How your lawn care business can winterize irrigation systems and make money.
Winterizing lawn irrigation systems is a great add on service that is easy to do and can bring you in some good money in the fall. John wrote in to the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and asked how to do this. You can join in on the discussion if you have further questions.
John: “Hi guys I have a question. Do you think a Ingersoll Rand 25 CFM @ 175 PSI, 13 HP Horizontial Air Compressor would be ok to use to blow out residential homes? I got a contract with a realty company
with 50 properties. The previous lawn care company did not blow out the systems last year. I have been fixing all of the lawn care customers irrigation systems and mowing their lawns.”
Junior: “It should work. I would never use a tow behind though. Remember, DO NOT blow air for more than 2 minutes through the zone. Air compress more than water, and it heats up BIG TIME! You will melt the irrigation pipe if you go crazy with the air.”
Rob: “I agree with Junior. Make sure you use it no more than 2 minutes and no higher than 40 psi or you run the risk of damaging the vacuum pressure valve and the solenoid zone valve. Also you will need to have a compressor that will deliver a min 5 cfm @ 40 psi.”
Steve: “Do you have any suggestions on when to market this service?”
Rob: “Marketing for sprinkler winterization should be started in the Aug - Sept time frame. You can also get on the phone and talk to your current costumers about your winterization. You might consider offering a discount for being a mowing client. Also do not forget about those estimates you did during the mowing season that you did not land. Those lawn care estimates are still potential customers for other services. Ask your current clients to spread the word and if a potential customer says no, try to get the last word in i.e. “well if you know of some one that needs our service please give them my information.”
Second make sure you are ready to go. Check your equipment out good. You can’t afford to have a compressor go down, especially if you have 6-7 blow-out for the day. It pays to have a backup compressor.”
Luke: “I just finished winterizing the irrigation systems of all my customers. I used a large tow behind Ingersol Rand diesel compressor. The air line was a 1 inch diameter hose. The air hoses came in 50 ft lengths. The average yard needed two lengths to reach to the blow out bib. The compressor had a gate valve for air control. The bib adapter also had a gate valve. The 100 ft of hose didn’t heat up at all.
- The compressor rental ended up costing $100 for the compressor for the day.
- $10.00ea for the 50 ft hoses.
- So for $120.00 I rented out a compressor.
- I used about $20.00 in diesel to top off the tank.
It took me about an hour at each job site. So doing 6-7 places in a day and paying approx $140.00 for the rental. You can do the math. I charged each lawn care customer $60.00 - $70.00 per blow out.
- (7 customers) x ($70 per customer) = $490
- ($490 gross income) - ($140 expenses) = $350 profit per day.”