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Olga17

New Member

1

Saturday, September 23rd 2017, 2:27pm

Design, drawings and proposals

I have a few questions regarding irrigation systems, as I know nothing about them. I will post each of them individually. Here is the background:

We inherited a sprinkler system 7 years ago, when we bought a house built in 1972 in Portland, OR. Supposedly (according to the person who maintained it but didn’t install it for the prior owner) the system was installed in parts over time, as it has both galvanized steel and PVC pipes. A few heads were replaced, some were shut down during the past few years. The system is functional but some of the heads no longer go down, some spray erratically and water the side walk and fences, etc. The maintenance guy tells us that "removing a sprinkler head is a major challenge; put a wrench to it and the pipe below may crack. One day soon you either see your water bill going high up or a muddy sink hole in your garden.“. The current system has 6 zones, an Orbit controller, a mixture of head types and 3 valve boxes. The house is on a slope so the ground is relatively flat in the front and back but sloping on the 2 sides. We have grass on all sides and some flower/bush areas.

I asked for proposals from the current maintenance guy and 2 more companies in this business and asked them for their professional opinion about potentially “upgrading" the existing system. All 3 only wanted to bid only on a new system, stating that probably I would end up paying almost the same for upgrading the old system with no guarantee for its reliability.
I got the 3 proposals, all of them quoted for a much higher price than expected and with contradicting recommendations and comments, which really confused me. I have no idea whom I can trust (or not).

I have checked a few websites about design and installation of irrigation systems. Lowes, Hunter, Popular Mechanics and the incredibly helpful Irrigation Tutorials website all talk about design by taking measurements, doing calculations, preparing drawings, etc. It looks quite scientific. All 3 proposals are about half - 1.5 page lists, some with more details than others but none shows any specifics about my lot and does not include any drawings. E.g. they mention: “six Rain Bird DFV100 electronic control valves in locations to be determined at installation”, "Hunter Pro Spray PRS40 sprinkler heads with MP Rotator nozzles for all of the zones” (without showing the number of of heads). Is this customary for professional proposals? What should one expect that a professional proposal include?

Thanks in advance.

BackflowInspector

Supreme Member

Posts: 477

Location: Houston, Texas

2

Wednesday, October 4th 2017, 11:11pm

I would expect this to be the common practice. A design, measurements, calculations all take time. Time is Money. You don't expect to pay for a sprinkler estimate, so you will usually get a bid with general information. Number of zones, estimated materials, brand names preferred by the contractor are types of information you would expect to get. I would ask how long they have been installing irrigation or how many systems they have installed.

But, you can give one of the 3 the job, contingent on your approval of the plan. You should never give more than 30 to 50 percent to start the job on the first day of construction when you see the crew on site. No crew on site no down payment on the job.

Final payment is usually expected upon completion of the job, closing of permits, and your approval. If there are no permits, Make sure the contractor gets the backflow preventer tested and you get a copy of the report before you make final payment.

Also check to see if your contractors are required to have a license to install, sell, or design irrigation in your area. In Texas we are required to have Irrigation LIcenses.

You Generally don't want a jack of all trades or your Gardener doing your irrigation system. It is highly specialized. NO, it is not rocket science.

But, it is HIGHLY SPECIALIZED!!!

It will have a lasting impact on your water quality, water bill, landscaping, and hardscaping for the life of your house.

Good Luck
:thumbup: :thumbsup:
LI0006121, BPAT0011021, CI0009500

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "BackflowInspector" (Oct 4th 2017, 11:19pm)


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