no backflow - new clients

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by zman9119, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. zman9119

    zman9119 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Hope everyone has had a great week so far! :hammerhead:

    We are looking at picking up a few new clients that have had irrigation systems installed within the last 5 years. These system were put in by 'contractors' that did not really care for pulling permits \ following town laws. How do you deal with a client(s) that you want to provide service for, but are not up to date legally (backflows in place, tested, etc.)? I would like to pick up all of these clients, but not scare them with prices that it would take to get their systems up-to-date legally. I also do not want to pick up these clients and have it come back legally on us as the current irrigation contractor for not following basic rules.


  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,374

    You don't really want to 'carry' a client that doesn't have any backflow protection on their sprinkler system. Once you take any of their money, you assume some or all of the responsibility for its condition, including the backflow, or lack thereof.
  3. Gazerbeam72

    Gazerbeam72 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Where are you located in Illinois? Peoria area?
  4. zman9119

    zman9119 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 852

    Well, I was south of Peoria (Springfield area) until last week, and now I'm living \ working up north (Chicago area) now.

    Where are you located?

  5. aquamtic

    aquamtic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    When our techs see a existing system that has no backflow in place, they will document on the workorder that we suggest that they install one per state plumbing codes and what the cost will be. They then sign at the bottom.
    We have now documented and can be used that we did our part as professionals and can use it if if comes back at us.

    In certain situation we we have a commercial client where we see major hazard for cross connection and backflow such as last year at a Funeral Home that refused had installed a double check instead of an RPZ on there own, We contacted the water authority and they took care of it.

    This is not bagging anyone out, just savings lives
  6. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    "The life you save may be your own..."
    Maybe they were just looking to increase market share. :rolleyes:
  7. RHayden

    RHayden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    Politely explain to the client what an rpz is and why it is required. Emphasize the potential consequences of what not having a properly installed rpz could lead to.

    If they do not want to update their systems after your conversation then you certainly do not want any part of providing service.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,374

    Check your state laws. To lean on such a document (or any document) as protection may be foolhardy. Many states have banned 'hold-harmless' agreements between contractors and homeowners, as being against the public interest.

    When it comes to backflow, the safest course of action is "comply, or good-bye"
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I still have a site without BF protection on a system put in about four years ago. I've thought about refusing to work on it until it's brought up to code but then again, I'd probably get fired. :cry:

    I've done this in the past and suffered no repercussions though. For football practices we went through a rash of "water horses" for the players that were just connected to QCV lines that were on non-potable irrigation water. I started refusing to repair lines to these and eventually our plumbers had to go out and run domestic water to them.

    I completed a work order just yesterday of old manual zones around some buildings at another site. I indicated that they were on domestic service and did not meet lawful requirements. I'm sure nothing will be done either. I know of at least ten other areas on different sites that are this way also.
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,374

    There is a very real difference between a contractor and an employee. The employee gets to shift blame up the ladder. The contractor does not.

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