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PVC Pipe Connectors or Poly Pipe and clamps

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jbender, May 7, 2008.

  1. jbender

    jbender LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I have two quotes from two installers one for $4,200 and one for $3,100 - Big difference. The $3,100 uses Hunter equipment with the 1" diameter PVC pipe with the poly pipe, clamps, and compression fitting.

    The second quote for $4,200 the installer uses Rain Bird equipment. He uses 1" diameter PVC pipe and uses PVC connectors and PVC cement. He said he will NOT use poly pipe, clamps, and compression fitting.

    I want to know is there a big difference between the two quotes besides money? Does it matter if I go with the cheaper quote since they use poly pipe, clamps, and compression fitting? Since the first quote is a lot more, it looks like the poly pipe, clamps, and compression fitting is a bad thing, is it?

  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,100

    Poly/pvc is not the big deal; it all works when done by a professional. The point is:
    who are the contractors? Are they offering a warranty? Service? Was there a design?,
    I doubt it, design/build is big these days which makes it hard to decide what quality/crap
    gear is going to be installed & what the spacing, controller, backflow is going to be.
    I'd ask for references from both contractors that are AT LEAST three years old, that
    should weed out the weak ones. Don't rush into this,or you'll be calling
    other pros on this forum if it fails and we are not kind about re-dos.:)
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,187

    If done properly, either one will be fine. Don't let the one guy make you think you're getting a crap system if you go with poly. Most systems here are poly. Easier to repair, especially if it isn't drained properly.

    Hunter/Rainbird is tomAto/tomato to me. Both are good products. Good product warranty on both.
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Installation speed on poly is usually a good deal faster, hence lower labor charges and a lower bidding price.
  5. mudter

    mudter LawnSite Member
    from texas
    Messages: 15

    "I want to know is there a big difference between the two quotes besides money?" is what you asked. My big question is what are you getting for the money. If the difference is between pvc or poly then no there is not a big difference other than the money. How many zones, spray heads, is one using drip and the other is not? What is the difference in the design? These are the type of questions that will show the difference if there are any.
  6. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,100

    "Long after the price is forgotten, the quality will be remembered."
  7. jbender

    jbender LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    The contractors - the contractor with the lowest price is Allen Irrigation. They have a perfect record with the Better Business Bureau or so the salesman says, I need to look it up. The warranty is five years on the Hunter products, one year on Febco products, and one year on labor. He said the price also includes one spring start up and one fall close down.

    The system included:
    10 - I-20 Ultra Turf Rotors
    14 - Pro-Series 4" Turf Sprays
    4 - PGV 1" Control Valves
    1 - Febco RP 1" Backflow Preventer
    1 - Hunter Pro-C 6 Station Controller
    1 - Hunter Wireless Rain-Clik Rain Sensor

    Far as zones I'm not sure about this, even though, above it says a 6 station controller but I thought he said 4 zones, it's not written on the proposal.

    The other one, the highest price $4,200, says it will have 6 zones. The proposal says, layout and specifications will be provided by custom irrigation. It says it will be installed with 1" pvc pipe for durable operation and long life. Doesn't give me anymore far as what sprinklers will be installed etc. All I know he uses Rain Bird which has a 3 year warranty.

    The first one has more detail which is good of course. What do you guys think about the first quote, and what he's offering? Far as design he drew a picture on a piece of paper. The second one no design. I'm going to call a few other places before making a decision. I just need to know what is good and how all this works, so I can make the right choice.

  8. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,187

    He has 4 valves - this equals four zones. The first one sounds good, but not sure why the difference in 4 zones and 6 zones. The 4 zoner could be "stretching" the zones with too many heads for supplied pressure and GPM, or spacing heads too far apart. The second could be over designing (which isn't bad) but that also costs more money. You'll never use the warranty on Febco. 3 year Rainbird, 5 year Hunter. You're still going to pay for labor, most likely after the first year. And if either one isn't the contractor servicing it, another contractor might not honor the warranty.

    Ask both companies about their service department or technicians. Do they have one? Response time? Rates?
  9. lehrjetmx

    lehrjetmx LawnSite Member
    from Jersey
    Messages: 107

    I would say from the facts on the screen it looks like the lower proposal pretty much has it all laided out for you just like what we do. This in itself has helped us close on deals because everything is on the table nothing hidden. No matter if it has been more or less but the you the customer can see everything in black in white. Again just my two cents.
  10. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    As a homeowner who bought one system from an installation company, and then built my own when I moved, I have some advice for you.

    Get yourself a little more familiar with how this stuff works. Look at both the Hunter and RainBird websites and follow their rudimentary step-by-step design suggestions. I am NOT suggesting you do it yourself. Far from it. It is a huge investment in time, equipment and education to do it right. I did it because I had over an acre to irrigate. Anything smaller, and I probably would have hired someone again. But, by knowing a little about what's going on, you will be much better prepared to negotiate for your system. For instance, the Hunter quote seems well thought out, but the fact that the other company is proposing 6 zones instead of 4 means that one is over-building or one us under-building. You need to know the difference between rotors and sprays. Rotors cover larger areas, sprays cover smaller areas. The second bid may have done a better job of "eye-balling" the need for smaller spray zones. Did either check your water pressure? It's difficult to begin to design a system until you know the pressure and delivery. That would be somewhat negated if you're in a cookie cutter subdivision where systems are being installed all over the place. In that case, they may already have a good handle on what they have available to work with.

    The more you know, the better your system will work --- regardless of who puts it in.

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