sprinkler head broken from mower i assume.

dave2500

LawnSite Member
Location
Somerset NJ
I know this is probably better to put in the irrigation forum but it seems its against their rules.

I have a customer that has an extremely old irrigation system (so old the heads are no longer made )Impact rain birds.

anyway

I noticed one day that the stem inside the sprinkler was broken, he asked me to fix it, so being i cant get that one anymore i ended up putting a rotor in.
it was a hard line with no swing pipe which made digging a lot of fun
then there was a crack in the line about one foot down which he swears must be from the pipe twisting when i hit the head (no way)
so i replaced a piece of the pipe and put a pgp head in.

Anyway

Do i bill him out for parts, his complaint is that it didnt have a cap for like the past year (cant buy them) and my wheel must have went into it (i would have felt that but not worth arguing)

Would you bill for it?
 

flybynite

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
South Central PA
I would only ask him if he would "consider" paying and try to be nice about it yet at the same time, let him know that you fixed it because you value him as a customer and don't feel right charging him labor and just would like him to pay for materials since you actually fixed a problem and updated it with better materials. If he gets head strong and doesn't want to pay anything then eat it if he really IS a valued customer! Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad, or in your case, bad with the good! Been there, doing that! Yes, you read it right. I cleaned up a very dirty patio a few weeks ago. Pics later. So after I cleaned the front pillars, some paint peeled. I let him know that they need painted. He says put it on the schedule and go ahead and do it when I want. I had to paint 4 medium sized pillars and two rockers that "were" white! 4 cans of Rustoleum, some good leftover outdoor trim paint and other materials. It took me over two hours to paint the chairs and a hr on the pillars. I told him $150 which is cheap. I had to drive to get spray paint, drive to the job, deal with not one but two yellow jacket nests in the exact same place where they had a nest earlier when I was there cleaning the house and chairs. He kinda hemhaws about the chairs only costing so much new so I folded and knocked it down to $120 just to nip it quick so it's not as painful. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good!
I'm cutting his lawn today. It shaggy and half dead but the neighbor needs cut and she wants it done so I'm doing his regardless. No special trips when it gets this slow.
 

Mumblingboutmowers

LawnSite Senior Member
If he thinks that you did the damage then you should not bill him anything unless you are prepared to lose him as a customer. You seem to be unsure if you actually did or did not cause the damage so that makes it tough on what to do here. I had a similar incident recently where there was a damaged piece of copper tubing near a tank. I am not sure if I did it with my mower or if someone or something else did it. (It was installed incorrectly either way). I initially told the customer that we would split the repair cost 50/50. (probably $150 job). Then I decided I would do the repair myself, so I did and did not charge the customer anything, nor did the customer offer to pay anything.

What I don't like about situations like this is that a customer may start finding things that you may or may not have done, looking for some free repair work.
 

EvenCutLawnCare

LawnSite Member
Location
Mid Michigan
How did the mower damage the sprinkler head? I used to replace sprinkler heads when a customer said we damaged it which was usually a sticky head that wouldn't retract. Now I am not so quick to replace or deduct from their mowing bill the cost to have the sprinkler company repair it.

A properly installed/functioning/maintained irrigation system should be able to withstand weekly mowing service provided by us. We surely push a stuck head down if we see it, but if we don't I'm not so quick to replace it at my expense since its not properly functioning. Also, when damage occurs because "your mowers are too heavy" I am also reluctant to replace it as a properly installed system should be able to withstand the weight of commercial mowers in normal mowing conditions.

We always replace sprinkler damage as a result of snow removal damage because we realize we made the mistake.
 

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