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Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by grandview (2006), Sep 16, 2012.
And what does that have to do with checking the depth and direction of the lateral?
If the system were properly designed and installed, flagging the heads would be enough.
Since most systems aren't either designed or installed well you're screwed if you don't do a proper location and exploration for varification
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Tree roots can push pipes upward, as can freeze/thaw cycles.
It's a guessing game as to where pipes were installed. Flag heads and hope for the best.
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Call the installer and ask for a free locate
I'm not sure what you're using to aerate with but we've NEVER had an issue with lateral depth. We flag the heads and then they guys have at it. We have a couple of Ryan Lawnaire 28's which pull about a 2" to 3" core out of the ground depending on the soil conditions and over the literally millions of square ft of turf that we've aerated with them we've NEVER hit a lateral line!
Then you haven't done repairs following the right contractor. I've done plenty of repairs where the aerator damaged the lines. Pipes were at depths shallower than the 4" heads. I've done repairs to a subsurface system where the pipe was laid, and sod was laid directly on top - this one I told them they had to scrap the whole system or rebuild the entire thing.
How would you know unless you checked the system afterwards?
Main point being here is that you never know the depth of a system. We obviously hope it is deeper. I've seen many systems 1-4" depth. On occasion I see an obvious areator damage . I think, as a professional company it would be wise to simply state this to the customer and not just go under assumption because ' you've never done it before'
We do run the systems afterwards. Typically when we aerate we're also putting down soil buster and whatever other fertilizer we're applying. I guess we've just been lucky. 99% of the sites that we aerate are commercial sites anyhow so the laterals are generally installed at 9" to 12". The only two residential sites that we aerate were installed by us so I know that the laterals are all at 12".
The only time that I have ever hit a lateral was with a step on aerator that's used for getting into corners, and that was partly because it was buried less than 6". I can see swing joints being punctured very easily, especially on heads around sidewalks.
And I wouldn't charge any extra for staking out the heads in the zones. It takes minutes to turn on each zone and run and stake them. I say this because you will encounter customers that won't pay the extra for it. It should be part of the service.