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Whats your policy on private utilities?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ODIrrigation, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. ODIrrigation

    ODIrrigation LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 18

    I wanted to see what policies others have for damage to private utilites. Things like private gas, water, electric, satellite, drainage, dogfences, ect. Homeowners usually aren't much help with locating this stuff and there is usually no tracer. I've been operating under the policy I break it I fix it and I don't mind if its an easy fix, but I've had a couple of installs this year that I've spent alot of my time/money fixing things that were improperly installed to begin with ( electric lines 4" deep no conduit, gas lines 3" deep.) I usually try to check for this stuff but you always get some surprises. Should I just keep fixing everything or let the homeowner deal with it?
  2. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    Maybe put in the contract that you are not liable for private utilities, and it is homeowner's responsibility to mark all utility lines.
  3. greenmonster304

    greenmonster304 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,666

    I have invested in my own locating equipment and will mark out thing to the best of my ability but I tell the customer to have a pro mark out their stuff to safe. you can write in your contract that you are not resposible for improperly installed lines but it is still a major pain if you hit one so thats why i have a toner for the utilities it just makes sure i don't get in that situation.
  4. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,979

    Dog fences we fix em , lampost wires , we fix emif we hit em , usualy we will unscrew a lightbulb and hook up a 521 and mark it. Propane we ask where it is and pull out and hand dig the cross.
    Toughest one around here is cable tv for a 15-20 yo house.It is usualy only 2" deep , has been replaced 2-3 times and the digsafe locater may have marked an old unused line leaving the used line unmarked and vulnerable.
  5. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,267

    We put in our contracts, not responsible for anything marked or unmarked that is less then 18" deep.
  6. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,979

    So if you cut the lampost wire or dog fence you just tell em "sorry , can I have my check now"?
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,527

    Non-code buries really aren't contractor responsibilities. That said, it's easier to splice some CATV co-ax than to argue about it.
  8. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,979

    Thats the way I see it. No its realy not my responsibility , but Im still the guy that made it so the family cant watch tv while the customer is holding my $3k check.
  9. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,267

    If we cut an electrical or gas lamp, yes per my contract I can ask for my money and let them know that we hit the high voltage electrical line that was only x" deep when it by code it should be no less then 18" deep. As per dog fence, every dog fence company has an exclusion on there contract so they are not responsible for irrigation lines that they my hit when they install. I said we are not responsible for anything less then 18", my contract I think
    lists items such as: electrical, wire, pipes, cable, phone, dog fence, etc....

    Don't get me wrong if it is a easy fix we take care of it, if the customer rubs me the wrong way or if there are additional headaches with the builder, lco or whomever then I can just follow the contract that we both signed.

    BTW: Radio Shack has some nice splice kits for CATV

    Messages: 18,668

    Should be a law that only irrigation lines can be buried. Everything else has to be overhead. Either that or there should be this big friggin sleeve that all the utilities can run there stuff in and out of. The dog people should be required to leave their flags up forever. And the landscape lighting people should be require to run tracer wires on all there runs.

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