521 locator

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by houston, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. houston

    houston LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    For those of you who have a 521 locator, how often on average do you use it?
    Do you feel that it is an important tool to have?
    Are you glad that you own one or really wish that you had not bought one?
    Just looking for some opinions to help me make up my mind. Any other input would be appreciated!

  2. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    A 521 is a "must hanve" tool for anyone that does irrigation repairs on a regular basis. if you are only servicing systems that you installed and can remember where the valves are then you might not need it too often.

    I use it on average at least once a week, and most times more. First time doing a valve locate and repair on a new commercial property, I usually run the common wire and find as many valves as I can easily. Mark locations on the site map. Makes for easier location later. If I have another locate later on I just hook it up and start looking in the general area marked on the site map.

    It has paid for itself many times over. I charge for the locator (seperate line item over and above labor costs) every time I drag it out of the truck. On a residential system, I usually charge $22.50 since I am normally only there to service one valve. Commercial systems that have several valves to locate or particularly hard finds get charged $45.00 for locator. This again does not include labor for using the 521.

    Am I glad I bought it? Yes!! in fact I am always on the lookout for another one if the price is right. I would really hate to go back to the old "transistor radio and #1 spark plug wire" method of locating valves.

    I also recommend the 2003 Pulsar as an additional tool. Great for finding those pesky shorts and nicks in the wire.

    Get it. You won't be disappointed.

    Jerry R
    TLI #1452
  3. IRS

    IRS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    If you ain't got a 521 you ain't no irrigation man !!!!!
  4. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 854

    Amen.............. Separates the boys from the men.
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    iagree with the guys above.
    i have one and could not do my job without it.
    it has been worth every penny. I charge $50.00/hr just for the locator itself, so it quickly paid for itself.
  6. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    It is kinda like this

    1)Can't find valve can't do service $0
    2)Can't find valve can't do service $0
    3) Locator priceless

    We wac the customer $125 flat rate. Take it or leave it, we are one of a hand full of companies in the are that have one and since the suppliers stopped renting them, we are in a higher demand.
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    I've had one for 6 years and have used it once. And I would have found the valves without it anyway. Most the systems in our area have the PVB or RP next to the house where the water comes out. And the manifolds are usually located near that. When mainlines are run throughout the yard, those manifolds are usually near the area watered and in the mulch or rock, not necessarily in the grassed area.

    So even though even though I have separated myself from the boys :p it has hardly helped me. I bought it used, have probably robbed the batteries for something else, don't even know if it still works, and will one day probably sell it to one of you here on this site.
  8. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    The first time I ever used it: Servicing a residential for a new customer that just moved into a home with an existing system that was over 5 years old. It was 8 zones and we located 6 zones along the side of the home within 10ft of where the water supply came out of the house. The six zones were in two manifold boxes just below a thin layer of mulch. I spent the next hour proding for manifold boxes with a metal probe in area's where manifold boxes usually are. Got tired of that and thought I would give the locator a try, 15 minutes later I found the other two valves. In the middle of the backyard 6 inches below grade without of box or anything covering them. One word: Priceless!!
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,756

    Even if you never had to find a lost valve, a locater justifies it's costs by being able to pin down the location of (very shallow) cable TV service drops that were done in the early days, on existing homes in neighborhoods with underground power and telephone wires. If the cable TV company won't mark the location of their wires, you are on your own.
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    No way am I going to hook up the locator and check for cable on up to 16 homes a day. We've cut 2 cables in 3 years and have the supplies and tools to fix them. Good idea though if you're doing an install and they haven't come out to locate yet. But thats a free service here and they'll have it done in 2 business days fromt he call.

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