Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Electrical Sprinkler Troubleshooting Cost
Hi Craig, I was wondering what to charge to diagnose and replace 4 rainbird peb/efb/pga solenoids? I also had to dig out a broken wire 4ft down that was repaired incorrectly by a janitor. Thanks for your lawn sprinkler diy course. I don't want to under or over price my work.
Electrical troubleshooting is the ONLY task that I price by the hour. My hourly rate is $85 per hour here in Orlando FL. This is the consistent standard used by my competitors. Your locale could be different. I know that in Atlanta it ranges from $95 to $125 per hour (harder digging in rock hard clay of GA than the lovely sand in Florida).
" what to charge to diagnose and replace 4 rainbird peb/efb/pga solenoids"
Once I find the valve ( I charge $50.00 for the first 1/2 hour of locating and then $85 per hour after that. You got to pay for the wire tracking machine.), and have determined with either an ohm meter or other methods that the solenoid needs replacing, I charge $40.00 for the solenoid, plus the hourly rate I once had a guy tell me that $40.00 was too much for a solenoid that he could buy on-line for $15.00. I told him "go order it, I'll just keep the one that I have on my truck, that took a half hour drive to the supply house and a half hour waiting in the parts store to make sure I had it with me. I'll wait". He paid me. Your diagnosis should ALWAYS start at the controller by using your ohm meter to test continuity. Once you locate the valve, check the solenoid with the wires disconnected. A bad circuit reading at the controller does not mean the solenoid is bad. It could be a wire connection.
" I also had to dig out a broken wire 4ft down that was repaired incorrectly by a janitor".
Do tell! It's $xx.00 per hour and a free kitchen mopping at your house! All jokes aside, wiring sprinkler connections correctly is not that difficult as long as you (or the janitor) understand that soil contains moisture. This REQUIRES silicone or gel filled wires nuts to prevent corrosion. The main problem that I always see is that the wires are stripped to short. Make sure that you have a good wire wrap and water tight connection and it should last for many years.
A last thought. Don't be the cheapest guy in town, be the best. On time, looking professional and not showing up "half-baked" like half of your competition. Being fair to your customer does not mean being the cheapest price. It means being the best value. If you're are honest and put your customer first, you'll get so much referral business that you will never run out of work.