Lots of spring work

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Green Sweep, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Pittsburgh, PA
    Messages: 322

    Cable companies (mainly Verizon) have subcontractors all over Pittsburgh installing new fiber optic lines, or FIOS in neighborhoods. It started last summer & is continuing even today - we have about 5 inches of snow on the ground & I saw a few crews out yesterday using Ditch Witch directional drills. I have also seen these guys using a 410 or Vermeer's equivalent. We are currently averaging about 2 to 3 calls per day from concerned sprinkler customers. I've been telling them that we will address it in the spring. Most of the damage has been minor - simply repairing lateral PVC pipe breaks. I've had a few occasions where laterals were pulled out of the ground & out of fittings. I'm a little concerned because of the small window to get the startups done under normal circumstances. Add all of these repairs, And it will be an interesting spring.
    Are they tearing systems up anywhere else out there?

  2. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,445

    Here in Wilson, NC the city is installing "its own" fiber optic network by installer Quanta Services. Its a city owned system offering phone internet and tv. (All the private companys like time warner and embarq are furious) we're one of the only cities to my knowledge to offer public services on these ends.

    Ive had alot of calls as well, but these guys are using missles and hand digging all entry trenches. I havent see much damage so far. Im sure we'll see in the spring whats the end result.

    Ive had some customers so concerned that with systems being winterized, they paid me to come out and turn it back on just to check for breaks and turn it right back off. $$$

  3. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Pittsburgh, PA
    Messages: 322

    Hey, that company was here last summer. I heard that they got the boot because of illegals - not a fact, only what I heard. Quanta actually did a really nice job. In some really ritzy neighborhoods, they actually had a landscaper/ irrigation guy on staff & had him make the repairs right on the spot. I was asked by some of my customers to check the work and he did a nice job. It seems that the subs now doing the work here are a lot sloppier.
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,148

    Those guys can do some serious damage..& most don't cop to it..or, in their defense,
    notice it if the system is shut down or has a master valve.
  5. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Pittsburgh, PA
    Messages: 322

    Agreed. That is why I get the homeowner to take a picture while I have it dug up. Seeing a 1" PVC pipe severed with an orange conduit running perpendicular to it is a dead giveaway. Your right, sometimes the subs won't know that they broke something (Although I can always feel when I'm pulling through a pipe with the 410). However, with a picture of the damage as evidence, these cable companies are more prone to reimburse the homewner for the repairs.
  6. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,833

    When Im pulling thru an area I know there is pipe I always do it throttle wide open , better to cut right thru then to drag and have to go diggingfor the other end.
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,214

    We did two repairs in November for repairs due to cable or phone companies. Or better yet, their subcontractors. The funny one, was my tech showed up to blow out the system, and he was turned away because the contractor had hit the gas line. A week later when he returned to blow it out, no water or air came out of the heads. But it sure came out of the trench. So we repaired a couple weeks later and blew out again. they swore that they didn't hit the sprinkler system. $400+ repair, but took a while to get paid.

    We usually get 5-10 of these a year. Some are small jobs, some much larger.
  8. Green Sweep

    Green Sweep LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Pittsburgh, PA
    Messages: 322

    Did you bill the subcontractor directly? If I did that around here, I would never see the money. I put that on the homeowner's shoulders. I KNOW they will pay me - let them fight for the money.
  9. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,833

    exactly , our policy is " we do not do any third party billing" the customer is responsible to pay us , we worked for them.
  10. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    We just finished up a directional bore repair....

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