OK this is just wrong.......

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by CRUZMISL, Apr 13, 2005.


    CRUZMISL LawnSite Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 186

    Hi All,

    I'll try and make a really long story short. I had a company install an irrigation system and it was never right, dry spots everywhere. I put up with their excuses for 2 years.

    I put a pool in and needed 4 heads moved. They did it and I got a bill for $500. Yes, that's right, $500! I told him it was outrageous BUT I would be willing to pay it if he fixed the system so it worked properly. They attempted another half ass fix with pop ups on the same zone as rotors :dizzy: I then got a "your water pressure is low" excuse. At this point I had decided I wasn't paying them and did my own research.

    As I looked into my $3000 system it turns out the head spacing is too far, supply pipe too small and every rotor had the same size nozzle regardless of whether or not it was 360 or 90 degrees. I needed a 15GPM but my 3/4 inch pipe is good for maybe 10. No wonder I had dry areas. I switched the heads to MP rotators and the lawn was 90%. I was quite happy.

    Spring rolls around and I fire up my system. Strange though zones 2 and 7 don't work. Voltage is good at the controller so I investigate the solenoids. Would you believe those turds cut my solenoid wires :angry: :angry: :angry: The valve boxes are underneath my deck. You literally have to unscrew a deck board to get to them. I think they figure I'll call them if it doesn't work then they can try and scam me for even more money.

    Should I call them on it or just let it go and put a lock on the box. I can't prove it was them but my wife doesn't even know where the valve box is and if it was vandals they would have cut them all. although not many kids go around looking for sprinkler system valve boxes..... This was calculated.

    Thoughts?? Here is a pic of their fine work :rolleyes:

  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,213

    I have to say I have had malicious thoughts like that in the past to get back at people for not paying or irritating me so bad. But I have always taken the higher road. It's funny to read some of the posts in the lawn care forum about spraying Round-Up on the lawns for non-payment.
  3. kerdog

    kerdog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    Hey CRUZMISL-------

    Does one have to be licensed to do irrigation? If so.....report them.

    See ya-----kerdog
  4. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Ha Ha....not laughing at you.....they didn't do it right!

    I admit, I haven't always taken the high road....and I'm not proud of some of the things I have done...but they made me feel better after getting ripped by some people. I haven't done it in years, but there are WAY better ways of getting back at someone for not paying.

    those were deliberately cut alright....heh heh. Sorry for the laughter..just brings back memories.

    I would let it go.....you cannot prove it. Thats the point...they know you can't prove it that is why they did it. You are right, they hoped you would call, but not so they could scam you out of MORE MONEY!!! They wanted the money you owe them. If you agreed to pay them to move 4 heads and didn't ask how much it would be....they you owe them that money, whether you think it was too much or not!

    I don't think what they did was the best way to go about getting their money from you..I would have had my lawyer write you a letter.

    If you weren't happy with the installation, you should have documented the complaints somewhere...oh yeah.....AND WHY DID YOU HAVE THEM COME BACK TO MOVE HEADS IF YOU DIDN'T LIKE THEIR INITIAL INSTALLATION? Were you hoping you could hold them hostage by saying the first job sucked so you weren't paying to have the heads moved??? Hmmmm?

    CRUZMISL LawnSite Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 186

    Well, I said it was a long story....

    The guy who originally put it in was a good friend of my Dad. He had passed away a year after the install. His son who currently owns the business was having difficulty with operations for the first year and a half. I figured with all the BS he has to deal with I will try not to bug him. I'd call and they would never come out during that time so I let it sail.

    After a while I finally got fed up and took pictures of my dry spots and he agreed they were bad but continued to blame it on my poor water pressure. I have discussed this issue with him many times without resolution. I called him back because they originally installed the system and I had faith that he would make it right but he did not.

    I have absolutely no problem paying for something IF it's what I had asked for. However, when I am digging up 56 heads to try and fix their poor install, he can kiss my ass, I'm not paying. I gave him literally years to make it right and he didn't.

    Please tell me your not going to side with a guy who puts rotors and pop ups on the same zone...........
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,401

    Not to defend any incompetent installation work, but I've seen solenoids like that before, and they weren't damaged by human efforts. They were chewed by rodents. For some perverse reason, they usually chew through the wire right at the solenoid, so you can't splice it.
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I had the same thought about critters, and that's a fairly old valve in that picture, those solenoids don't rust that fast even in standing water.
    If you let a pissing contest last this long and let them back on your property, you invited a lot of your problems. I love telling customers who have a lowballer bid "don't lose my card, you might need it........" Low pressure, coverage issues are all part of the job. What most consumers don't realize is that the bigger the company, the better your chances of this type of install. They go through help like grass through a goose and oops the guy doing the work was in the unemployment line last week after being laid off from some other industry and he has only a minimum knowledge of what he is supposed to do.
  8. Georgia Bull Dog

    Georgia Bull Dog LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 47

    I have had plenty of nuts in the 20 years I have installed lawn sprinklers, but I never did anything like that. I suggest make a report with your police department anyway, ...go on record. Further, contact the state Irrigation association and licensing board. The bottom line is you will not get anywhere but this might help you get some personal satisfaction. Sorry for this, hope you find an honest contractor in your area. I am sure there are many, this is not typical of our profession.
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,401

    ...and dust the solenoids for fingerprints. If a board had to be unscrewed to access the valve box to get at the wires, logic would point towards rodent activity. For as much effort as that sounds like, an enterprising malcontent could screw up a system a lot worse than that one.

    CRUZMISL LawnSite Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 186

    Thanks for the thoughts. All is well now. I was able to solder the wires back together even though one solenoid only had a 1/16" of wire remaining. Everything works fine now, I have a lock on my gate and left a sign on top of the box with a few expletives. I ordered some new solenoids to ensure longeivity.

    I'm more disappointed in this guy than anything. That takes some nuts to come in my backyard and pull a stunt like that. I had to add 3 zones last year to make up for his poor install so the board was unscrewed. This was not the work of a rodent, unless they have teeth like side cutters :)

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