Repair and Maintenance of Hunter System

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Jeremy1592, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Jeremy1592

    Jeremy1592 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    I have finally, after 4 years of begging, gotten a commercial property owner to allow me to service the irrigation system. I have maintained everything on the property except the irrigation for 6 seasons now. I have a general knowledge of irrigation systems, but I'm no expert.

    Here is what I know:

    * I estimate there are 25 zones with 8 to 12 heads per zone
    * I know for sure, at this point, there are 17 heads which needs to be replaced
    * I know the controller is messed up. The system is supposed to run early morning, but it currently fires around 1PM.

    Here what I need to know:

    * What and how should I charge to change heads?
    * What and how should I charge to manually fire the system to see if any other heads are broken and to realign any heads needing it?
    * Should I set the system to water a shorter time but twice a day?

    I am in Southeast Kansas (Pittsburg) where the summers get hot (100+) and I have typically lost grass in the summers.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and experience!

    Messages: 18,668

    Jeremy what is the going service rate in your area? Time and materials is the way I'd go. As for programming the system a lot needs to be determined. What is your rate of application?, soil type?, plant type?, Will you adjust the system several times over the summer and fall as needed? I've barely scratched the surface on what you need to consider in programming the controller and maintaining the system.

    KSU extension is your best bet for ET information and such.
  3. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,156

    This number should be based on your overhead, your labor costs and your necessary profit margin

    See the answer above... but I will add that it is typically part of our commercial maintenance contracts that weekly irrigation inspection is included in the contract price. Guys who just do irrigation charge to check the system

    Ideally, yes. However not knowing any of the real specifics of the site or the system its hard to say.

    What you need to do first and foremost is identify the make and model of the controller and get your hands on an owners manual and read it front to back.... twice if necessary. You also need to identify all of the station locations and make yourself a controller chart so that you know where every station is. I don't want to sound like a jerk but it sounds like you may be in a little over your head on this one. I'm sure plenty of others will chime in and give you some guidance as well.
  4. Dripit good

    Dripit good LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,081

    I'm confused as to why you would beg a client to do something you have little to no knowledge of doing for him?

    I'm ok with people trying and learning new things, but over promising and under-delivering will not be in your best interest.

    Good luck, you might need it.
  5. Stuttering Stan

    Stuttering Stan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    After reading your post, I'd wisely recommend that you contact a reputable, established irrigation company and hand this site to them. Look over their shoulder, ask questions, and learn. You may be getting in over your head although your intentions are good. The irrigation business is a different beast from the lawn maintenance business.
  6. mrsteve

    mrsteve LawnSite Member
    Messages: 158

    There is quite a bit more to know, and everybody has to start somewhere. I'd be careful about charging more than your present knowledge allows. Most people do not want to pay you to learn on their dime. I for one never mind paying for a job done well. I do resent paying for a crap job. I believe most of the people on this forum are very knowledgeable and at the same time protective of the Irrigation industry. If you have the desire to learn the trade and do it correctly there are plenty of resources to guide you along.
  7. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,156

    well... yeah.... I didn't have the time to sit here and write out a step by step guide for the guy.
  8. mrsteve

    mrsteve LawnSite Member
    Messages: 158

    Nor should you. I felt as though the responses to his post were mostly kind. He doesn't need to get in over his head, or represent himself as something he's not to the customer.

    Messages: 18,668

  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    You do sound like a jerk, but one that I agree with ..... this time. :waving:

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