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Personal responsibility


LawnSite Fanatic
SprinklerGuy and myself have each had an incident this season where we replaced an 825y RP due to freeze damage, and they already froze and cracked it because they didn't drain it. In my case, we replaced it mid-March because he called us to do it. We then showed him how to drain it properly. He had to leave before we were done checking zones (2 were frozen and wouldn't push any water through) and he said he'd drain it, which he did. He then turned it back on when it warmed up, and even called us saying it was leaking. Sure enough it was just a bolt on the front place was loose. So we fixed and re-checked the two frozen zones.

He then calls a week or so later after the latest cold snap saying it cracked and is our fault. All his friends say it is our fault not his. He even talked with a home inspector who said it should have never been turned on until May 1st. He wants us to buy the part and show him how to replace the thing - for free. Luckily I haven't had to deal with him as this is actually a customer for a landscaper that I do a ton of work for. The landscaper is backing me up and telling him too bad.

So what ever happened to personal responsibility? This guy called wanting the job done. He even turned it back on a second time himself and never drained it like we showed him. We can not wait until May 1 to turn every system on. We do a little bit of delaying some start ups based on knowing the client - numerous freeze damage repairs in the past, older people that are scared to touch the system, disabled, etc. And it was 70 degrees early March, when this guy called wanting it fixed. But if your going to have a sprinkler system in a cold weather climate, you need to take some responsibility when the weather turns, other wise move into a townhome complex where everything is taken care of. It's not my job to babysit or hand hold every customer.

Ground Master

LawnSite Senior Member
colorado springs
He took the chance and he lost.

Don't back down.

Next time he will call saying the system overthrew water onto the sidewalk, which then froze, and then his neighbor slipped and broke a leg while on their morning walk and he wants you to pay the bill.


LawnSite Fanatic
metro NYC
Anyone ever try insulating/heating for the vulnerable BPs? Too bad there aren't warning labels on sprinkler systems like the ones you see on ladders.

Hank Reardon

LawnSite Senior Member
Given the details, I wouldn't do it. We all make stupid mistakes in our lives which shouldn't be rewarded (be it personal or business). The Big Box Store return policies have given less-than-honorable customers the idea they can pull this crap everywhere.

Personal responsibility is a waning attribute in our society.


LawnSite Fanatic
Washington DC
The Irr. Dept at TGLC when requested for an early turn on (here in dc March is early) they prop manager would sign a waiver absolving us any freeze damage if the system is turned on early.

Of course there are some were would roll the dice , and cross out fingers and play with the rosary beads. as you a re correct, there is no way to turn all the systems, and any winter damage repairs, al at the same time.

Stick to your guns. and replace only if paid. and Id consider Cash, that way he can't stop the charge on a check or credit card.