1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Sharing trenches

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Dirty Water, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    We are beginning a install in a new condo complex (22 duplex units in across about 15 acres or so). At the moment, nothing has been done (not even the streets). So far the water and sewer lines have been layed and backfilled, and power and telephone ditches have been dug. These ditches run alongside all the new roads.

    The GC want to backfill the ditches up to the 2' level and let us lay our mainline in them. While I understand that it might save time and money now, I'm worried about the roadcrews destroying them and burying the valveboxes.

    We are going to go for it, but I'm getting the feeling that I'm going to have a nightmare on my hands.
  2. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,415

    well, what id do is take scrap pieces of 1" pvc and put 3' tall stobbs in the ground where each valve box is, paint each stobb blue for water. put a trail of blue flags where the mains run, custom printed if you got the $, saying something like "irrigation mainlines, call (your name) before you dig"
  3. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    It's all going to depend on how conscientious the other sub-contractors are. However, I've never had very good luck setting the valves and boxes and then keeping others off them, even when barracade tape is put up. What we usually do is put the main line in and stub up (about 18"-24" above ground) and cap where each valve is going to be placed. We'll then spraypaint (we use bright orange) each stub as a warning. We can then pressurize the main line and check for problems after other contractors have finished but before we start setting the valves and boxes.
  4. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    It's going to save you labor on the install, but I don't like sharing. Somebody below you is going to need access to their pipe and then yours is going to be toast. You may get to put the irrigation back as T&M, but your customer is still getting the short end. If you have to lay main and wire, like Hayes said, just stub up and cap. Wrap spare and zone wires around the stub up to within about 3 or 4 inches of grade, and leave the pipe exposed and painted some bright neon color to make sure they don't have an excuse WHEN they hit it. Also, until you start using the system, pressure it up, but only crack the tap valve. Then they don't get quite as much a flood when the accident happens. If you can set some issolation valves, that would be good too. Leave these almost off as well.
  5. 402-676-Lawn The answer

    402-676-Lawn The answer LawnSite Member
    from omaha
    Posts: 5

    sleeves!!!!!!!!!! all over
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Went back last week to install the system for the first condo unit. We ended up using 4' tall PVC markers were our stubouts were and a couple of boxes set in the ground.

    We haven't pressurized it yet (Runs off a seasional dirty water feed, and its not going on until april).

    So far, the road crew managed to snag and break control wire in a handfull of places, so I'm sure I'll have a few surprises when the water comes on.

    By that time, we'll probably have 4-5 zones done (They get completed as the contractors leave and the landscapers come in).

    A large portion of our mainline is under the road, appears the plans we worked off and the plans the roadcrew worked off were different :(

    Hopefully we don't have a disaster on our hands in April :)
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    You get T&M to fix/relocate all the broken main under hard surface right? There goes your profit margin. Tell your estimator he can reduce the overhead constant because your going to be billing a lot extra in repairs and the profit on T&M is sooooooo much better.
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    It is T&M.

    We were able to sleeve all of the area's we knew asphalt was going to be, but the road was over a few feet in some area's and runs over our line.

    If its broken, at least we can reroute it and not tear up the road.
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Man Jon. What a bummer on one side and a blessing (I guess) on the other side. Down side is that you won't even know what is broken until after many of the zones have already been put in because you can't pressurize the main until April. And if you have a main line break where you already have a zone installed it usually just makes it that more difficult. Upside is that they'll have to pay extra for the repair work. :hammerhead:
  10. Bobcat s250 NY

    Bobcat s250 NY Banned
    from texas
    Posts: 98

    If you feel the road crew possibly hit the main in places, why dont you charge the main with a 185 and see if it holds the pressure. We just throw a psi gage in one of our stubs and hope for the best. We run into this same problem all the time, nobody gives a damn about whos work was in before them.:nono: :nono: Working on these big projects sometimes sucks. I would say 35 % of our work is new condos and commercial property. To much do and redo yeah its fine to get paid to fix it, but when u are booked solid it becomes really annoying. :usflag:

Share This Page