costumer demands pay their water bill

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by garciajj612, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. garciajj612

    garciajj612 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    Never had this happen: We installed their irrigation in July and after we winterized they are calling me to tell me that there was a leak in the irrigation and they just figured it out after irrigation was turned off that it was the irrigation. They want me to pay them back for their water bills they have been trying to resolve this for 5 months and I'm just now finding out about this. What would you do?
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,751

    Send them a nice Xmas card and wish them well in the future, with their next sprinkler company. :waving:
  3. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    First of all - was the irrigation leaking?
    Second, how is your contract worded?
    Third, how much is the bill?
    State law varies regarding who is at fault/responsible. Ordinarily it is the homeowner's responsibility to monitor their utility consumption. This said some states require a warranty on system install which may include contractor responsibility - but it all depends.
    Personally, if the homeowner waited five months and is now screaming the first question I would have is what didn't you call before?
    Provided the bill isn't excessive, say under $300 bucks and depending upon your relationship with the client - I'd say maybe discuss this with them.
  4. show-n-go

    show-n-go LawnSite Member
    Messages: 232

    Sound like they ran the water bill up running it often, now that it is turned off for the season the water bill dropped. Sounds more like "were broke" problem than a water leak.
  5. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,155

    How do they know that it was a leak and not just the consumption from regular usage of the system? $20 says that if you looked at the controller Homeowner Joe has one hell of a program if not multiple programs in the thing. I wouldn't pay them a dime. I'd go with Boots' suggestion and tell them good luck.
  6. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,061

    Like TX said , ya need to find out whats a big bill. I have some customers that think $275 is a big bill. Others think $1800 is reasonable.
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,751

    Most people aren't aware just how much water a lawn can drink up in a hot summer. People have posted here that the old "inch a week" benchmark is doubled in heat waves, at least for bluegrass lawns. It adds up.
  8. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,061

    Damn right it does. Round here an average system uses 2000 gals a cycle.
  9. DavidsonLandscaping

    DavidsonLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    Would have to agree, also take into affect water bills in my area get sent out every three months. Unless they were counting the gallons of what everything uses how can they blame you? Sounds like they ran the water to much without knowing how much was wasted. Also could have turned it on for the kids to play and didn't realize until the bill came. Did you make a attempt to check for leaks after installing?
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  10. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,185

    They must do their own lawn coming after you and not the yard man. lol

    Some that live in the city around here hardly run their irrigation because it gets so expensive in the summer. Then want to know why their lawn looks so bad, "I have an irrigation system", use it during drought like conditions please! :)

    Those leaks do add up. $$$

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