When to winterize

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by bicmudpuppy, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    OK, my lovely wife saved the article just to irritate me. Seems some chuckle head with the Kansas City Star newspaper wrote an article about winterzing. Seems the "best" advice is to make sure you have your system winterized before the first frost!! Like I didn't already have enough headaches. I'm glad that most of my customers are more intelligent than that and are an excellent mix of those who like to winterize early and those who want to let things run as long as possible. For the last three years here, you could have probably saved the compressor rental until after Christmas, but no way am I going to risk mother nature blowing a blue norther at me on Christmas day and me trying to find a compressor and working on one of the few holidays I've almost always had off (never happen again, but when I had to do snow.........I've missed a Christmas eve or two).

    Any thoughts? The article refrenced some web sites and one of them is everyone here's favorite :) I've winterized systems with early snow on the ground and usually tell my customers who do not have exposed backflows that you need a 1" min frost IN the ground before I can't winterize effectively.
  2. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    On a side note, in 25 years of doing this, I have NEVER had freeze damage on a system I winterized. That is probably dumb luck, because I have gone back to a rare few in the spring that I missed a leaky tap on and I truly did just get lucky.
  3. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

  4. First frost? We just had that today...Pikes Peak is covered...snowed at my house in the afternoon yesterday while I was down the hill digging in the frigging mud.....aww Colorado.

    I am starting Oct 3rd...I am hoping my new customers (all of them are new at this point) will understand...I am sending newsletter out today that outlines the days I will be in their neighborhood...friendly push in the right direction eh?

    I am hoping they will all call and confirm...while I am out killing an elk..leaving tomorrow morning for a week of fun in the quakies...boy, funny how the phone can be dead for weeks, but the 2 days before you leave on a hunting trip it rings off the hook with desperate people...whats up with that? Murphy getting me again?
  5. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    We will be starting Oct 5 and going until sometime between Nov 9-16.

    I hear ya Tony. Leving this morning until Sunday night and phone now starts to ring. I'm changing the message so people know. Hey I actually have one maybe two installs to do now. Haven't done one in 3 years.
  6. If you need help let me know....lol.
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Hmmmmm, Dana is trapped into an install or two! Bet I'd love to see the profit margin on those here :)
    I keep tellin' my son when we hit 400 customers, those installs are going to get expensive!
  8. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505


    installs are tough here, too many guys willing to due them dirt cheap!
  9. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    We are starting winterizations the week of September 26th and usually have stragglers into mid December. We do a tier pricing system. Price jumps up $10 per month in October and November then jumps up $40 in December since by then we are just doing 2-3 per day so we charge $110 per home in december.
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Yeah, I hate installs. But one won't be too bad. 4 small spray zones, $2500. We'll have it done in a day, maybe a little more if the plumbing doesn't go as planned. I normally wouldn't have done this install. But it is for the mother of a really cute customer of mine, and I actually bid it over 2 years ago and she is now ready to do it. Of course I did have to re-price it. And it is slow right before winterizations

    Another is adding 3 zones to an existing customer's lawn. Good customer, spent about $1000 updating the timer, heads, and re-building manifold this year. And they aren't even paying for the 3 new zones. They just got married and the sister-in-law put it together for guests to pay into it. Of course I installed the ESP modular so all I need is to add a module. This is also one I looked at adding onto 3 years ago, and they kept waiting.

    And actually my old boss at a cabinetry company (1997 I tried getting out of the biz, but got sucked back into it) and he needs a system on his 70 acres. Only needs about 1/2 to 3/4 irrigated though. I may ask you guys a few ??? on this one as he is thinking of pulling from his private lake/pond. I may not have time though to do this job with blow outs coming up. Maybe I should stop going on vacations and do some work!!! :D

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