" a compressor. That's why so many dweebs use a little pancake compressor and take hours more to "winterize". Without the cfm, winterize is a crapshoot. :hammerhead:
     
  8. rlpsystems

    rlpsystems LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 471

    yes .....let a 180 cfm compressor work with you...not against you.....
    november is fast approaching.......
     
  9. HokieAg07

    HokieAg07 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    Thank God!
     
  10. rlpsystems

    rlpsystems LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 471

    You've been feeling the heat too......
    I'm ready to finish out this year with 5 more installs, service and winterizations.....than I'm going to bust up the whitetails for three months.....
     

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