You need to have some criteria other than the lowest price to make an intelligent decision. Here are seven key things, in our opinion, that you should look for to help "qualify" the bid.
1. Is the irrigating company licensed by the state?
Texas requires that an irrigator be licensed. In Texas, all irrigator licenses start with the letter L I.
Our license number is LI7248.
2. Is the company going to tap into your water meter?
If your sprinkler system is not tapped into your water meter, you will have a low pressure and low flowing system. The best volume to your system is obtained by tapping into your water meter, not onto your outside water faucet.
We always tap into the water meter, insuring you of the best flow possible to your sprinkler system.
3. Will they be using any 1 1/4" or 1" pipe in their design?
Again, good flow is the key to the success of your sprinkler system. The do-it-yourself is guaranteed to use all 3/4" pipe. This pipe is good for many applications in your sprinkler design, but it is not going to be able to move the proper volume of water to your heads as will be needed in a good design. We even use 1 1/4" pipe in certain areas.
We've been doing this since 1984...and have a pretty good handle on design.
4. Does the design/layout of the proposed system include head-to-head coverage?
Head to head coverage is a term used in the sprinkler industry which simply means will each head be watering another head. This is the only way to ensure even irrigation. "Even" is extremely important. Otherwise you will get dry spots in some areas and flooding in other areas. Here is a diagram of Johnny-Low-Bid vs. head-to-head coverage.
Head-to-head coverage is the only way we design our systems. Our designs always have more heads than Johnny-Low-Bid and our systems always work better and last longer than his, too!
5. Is the company using a backflow device in the design?
Texas law requires that a backflow device be used to prevent the entrance of contaminants into your house (drinking) water.
The backflow device of our choice in residential installations is the Febco PVB.
6. Does the company give you a warranty of at least two years and is it in writing?
We say two years because these do-it-yourself systems usually break down after 1 year. If you get your system in the fall of one year, it really hasn't seen a good summer's worth of work.
Our warranty is for 3 years, all parts and labor...the best in the industry.
7. Does the company have a list of customer references dating back at least 1 to 2 years?
If the answer to any of the six questions above is "NO", you should probably scratch that bid from your list of potential companies. . . you are asking for trouble. Buyer beware!