Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cutbetterthanyou, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    also you need to learn your plants.

    this is why I got into it, around my town, Noone knows what there doing.

    I have seen 2.1 GPM spraying knockouts....

    I couldn't belive it
  2. MileHigh

    MileHigh LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,466

    The license you need to get is a "backflow preventers license"

    They want people that work on the backflows to really understand them.

    Most irrigation water comes from a clean source...basically the same water you drink. So when people are fertilizing there yards, and dogs pissing, and crapping everywhere, and then turn on the sprinklers...that nasty crap can re-enter the irrigation system through the heads or what-not, and into your cups...

    The backflow is what prevents that nasty "backflow water" from entering the clean water source again.

    You most likely need a license to work on the backflow...not the heads, lines, valves, programmers, etc.

    I'm working on getting my license by next season...I don't have one, but have replaced and sweated in plenty of craked Backflows...PVB only. No RP or anything like that yet. Lots and Lots of work in the spring with the backflows...mostly because of people not winterizing correctly.

    Realize that there are many ways to setup a irrigation system...there are bad ways, and good ways. Be a goody.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  3. shooterm

    shooterm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 463

    Just stick to the townhomes the old people buy. You dont need any reason to where and why it get placed but someone will convince the homeowner its a investment. Smoke two bowls and have at it!
  4. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,060

    The chance of anything you mentioned getting into the system is slim to none. The reason for backflow prevention is because all water has bacteria in it.When cold an moving , this bacteria is dormant and does no harm. When water sits as in a pipe the bacteria becomes active. Kinda the same reason people get sick after swimming in a quarry in August.
  5. Landscape dawg

    Landscape dawg LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    wrong. BF are used to protect the water supply against back siphonage or back pressure. Prevents toxins from entering the public water supply in case of a line breakage or such.
  6. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,060

    And what would those toxins be?
  7. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,757

    Backflow is a real danger. My general liability excludes any and all work on irragation systems. It is the only task specifically not covered. If you are going to perform this work, make sure you have coverage. One child with a belly ache that can be traced back to the irragation system will ruin you.
  8. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    I cannot comment on the OP state's regs but here in Texas if all you have is a blackflow testing license and you under take ANY sort of irrigation repair from a simple head replacement, attempt to sell a repair or modification or even re-program a system with out the requisite licensing = fines starting at $2,500.00 with a zero appellate process.

    Marketed properly irrigation services can be quite profitable, not only as a stand alone service but as an add on as well. Currently either me or my tech is billed out at $65.00/hr which is quite a bit lower than normal, parts are billed at fill retail rate and we are currently back logged with work for the foreseeable future.

    Bohiaa has the right idea, once you become somewhat adept at irrigation this knowledge is worthless unless you know your host plants/turfgrass and their respective watering requirements. The bulk of my repair work is following up on client complaints wherein they hired a new/unskilled irrigator and the install was botched due to incorrect hydro-zoning.

    As a final note for irrigation as a valuable add-on service: I maintain a 78 unit condo complex, we are starting out third year under contract with them and currently have begun an extensive up-dating of their irrigation system. Billed at T&M we have over 30 hours right now with perhaps as much more in the next two months. For you math whizzes that's an additional $3,600.00 above and beyond the $1,800 per month I already receive not including parts.

    Why give that money to someone else?

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