PDA

View Full Version : Question on blowout liability?


Alluring Lawns
01-23-2007, 12:14 PM
This fall one of my guys did a blowout on a house, and he just shut off the ball valve before the back flow then proceded to blow the system out properly. Well recently the pipe froze and broke between the main line shutoff and the ball valve, flooded a crawl space, and needless to say my phone is ringing off the hook. I was just wondering what you guys thought my liability is? Thanks a lot for any insight.

Mjtrole
01-23-2007, 12:54 PM
This fall one of my guys did a blowout on a house, and he just shut off the ball valve before the back flow then proceded to blow the system out properly. Well recently the pipe froze and broke between the main line shutoff and the ball valve, flooded a crawl space, and needless to say my phone is ringing off the hook. I was just wondering what you guys thought my liability is? Thanks a lot for any insight.

I'd think your liable for all the damage, but how much damage can really be done in a crawl space? Also if your guy knew the main needed to be off he should have left a note w/the homeowner or made sure you or your office knew a return visit was needed to finish the job.

Alluring Lawns
01-23-2007, 02:08 PM
Thanks, your right, and good point about the crawl space. Live and learn i guess.

Rainman7
01-23-2007, 05:03 PM
Just curious, how is that your fault? unless you installed the system.What else could you have done? Sounds like the system was not installed properly if it froze between the ball valve and the main shut off. Maybe the ball valve was put too close to an exterior wall? window left open? vent not closed? If you didn't install the system, it doesn't sound like your problem.

Wet_Boots
01-23-2007, 05:29 PM
If the main system shutoff was left open, and only an outdoor shutoff was closed, and heat from the home wasn't enough to prevent freezing, damage would be inevitable.

Alluring Lawns
01-23-2007, 07:05 PM
I might not be liable, but its a good customer (property management company), so I think i'll just bite the bullet on this one. Has anyone else had similar problems from home owners with broken pipes?

PurpHaze
01-23-2007, 08:14 PM
OK... Who's got the bookmark to the picture of the pipes broken in the garage and ice all over the cars? :laugh:

bicmudpuppy
01-24-2007, 07:44 AM
OK... Who's got the bookmark to the picture of the pipes broken in the garage and ice all over the cars? :laugh:

That's a Dana picture.........................

SprinklerGuy
01-24-2007, 08:43 AM
I suppose it depends on where the ball valve was that he shut off?

If the ball valve that he shut off left some unprotected piping and he didn't mention it or suggest a fix......I would feel liable if I were you.

Good luck......

DanaMac
01-24-2007, 09:54 AM
OK... Who's got the bookmark to the picture of the pipes broken in the garage and ice all over the cars? :laugh:
You mean this beauty?

mojob
01-24-2007, 10:58 AM
It would be a Porsch too. Was there a drain in the crawl space installed between the ball valve and the backflow? If there was and if your guy didn't drain it, then I'd have to say you're at fault. If there was no way to drain the line, then your guy should have mentioned that to the customer(CYA). Good luck.

Alluring Lawns
01-24-2007, 03:19 PM
The main line shut-off and the backflow where both outside, the main line was buried, but not below the frost line, but it still should have been drained, so my guy dropped the ball, lesson learned (i hope).

Critical Care
01-24-2007, 04:43 PM
Okay, itís a game of chance when youíre dealing with unknowns, such as Mother Nature. Guaranteeing that systems will go unscathed throughout the winter can be risky, especially in certain areas where there are great temperature swings, or where you run into installations that are already falling apart or substandard. I think that we have to separate the difference between negligence and tough luck. If your technician didnít make an effort to perform the necessary steps to winterize the system properly, then Iíd call that negligence, but thatís not always the case.

Consider this scenario. You blow out a system for Homeowner John Doe. Homeowner Sam Smith lives next door to John Doe, but did not have his system winterized. John Doeís system is inferior to Sam Smithís. He used egg shell thin class 125 pvc, Orbunk valves and heads, and buried the lines just beneath the surface. Sam Smithís system survived the winter even without being winterized, but John Doeís system developed leaks. He now wants you to repair the damage, which means digging up the lines and replacing them.

Critical Care
01-24-2007, 04:51 PM
Donít forget that there is a flipside to the problems caused by too cold of weather, and too much snow.

Hank Reardon
01-24-2007, 11:50 PM
Donít forget that there is a flipside to the problems caused by too cold of weather, and too much snow.

I can see you're a "glass is half full" kind of guy! Always look at the positive!

PurpHaze
01-25-2007, 08:14 AM
I've always wondered about this picture... What happens when the beer's all gone? Seems that you wouldn't be able to go get more until the spring thaw. :)

Hank Reardon
01-25-2007, 10:15 AM
I've always wondered about this picture... What happens when the beer's all gone? Seems that you wouldn't be able to go get more until the spring thaw. :)

Poor planning :nono: I heard the guy who invented snowshoes did the same thing.

cush
01-29-2007, 06:28 PM
This is the reason I don't hire someone to do sprinkler blowouts. Too many variables. Just think if you had a disgruntled employee and eft up a bunch of systems. I figure if its not done right which only I can guarantee it's not worth the liability. Just be glad they did'nt have a basement. It is my opinion that you are liable.

DanaMac
01-29-2007, 07:00 PM
This is the reason I don't hire someone to do sprinkler blowouts. Too many variables. Just think if you had a disgruntled employee and eft up a bunch of systems. I figure if its not done right which only I can guarantee it's not worth the liability. Just be glad they did'nt have a basement. It is my opinion that you are liable.
That's a pretty lame excuse. That type of situation can happen with any business. Especially service oriented. Employees can find a way to screw up a lot of things regardless of what it is.If I want to grow and do more business, I have to have employees that can do every service we offer.