Official 2006 sprinkler winterizing thread!

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by BSME, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 829

    I don't know why.. but I always get giddy about winterizing... although people will start their own threads on "what size compressor do i need to winterize?" I thought I'd start a thread to share techniques, whine about lowballers, and complain about winterizing still in the snow.

    Last year we did our first blowout a month from today so I need to start getting ready now that we are slowing up. I still plan on only running one compressor but I figure I can do up to 600 with one... but this will require a lot of advertising.

    It's the most wonderful time of the year!
  2. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 829

    First thing I need to do is make new forms... ICS has given me a couple ideas but I was wondering if anyone else had something that worked. I used to use my regular service invoice that I circled winterizing on but this year I want a form to cover
    -how many zones were blown out
    -problems we found that need to me looked at in the spring
    -a list of reasons why we wont cover freeze damage

    some things i'd put on the form are that we do not cover against freeze damage if...
    -it's after the first frost
    -there has been previous freeze damage
    -system is not fully operational at time of blowout (zones not coming on)
    -gate valves in the basement
    -leaky valves
    -backflow setup not up to code

    anything i missed?
  3. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 515

    How do you charge? By the zone or so many zones for X amount? How do you usually advertise? This will be my first season doing blow outs.
  4. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 515

    I was thinking, what's keeping the home owner from accidently turning on the main valve in the basement some time in the winter and then blaming the blowout guy in the spring when the system is damaged?
  5. Since it is not necessary to blow out a system in South Carolina, I am just wondering the correct procedure for blowing out a system and what is your POC for the blow out. There is one contractor in my area that does pull a compressor around town with his yellow flashing light on top of his truck in the winter time but he is just ripping people off. I have seen main lines 1" deep the have never frozen and have been damaged by an aerator.
  6. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 829

    a lot of companies here charge a set amount for about 6 zones then about $5 for every 1 or 2 zones after that... I usually do a set amount up to 8 zones as the extra two zones only takes two more minutes and there are a lot of price shoppers for this service...

    I haven't done too much advertising in the past and that is one of the things i'm looking for advice on...
  7. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 829

    you can buy a tag and tie it to the valve and seal it (i dont know what those seals are called)... the only way to get it off is to cut it...

    the tag usually reads something like "xyz irrigation, phone #, sprinkler control valve, do not open, removal of tag may void warranty"
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    We blow out through a yard hydrant if one is handy, or through a testcock on the doublecheck.

    Another guy out here puts in QC valves for his blowouts, so we keep a adapter handy for those, but I've never seen a problem with blowing through a doublecheck.
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,720

    As there is a long local history of having hose bibs on the plumbing for the air connection for winterizing, it's possible to thread a cable tie through the valve handle, so a valve can be 'locked' open or shut as need be for wintertime. Nothing like an open drain to keep dripping water from freezing and bursting exposed plumbing.
  10. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,642

    Warranty a blow out ? NEVER Too many factors to consider . Customers will soak you to the max . Over 20 some years I have had people turn them on by accident , leaky main valves etc . On the bottom of the invoice

    " blowing out a sprinkler is not to be considered a warranty or a guarentee of any kind"

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