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Old 07-04-2013, 10:39 AM
jameskchandler jameskchandler is offline
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Accidentaly broke irrigation line during fence demolition

I was removing a fence post that had concrete poured in the post hole, as requested by my client. I punctured an irrigation mainline that was buried 4 inches deep, unmarked, and no sprinkler heads in vicinity to give me a clue there was a line there. The line was right up against the post concrete footing, and It appeared that whoever installed the post originally, punctured and repaired the same location.

I was not sure what to do about the repair labor and parts costs for the broken line, considered splitting loss with client, then decided to not charge for the repair to the irrigation.

Did I do the correct thing not to charge for repair? What should I do to avoid a future mistake, I thought I was being careful at the time.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:52 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Yes, you did the right thing and there is nothing you can do to avoid it except allow for stuff like this in your estimate/contract or write a clause in the contract stating you are not responsible. Personally, the former is better than the latter IMO. Really chaps my ass when contractors come onto a job and don't give a shiit what damage they do to onsite utilities because they have a "clause" in the contract.
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:05 AM
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Landrus2 Landrus2 is offline
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Hey James
Just like Kiril said fix at no cost to customer. Parts are just a few dollars. have a great 4th July
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:35 AM
jcr4au jcr4au is offline
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Were there not any wires with the main line?

Edit: yes you did the right thing. I would add to make sure the customer knows where the break was. In case of any future issues (like a wire issue in this area) the repair guy will have the info.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:15 PM
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Colaguy Colaguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskchandler View Post
I was removing a fence post that had concrete poured in the post hole, as requested by my client. I punctured an irrigation mainline that was buried 4 inches deep, unmarked, and no sprinkler heads in vicinity to give me a clue there was a line there. The line was right up against the post concrete footing, and It appeared that whoever installed the post originally, punctured and repaired the same location.

I was not sure what to do about the repair labor and parts costs for the broken line, considered splitting loss with client, then decided to not charge for the repair to the irrigation.

Did I do the correct thing not to charge for repair? What should I do to avoid a future mistake, I thought I was being careful at the time.

If it was a simple cheap repair & you had parts on hand, Then charge for repairs. If you had to drive somewhere & buy parts & waste time, Then charge for parts/labor.

Yes, I'm like the silent lone voice here at LS that thinks you shouldnt be held liable for damage like this. I've ripped out many a chain link fence and/or wood posts & I tell them I assume no liability for such unseen damage to sprinklers or whatever thats hidden in ground.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:09 PM
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1idejim 1idejim is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colaguy View Post
If it was a simple cheap repair & you had parts on hand, Then charge for repairs. If you had to drive somewhere & buy parts & waste time, Then charge for parts/labor.

Yes, I'm like the silent lone voice here at LS that thinks you shouldnt be held liable for damage like this. I've ripped out many a chain link fence and/or wood posts & I tell them I assume no liability for such unseen damage to sprinklers or whatever thats hidden in ground.
YOU, may assume no liability, but judges and juries are more than happy to assign said liability to you.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:19 PM
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Colaguy Colaguy is offline
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Originally Posted by 1idejim View Post
YOU, may assume no liability, but judges and juries are more than happy to assign said liability to you.
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Not true if client agrees to it beforehand. If its covered in your contract, there are no grounds to sue.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:50 PM
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Wet_Boots Wet_Boots is offline
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liability varies by state - some states do not recognize the existence of hold-harmless agreements between homeowner and contractor
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colaguy View Post
Not true if client agrees to it beforehand. If its covered in your contract, there are no grounds to sue.
You were hired by the client because you are supposed to be a professional and as a professional you are expected to provide the client and their property with a reasonal amount of safety. That you cannot waive.

Hundreds of millions in damages are recovered yearly in spite of contracts.

You may get away with a couple hundred dollar damage but when the damage gets in the thousands you will find yourself in a courtroom telling a judge that you have a signed contract that absolves you of all liability.

Be prepared to explain your companies safe digging practices and your policy on preventive damage proceedures.
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:20 PM
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AI Inc AI Inc is offline
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Put it on the bill and charge " no charge" . Never give any away without making the customer aware that you did it.
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