Broken irrigation

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Landmark, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Landmark

    Landmark LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 23

    I have a question. Today I got a call from the property manager of one of my largest accounts. She says that the irrigation guy said I damaged 15-20 sprinkler heads in the entrance of the subdivision with my trimmers and mowers. He explained to her how I did this. Now she thinks I should compensate them something for this. Is is possible to damage one of these with the trimmer or mower? We edge using the trimmer, not one of those hard edgers. I told that if it was properly installed that should not have happened. The funny thing is I think this irrigation guy is one who installed the system. It's probably well over ten years old. What's the life span of these heads? Just want to get a professionals opinion on this, as we do not do irrigation. Also do these things really cost $20.00 a piece plus labor?
  2. kerdog

    kerdog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    Hey Landmark-------

    Have you mowed and trimmed this property before?
    Was it you, or one of your guys? If one of your guys, did you ask them about it? If it was you, then.....?
    Why not ask to meet with the property manager and the irrigation guy, at the site? And go from there.

    Sprinkler heads "shouldn't" get damaged by a mower blade, if properly installed, or by running over them with the wheel, in my opinion. It could be possible, but that many......? Was there some recent maintence/repair work to the system? Worn-out heads replaced, a re-design of that part of the system, due to landscape changes, etc., and the heads weren't set to the right elevation? Have you noticed broken heads before? And didn't report them?

    Most sprinkler heads are probably guaranteed for about five years. Doesn't mean they last that long. There are a lot of variables to consider, how much use, hardness of water, exposure to the elements, etc. They are plastic bodys, and if that old, maybe the heads were brittle.

    The cost depends on what type of sprinkler was "damaged". If they were rotors, that's reasonable. Sprays are cheaper. Bear in mind, that's retail pricing.

    Hard to believe a trimmer damaged that many, without someone noticing...
    If it was in a median or esplanade, could of been a wayward car riding the curb! Or a kid with a four-wheeler? Or someone with a baseball bat? All done after you were there....

    Good Luck, see ya-----
  3. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    I know when I brake a head, and when I do I replace it. This sounds like bullcrap. My general rule is if I broke it, or if I may have and its only one head, I replace it for free. Other repairs are not my resp. You should be able to tell by looking at them, they pretty much explode when my mower blade hits them.
  4. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    A properly installed irrigation system should not be damaged by a mower or trimmer if it is properly installed.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,374

    If the heads are the adjustable rainbird heads they don't have much material and a weed eater will break them easily. The heads are a very bad design and I would guess that they don't last more than a couple years. The force of the return spring slams the heads shut when the water turns off and it can crack the heads also. Suggest they go to adjustable Hunter heads if this is the problem. One of the reasons we do the irrigation inspections and repair is to avoid a "pessing" contest with an irrigation installer.
  6. dfor

    dfor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 828

    Ditto. And in my opinion, if I hit a sprinkler head, it's because it wasn't installed properly or it's worn out. Yes, I look to make sure I avoid hitting one. It is an underground system for a reason. In your situation, it sounds like the heads were worn out. Can you take a picture of any of the heads?

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