Oh this is going to hurt

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    With about 200+ systems already turn on by us, and a couple hundred more already screaming that it will be 2-3 weeks before we get there, we get a serious cold snap. I can here the bonnets and poppets already breaking.

    What the hell can we do? It has been a seriously hot dry spring already, and people are anxious to turn on the systems, but many don't understand how to drain it. Then this crap moves in, and scares the heck out of me. I'm not so worried about the system breaking some parts, it's the flooding of the basement because it froze, broke, then thawed and dumped water out all day while they are at work.

    Either last year or the year before, all 4 of my suppliers, and Home Depot and Lowes, were out of bonnet and poppet kits late in the spring due to another cold snap. One of my customers that works at Lowes called me to see if they could buy some from me. Told them no, but was glad that I buy at least 60+ every spring.
  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Do you guys in cold areas use any type of "unwarranty" in writing if you turn a system on and then a cold snap comes in?

    Sounds like you have a corner on the market in your area and could make some serious money. :)
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    I had thought about a "disclaimer" of some kind, that they would have to sign if we turned on the system bofore a certain date, such as may 15th. It would have to explain the effects of freezing temps and water, and release us from any liability. But, once again, something I didn't put together. I'm too busy in the winter to do these things. :)
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

  5. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 829

    I have decided the residential sprinkler business is impossible to keep up with...
    -had more than a couple 12+ hour days last week (including sunday) trying to pick up as many new customers as we can.
    -I lose some because we can't fit everybody in within a week...

    but what am I going to do? I can't hire another couple bodies that would work full time for a month until the rush is over....

    growing pains...

    luckily we are getting a cold/rainy streak (but not freezing luckily) so that the phone is stopping while we try to catch up on the calls from the 80 degree weather we had a week ago
  6. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Dana- I have yet to figure that out to. The bottom line is you can't do a thing about it. I let people know that it can still get cold and they have to be aware of it. I feel by turning on these systems, there is no implied warranty that damaged won't occur. Hell, a toilet can break while someones at work causing major problems too.

    I think I'll better get off my butt and buy some backflow parts now!
  7. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,794

    Put yourself in control , not the customer. I send out postcards in feburary telling the customers the day date and 3 hour window I will be there to start up the system . It makes for a very tight and profitable route. Small repairs are handled at this time . anything time consuming is rescheduled . New customers are squeezed in as time allows .
  8. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Dana has a corner on the market???? I guess I better pack it up and give up...I will never make it here.... *sigh*

    I am now booked until Friday of next week....and the phone keeps ringing....glad I didn't run my ad this year...!

    I saw an invoice from last year and another company that said "systems turned on prior to June 1st have no warranty against freezing"
  9. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    I'm surprised that anybody would warranty a turn-on from freezing.

    I won't guarantee any sprinkler work from freezing. I remember a snowstorm on June 10th, 1975! Around 2". Not sure of the temperature that day thou.
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Just an observation because of all the BF parts he stockpiled.

    This is what I was wondering if anyone did.

    Without something in writing then what recourse does one have if a customer insists that the damage was done after turn-on and wants you to warranty it? Many people are looking for scapegoats all the time.

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