Official 2006 sprinkler winterizing thread!

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by BSME, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,174

    As much as I would like to buy one, I can't find a good decent used one for a reasonable price out west here. I have 2 reserved for 4 weeks each, but we pick them up a week apart, giving us a 5 week rental. But we usually rent one a lttle longer anyhow.

    I need some input. This would work better if I owned one, but I can still do it with a used one, just a little more of a pain - time wise and further costs. My best customer is a landscape company that I do most of their service work for, including about 75-100 winterizations of theirs. They have some high end clients that go out of state to warmer cities for the winter, so thay are not around to water the plants, trees, grass, that they have just spent lots of money on. Even in winter we can have very warm, dry spells reaching into the 70's in January or February. We have talked about starting up the systems, soaking everything, and winterizing again - for a good price. Now what do you think a good price would be? Most these systems are 8-12 zones, we would probably start them up early in the morning, let them run through once or twice, and come back, shut down and blow it out again all in the same day. Maybe do this 2-4 times during the winter. We definitely need to make money on it, but we also want to be fair to these good customers.

    We could only do a handful each day we do this, due to cold nights and limited light. I was thinking somewhere between $150-$200. This would save on a lot of the winter kill for grass and plants, thus saving money in the spring for re-planting and re-sodding areas. Any ideas would be appreciated.
  2. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    If you were pricing them as an actual spring turn-on, and then a winterization, where would you be? If the route isn't bad, your so busy during that time of year you probably can't get it scheduled anyway........right? I would think you could justify doing it for the $150. That's $75 for each trip by the house.........If you could do 4, that's 8 stops and would beat the crap out of your normal January production. Are these 1" mains? 20gpm or less systems? You might try and buy a truck mount compressor in the 20+cfm range. Its slower blowing than with a tow behind, but you could probably pay for it with 4-6 winter customers if you did 3 or 4 trips.
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Our winterizing rig consists of two truck mounted compressors (aroudn 20 cfm each) running in tandem.

    On residential stuff, its nice and quick.

    It does take a while on commercial stuff, and we don't even attempt some of the really big stuff.
  4. kozmo

    kozmo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    Personally We own 1 compressor IR 185 and we rent 4 other units also 185s. These good for most residential as well as most commercials we do. The 185 lets us blow out 4-6 zones at a time and owning 1 lets start early and finish late with out renting late we always stagger our rentals (550/month).I would be a little concerned using a compressor at only 20 cfm i thought min. should be 60 cfm.I just recently seen a unit from central supply truck mount that is 70 cfm I'm curious if anybody has used them (rotair vrk200-ae) it has a25 hp Kohler engine. It wouldn't be as fast as 185 but no trailer would be awesome.
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,051

    If you can blow out six zones with a 185, then one zone with a 30 would follow. Given patience, and a decent size of air tank, you can do a fairly large system with a smaller compressor. It's a matter of physics, and the surface tension between air and water. Move the air, and the water goes with it. The water has no choice in the matter.

    In fact, if a large system has a main line, it is possible to turn the main line into the air tank, once it's been blown out, and greatly increase the abilities of a smaller compressor. Of course, lots of time (that might be spent making money somewhere else) will be spent twiddling your thumbs, while a dinky compressor builds up air pressure.
  6. Mad Estonian

    Mad Estonian LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Forgive me for the plug, but my mom works for a company who seem to be at the top of the industry for vehicle mounted air compressors (not that I'm an expert on the subject, and I'm sure their competition would be happy to dispute that). Their name is VMAC, and their site is Their products range from 60 to 140 cfm, and I know they have dealers all across the US and Canada. Can't say as I've used one though, or could afford one at this point (hey, maybe they'll just give me one for this, right?), but maybe if I go fullbore irrigation at some point... I just know that I'd much rather not have to tow anything behind me.
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,051

    Hey, that plug I can like. Especially the underhood compressor ~ assuming no one wrecks the truck, that is.
  8. keith_480231

    keith_480231 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    Anyone in Michigan got average prices??? Thinking somewhere in the neighborhood of $45. What do you all think???
  9. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 829

    yea that's about average... average because grass cutters and weekend warriors are doing it for $30 and the bigger companies are at about $60 to start
  10. cush

    cush LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    A picture of my setup the green monster has about had it I hope to pick up a new 185 next week.


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