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Frequently Asked Questions

Q-  What needs done before we call to make an appointment?
A-  Contact Blue Stake to have your utilities located.  Design your sprinkler system.  Mark out how you want your trenches dug with paint.  Call for an appointment or submit an online work order.

Q-  Where do I call for utility locating before I dig? 

A-  Contact Arizona Blue Stake to insure that we do not have any conflicts with existing utilities. (telephone, gas, cable TV, electric, etc.)
A yard marked by Blue Stake relieves both the home owner and contractor of any liabilities if any utilities are damaged while trenching.
It's a FREE service, it's the law, and takes just three working days to have your property marked.  Make sure to have the whole property marked. 
Contact Arizona Blue Stake at 602-263-1100 Arizona Blue Stake


Q-  I need help designing my sprinkler system.  Where should I look?

A-  Trenchmasters will be happy to assist you in any questions you may have regarding designing an efficient, quality, long lasting, and hassle free sprinkler system.  
Call and we can setup a time to go over designing a system with you.

If you wish to research your system yourself, there are many helpful online tutorials to assist you.  Do a Google search on sprinkler system design.


You can also go to a local sprinkler system supply house (Ewing Irrigation, Sprinkler World, John Deere, Horizon, etc.)
and they will Be happy to lay out your system if you purchase parts from them. 


We do NOT recommend getting advise from your local hardware store (Home Depot, Ace, Lowe's, etc.)
In most cases hardware stores give very ammature advise and carry sub-par products compared to the commercial sprinkler supply stores.  
Saving a few dollars now will cost you in the long run in both money and timely repairs.


Q-  How should we mark out our yard to be trench?

A-  It is best to make your yard with inverted tip marking paint bought at your local hardware store or sprinkler supplier.  
We recommend using white paint so it doesn't get confused with Blue Stake markings.


Q-  How much will the trenching cost?

A-  The rates are clearly listed on the Home Page or you can call for a custom quote.


If you are considering renting, the price for renting a trencher varies depending on the size of the machine.  A small trencher is inexpensive to rent but the labor and time is greatly increased, about 10 times the labor.  
To rent a decent machine that is set up for hard Arizona soil conditions, in most cases the price would run you in excess of what our average charge is once tax, insurance, and delivery charges are figured in.  Why rent?  Let us do it for you.


Q-  We are looking for someone to install our system.  Where can I find a reputable sprinkler system contractor?

A-  Call Trenchmasters and we can refer you to a reliable contractor in your area.


Q-  How long does it take to dig a trench?

A-  Our machines are setup for the harsh Arizona ground conditions and combined with our many years of experience, most jobs are completed in a few hours depending on size of the job.


Q-  How deep do we need to go for our trenches?

A-  In general, sprinkler systems are trenched about 10" to 12" deep.    
Drip lines are usually trenched about 4" to 6" down.  Electrical in metal conduit needs to be at least 6" deep measured to the top of the pipe.  
Secondary electric lines in PVC or gas lines need to be a minimum of 18" deep to the top of pipe.


We can adjust the depth of the trenches up or down as requested.


Q-  How deep can your trencher go and how wide is the trench?

A-   Our trenches can go up to 26" inches deep and are 4" inches wide.  


Q-  Does the yard need to be prepared before we dig?

A-  No.  Our machines are ready to dig in Arizona hard soils.  No watering of the ground or tilling is required. 


Q-  Can you trench in the mud?

A-  No.  If your yard is muddy, the trencher will make a mess and the trenches will not turn out very well.  
After a rain or a flooding, it is best to trench when the ground is dry enough to walk on without tracking mud on your shoes.


Q-  How soon should we trench before we start our project?

A-  After trenching is completed, we recommend you start your project ASAP.  
Letting trenches sit open in excess of a week will cause dirt to begin falling back in due to the elements, kids, pets, etc.


Q-  Do we need to be home while you trench?
A-  No.  As long as the trenches are clearly marked out as to where to dig and arrangements are made for payment, no one needs to be home.


Q-  What are Trenchmasters hours of operation and what about weekends?
A-  Hours vary but we prefer to start very early in the morning and set our last appointments in the early afternoon.   Appointments on weekends and holidays are available if scheduled in advance.


Q-  How big is a trencher?

A-  Our trenchers are 36" inches wide, 7' feet long, and weigh about 1200 lbs.


Q-  Will the trenches need to be cleaned out?

A-  The amount of clean-out needed on trenches depends on the soil conditions and the sprinkler system design.


Hard, dry ground usually results in the cleanest trenches.  Softer, loose ground will always have some dirt slip back into the trench. 


Anywhere trenches intersect, there will be a need to scoop out the loose dirt.  Designing your system with the least amount of intersection will result in the least amount of trench clean-out.


If you are going to purchase a clean-out shovel, a 3 inch trench shovel is best suited for our trenches.  A  4" shovel will be too tight to be effective.


Q-  How close can we trench to a wall?

A-  Our trenchers are 36" inches wide and trench down the middle.  So if we have a tire up against a wall, the trench will be about 18" out from the wall.


Q-  What will happen if my trenches get rained on?

A-  A light rain should not effect your trenches much.  A heavy down-pour will destroy your trenches.

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