'What were they thinking?' Spring Version

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by greenworldh20, Apr 22, 2004.

  1. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    here is a beauty...homeowner has work done to front of home (soil, seed, paver walkway, re-designing of planting beds). they want a price to repair what landscape contractor has damaged. they also want to know how much it will cost to repair the rest of system that has not been turned on for years. this couple just purchased the home and are relatively young....so i figured that they do not know what things cost...service charges for checking out system, not for free....

    well, i arrive to home and this is the valve box. what a work of art.

    problem valve box 1.jpg
  2. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    gee, can we say 'neglect'. i figured that the old homeowner did not care for the irrigation system. i told the new homeowners that to check system was time and materials. they stated that they just wanted a 'ballpark estimate' to get the system running. i said if you want an estimate, i will estimate a new system since this one was installed in 1985.

    well, long story short, i left them an estimate for new system. not that i do not like time and materials work. i felt their money would be better spent on a new system.


    problem valve box 2.jpg
  3. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    notice that the blow out valve is way below the (illegal in rockland county) avb backflow device...see how the copper water service line comes out of the home and elbows up and then goes down into pvc...how are you supposed to get the water out of that elbow???

    the pvc looked relatively new, so maybe it has been replaced a few times...

    look at those valves...how many times have they been changed??? they are so many different colored irritrol valves...no weather proof wire splices, old valve parts sitting in the 'valve' box...geesh, can you imagine the diaster that is awaiting someone if they accidently touch this???

  4. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    Hey, nice rock!
  5. James234

    James234 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 59

    This is just a feeling on my part, but I bet they don't hire you.
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,174

    Hate to say it, but I see a lot of similar ones here in C. Springs. Older parts of town, husband may have put it in, different valves. I think the AVB was standard way back in the day. It does not meet codes here unless there is one for every zone valve on the system. And it must be installed after the valves, not before.

    They could've put a copper ell that has a small cap that unscrews to drain it. I install these quite often when this comes up. Also there appears to be no manifold drain. I wouldve told them about $400 to $500 to install a PVB, rebuild the whole manifold with new valves, drain before the PVB and copper into the box. Anything else out in the field would've been extra. You can rip out what's there and should be able to do above mentioned work in 2 hours. I did it last week for a home being sold. But it had the anti-siphon RB valves that should be above ground (these were below and he wondered why there was always water in the box). There should be no digging as the valve box is fairly open and roomy to work in.

    Guys, not every system is going to meet ours or industry standards. And they don't all need to be torn out and new ones put in. You can make improvements and get the systems working fairly well and still make good money.
  7. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Good points. Thats exactly where's I'd start, Dana. Get the valve manifold/backflow/wiring up to par and then see how the sprinkler heads cover/perform. The homeowner may then decide to replace/redesign the rest of the system
  8. Crowl-Irrigation

    Crowl-Irrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I also agree. It sucks to work on crap systems like this but if you can get them up and running then you can sell them on adding or modifying the system later.
  9. h2o2gunr

    h2o2gunr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    over the years ive decided since we have more work than we can handle that its not worth it to repair something that far gone. not because it cant be fixed but because it may cost more than a new one installed.

    i do commercial heavy repairs. yesterday did a 7 zone entry not winterized or turned on for 3 years. total parts 1 inch rpz, 26 1804 sprays, 1 master valve, 2 rotors. also had to uncluster f the wires that had been cut and hastily repaired by ???? 18 hours labor. thats approx $2000 of a bill it works great now. i violated my 50% rule. if half dont work all gets replaced.

    i have had to many homeowners i explaned we can fix the whatever and see what happens then when we discover the rest is junk they dont pay the bill. its a lot of hassle filing liens.
  10. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    we got the job...just to replace the front pipes and heads...the area that the landscape contractor disturbed.

    they opted to keep the same valve box and valves...we will activate system after we install new lines and heads and see what works.


    i agree with dana mac...you can make great money on systems that are not up to snuff, even when you are done working on them.

    just give the client want he/she wants.


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