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The blight of our industry

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by SprinklerGuy, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Our industry is much like the lawn care industry in such that there are many folks who "jump" into the business w/ nary a clue.....the lawn jockeys call the lowballers...I call the sprinkler version idiots....

    Today I went to a home that the h/o had a sprinkler guy tackling a problem for 3 weeks now....the yard is toast..literally. He finally called me out of the blue and I went to see him...

    One zone not working.....obvious leak under sidewalk after 5 minutes of it running...you could tell the valve was pumping...I always turn it on manually then shut the ball valve slowly on the pvb to "listen".....it was obviously running full throttle....

    the other guy had dug up every head....capped them off or turned the radius screw all the way down.....good start, but why the frig didn't he find the broken riser at the base of the 20 year old cottonwood....because it was 15 feet from the area the leak surfaced? Perhaps...

    His recommendation was to lay landscape fabric over the500 square feet of turf and rock it....oh yeah, did I mention that is his other business? Rockwork...hmmmmmm

    I found the leak in 10 minutes, replaced all the heads and had them up and running for under $150. He had also replaced every 1800 head in the rest of the yard with Orbit's version of the PGJ/PGM.....for better efficiencey he said.

    He had the largest nozzle in all of them.....and the spray diffused almost all the way to keep them under 16 feet...idiot. At the cost of approximately 600 bucks he messed there system up really good.....they are trying to get their money back from him....I stay out of that part.

    My point:

    This is why we aren't respected as much by some folks...because the lack of regulation of our industry keeps these people in business.....

    Shame eh?

    **end rant**
  2. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 829

    nobody's going to start a slow clap?
  3. bobw

    bobw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    This makes us no better or worse than any other kind of service company. No matter what business, there will always be idiots. Soon as money is involved, there will be people trying to make a fast buck.
  4. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,930


    Regulation(Ca requires you to have a contractor liscense to do any work contracting with a value of $500 or more) doesn't mean diddly squat if it isn't enforced. In 25 years in the trade, I've only been asked for my contractor card 1 time and that was when I was working on my own property here in Manteca. Rarely am i asked for my contractor card by potential clients.(just like a d.l. minus your photo and description)

    The problem, just like local police, the inspectors are busy either filling out paper work or running from one place to another.

    I thought CO did have a license requirement. Isn't it enforced?

    Messages: 18,668

    Texas has a Liscensing requirement but the irrigators need to file complaints and encourage homeowners to do so as well.

    Every industry has their parasites but the cream rises to the top. I'm dealing with a commercial construction builder who has dealt with lowballers and green card hispanics to make a lot of money. At HIS house he wants my knowledge and skill and he knows he is going to pay for it.
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    I know one company locally that blows and goes as quickly as possible on most projects EXCEPT when they're working installs in "money areas" because those people have attorneys on retainer if they screw up.
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,219

    I don't believe CO has a contractor licensing requirement. If so, myself and many others I know are not in compliance. Maybe my incorporation makes it so, not sure.

    They do have cross connection licensing and inspecting, but very minimal enforcement. I've never heard of inspectors going house to house checking if there were permits pulled and inspections done at time of backflow install. Hell I'll admit it, when I was still installing, I would rarely pull a permit. I have the license, but without the proper follow up and enforcements, it isn't worth the hassle. And most companies here don't pull permits. Same reasoning as mine. There are also companies that don't have the license.

    Testing for the license was a joke.

    Example - there would be a question such as "backflow is...." and then answers of a, b, c. And then we could just look it up in the glossary of out plumbing codes book that we could use, and match it up. I finised my test in 30-40 minutes and that was after rechecking all the answers a couple times
  8. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,219

    I hear ya Tony - went to one job week before last that someone else worked on. Spray/fert company from what I'm told. Three of four heads on one zone not working well. They were replaced with KRain rotors for some reason to fix the problem. We ended up re-routing 40' of pipe due to tree roots choking the pipe. rerouted another zone in back due to the same thing. I wouldn't go out and spray and fert since I don't know what I'm doing. They need to stay out of what I do as well.

    Now, everybody makes mistakes (except me and Tony :) ) but I'm not going to take someones money trying to fix something I have no clue about. If I can't fix something, I'll recommend someone else. and I have when I had a difficult time tracking some wires on a commercial project years ago. Two sets of wires, one had been cut and abandoned and somehow was still sending me on a goose chase.
  9. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,930

    But the problem is some contractors try to be the "Jack of all trades" which even then can be a problem since like in this example, even though this is the realm of my c-27 license, I can pour a new sidewalk, as long as it is in the landscape design even though it should be a cement contractor that does the work.
  10. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Didn't realize Massengill was a bad word Mr. Donovan.....nonetheless I apologize and rub the hands you slapped (again) with ice....

    I realize that licensing doesn't solve problems, I am from Arizona and still a holder of a Commercial/Residential Contractor's license and they have the same problems we do here....I'm sure it runs rampant everywhere.

    Do you think plumbers have this problem? HVAC guys?

    I'm guessing no.....

    another one today....contractor came to replace the backflow....had to leave to go get one.....had to leave again to get a torch......then when he came back...he couldn't finish.....called the client and told her the pipes wouldn't heat up because it was windy? Huh?

    She called me today, I happened to be in the neighborhood....I soldered his fittings, tested and gone in 20 minutes flat.....

    He isn't getting paid the $300 he was going to charge her.....but I did get $75 of it....

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