Is blowout important?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by kevinheap, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. kevinheap

    kevinheap LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I have not been blowing out my system but I did have a valve go bad for some reason a couple years ago. How important are blowouts in Colorado? Obviously you are shutdown for the winter after the blowout but there are alot of dry spells in the winter I would like to be able to water.

    Hope you guys don't mind a post from an amateur. I am a window cleaner by trade and also work at the local grocery store.

    Also: Is five hours to find and replace a bad valve way out of line. I hate to complain because I work with the public too and I don't want to be a pain. Here is the case:

    I had tried to fix the valves by swapping top myself but could not find the problem, I had one station always on. They saw a valve with a little leak so they tried to fix that and it was not the problem so they dug it out and replace one or two valves, one had a crack in the base. Is 5 hrs at $65 per hour way out of line for two guys for this job. The guy was a little new at the work and they did not have a screw gun to speed things up or any spare screws or diaphrams. I will probably not complain but this does seem a little high doesnt it. They did have to dig down a good foot to get to the valves.

    Messages: 18,668

    Can't speak for blowout but if they knew what they were doing 65 for two guys seems really good. It would cost twice that with me and one guy. Of course I like to think my years of experience make it worth every penny.:)
  3. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    I can dig and replace a valve in less than 1 hr.....if valves are side by side, both can be done in 1 hr.... I charge $100 per 1" valve installed...
  4. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,267

    We are about 75% mas barring anything out of the norm. But then again we only replace maybe 25-30 valves a year where London may replace a couple a week.
  5. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Doesn't that $300 plus repair bill answer the question you originally posed? How do you think the valve got cracked? I am pretty sure that the frost line pretty much anywhere in CO is 18 - 24" or deeper. A valve buried 12" deep doesn't stand a chance of surviving one of your winters without seeing freezing temperatures, and if it has water in it, its history.
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,209

    5 hours to change out a valve? Yeah you got screwed. Sorry but that guy does not know what he's doing.

    Yes blow outs are important in Colorado. If not, I wouldn't have a 2-4 week waiting list from April 1st to July 1st to fix freeze damage. Yes, get it blown out. You'll find a range of $25 to about $75. Don't go with the low guys, they are typically weekend warriors that won't be around in the spring to fix what they screwed up.
  7. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Gotta agree 5 hours to change a valve is way too much time.

    Were the 2 guys at your house for 2.5 hours each for a total of 5 manhours?


    Were the 2 guys at your house for 5 hours each for a total of 10 manhours?

    Either way its not a 2 man job.

    You may also have auto drains installed on your system- explaining why you may have not had line and/or head breaks in the past. These drains will go bad eventually. Your better off blowing out the system and using a hose to water in the winter. Personally, I have never watered my lawn in the winter
  8. kevinheap

    kevinheap LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks for all the help folks. I really appreciate your input and will have the blowout done just to be safe.
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    If it were CalTrans, it would be a 5 man job. :laugh:
  10. kevinheap

    kevinheap LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    It was a total of 10 man hours but I expect to get billed for 5 hrs at 65 per hour to total 325 dollars for labor alone, valves should be two @ 25 and 1 solenoid at the going rate for solenoids.

    Shouldnt a decent irrigation co at least be using screw guns on the irritrol valves with 8 screws and have some extra screws around. True they started with one leaking valve with a dished out screw they needed vise grips for but it seems they were unprepared and the one guy did say he was new to this.

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