Winterizing costs

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Rotor-Man, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. Rotor-Man

    Rotor-Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    What is everyone getting to winterize the average 6-8 zone system in their neck of the woods this year?
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    $55. If it's a good existing client that I may have done some extensive work for this year, or are loyal year after year, I do give them a break occasionally. depends on the mood I'm in and their attitude.
  3. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    After switching to QuickBooks last year and tracking payroll hours for winterizing I found out that even though a guy may do a dozen of them easily in a day we averaged about 1 man hr of payroll per job. We do all of ours by appt and schedule as tight as we can geograhically. 12 are scheduled but sometimes we give more. End of season jobs are further apart and less efficient. I'll be at least $60-$65 this year for that size.
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    We get $45 per winterization - which is average or slightly higher than average for this area (I've done plenty of "research" to find out what my competition charges).

    But part of the reason we don't charge too much is our winterizations are pretty simple. We don't blow out the water with a compressor as many of you do in colder climates. We live in a fairly temperate climate that almost never sees snow or ice. Winterization still has several important steps here. But blowing out all of the water isn't necessary. And that's a time consuming step that we can skip.
  5. MikeK

    MikeK LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    I am glad to see that someone asked this question.
    I agree with Harold that it runs about 1 man hour per blowout, even if you schedule them tight together.
    We charge 70$ BUT
    1. We use regulators on all of our compressors and keep the pressure to 35 or 40PSI
    2. We go through each zone 3 times, Usually 1 minute a zone and then the third time just for a few seconds.
    3. We go into the house and blow( or drain) the water from the PVB to the valve in the house.

    I feel regulating the air causes less head damage and going through each zone 3x assures us that a majority of the water is out of the pipe.
    Also, I feel running rotary heads for short bursts is better than 1 long burst.

    We provide a 2 year warranty on all of our heads. We don't like to replace heads under warranty if we did not winterize the system. I am working on trying to revise our warranty policy so that we can legally do this.

    In our area, there are LOTS of people running around doing winterizations for allot less. We sell winterization just like any other service and promote the fact that we are a bit higher than the other guys. But, we will be there in spring to take care of you if there are any problems.
    Last year, we did about 130 winterizations. This year, it was closer to 250. I see no reason to lower our price and I also feel that by the time you add it all up, at 70$ you are not making allot.
  6. Rotor-Man

    Rotor-Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 126

    I agree with you Mike K. I regulate my compressor between 45-50psi, and also purge each zone twice, just to give myself the self assurance once the temps. hit the 0 dgree range in January! I also drain back from the PVB outside to the drain in the basement. I have a few that drain the basement themselves and I do the rest. As far as purging thru the PVB, if it's the only option, I do it, but on my bill it states I will not guarantee the condition of the PVB in the springtime. I,m just amazed at the speed some posters here do these, I guess I just a little more cautious and a couple extra minutes in the total scheme of things doesn't mean much in the end to me! Also I work all by myself so basically my overhead is very low.
  7. MikeK

    MikeK LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Thanks for your input.
    I know that you are not supposed to blow out through the breaker. The reason being is heat generation can warp the plastic pieces.
    However, we do it on every one and have had No problems.
    My thinking is that because we use low pressure and only do one zone at a time, the flow is not that great and things really do not even get warm. Not sure what is right but it seems to work for us.
  8. J Hisch

    J Hisch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 952

    I feel Like I am overcharging here in Southern IN. We do haver the threat of cold weather so every system has to be blown out unless of course it is self draining. But we charge 18.00 to 25.00 per zone. our lawn customers get charged less and our non-lawn customer higher. but our charge for a six zoner would be an average of 120.00

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