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View Full Version : Pump on well went - boarder feels it's her fault -wwyd?



Blue Eyed Tovero
Jun. 17, 2010, 02:00 PM
As I was finishing up the horses late Friday evening water pressure was extremely low in the barn. Mr. BET checked it out and said our pump was not working properly so we called the well driller company. A worker comes out first thing Saturday morning and determines that we need a new pump. They could do it that day or Sunday (double the cost for weekend work) or, since we still had some running water, try to hold out until Monday morning. $2500 versus $5000, we decided to try to wait. Sunday morning we had no water at all so called the company back and they came out to start work. A boarder shows up while they are working and when she sees what is going on she turns deathly white and starts crying, insisting that it's her fault and she'll pay for everything. Turns out when she was out Saturday evening she decided to clean out her horses water tub and refill it. Because the water pressure was so low she left the water running and went to ride her horse and forgot to turn it off. Sure enough, there is a small pond in her horses normally dry pasture. Mr. BET and I assured her that we were having a problem from the night before and her leaving the water run didn't make any difference. We HAD to have the pump replaced regardless. We took a gamble and it didn't work out, no big deal. She is so upset she is insisting that we take at least half the cost of the new pump from her. We won't hear of it, especially because we had to do it anyway. Did the water running that night contribute to the pump dying out before Monday morning? Maybe, but we'll never know. I don't want to cause hard feelings with her, but this is our responsibility, not hers, but she is adamant that she is going to pay. Even went as far as saying she'll go the office and drop a payment off for our account. We don't want any money from her but can't get this across. Advice?

Alagirl
Jun. 17, 2010, 02:12 PM
What a sweet heart!

I have no idea how to get it across. The only idea I would have is to apply the money as credit to her account (can of worms for the future) or donate it in her name, either a nice equine facility or - since it was meant for the water pump - to an organization providing people with clean drinking water. You could actually tell her that straight up, if she insist on making good to go down that avenue. :)

coloredhorse
Jun. 17, 2010, 02:46 PM
No advice, just the observation that both you and your boarder appear to be very sweet, honest and generous people. :yes:

Meredith Clark
Jun. 17, 2010, 02:48 PM
If she really wants to pay maybe she could pay the difference between the weekend charge and the Monday charge?

It's great that you have a boarder who is taking personal responsibility, even if it wasn't her fault!

I left the water on once at a boarding farm, it drained the well but didn't break the pump. I felt HORRIBLE! (I was like 14 and I got yelled at!)

Fairview Horse Center
Jun. 17, 2010, 03:06 PM
We often have people leave the water running, sometimes for hours, once in a while, it gets left on most of the night.

The past month or so, we have had an underground leak, and the pump has been kicking on and off all day long. We were finally able to find and fix the leak. Pumps can handle a lot, but do need to be replaced about once every 10 years or so on a busy farm.

Wow, I am blown away by the cost!! <eek> We replace them ourselves, and they run about $350., but we are only about 50' deep.

A suggestion if anyone runs out of water on a weekend to save those emergency fees: If you have a neighbor that will let you fill up a few troughs, you can do that on the back of a pick up, then dip for filling buckets or the field troughs, sponge baths, etc.

SmartAlex
Jun. 17, 2010, 03:09 PM
You could take the money and tell her you are going to donate it to the horse charity of her choice.

poltroon
Jun. 17, 2010, 03:14 PM
Rather than donating it to some charity, I'm sure there's some "nice to have" amenity that she and you and all the boarders would enjoy.

JSwan
Jun. 17, 2010, 06:36 PM
We don't want any money from her but can't get this across. Advice?

Geez. If all boarders were so nice boarding facilities would be heaven on earth. :lol:

Sounds like the pump was on its last leg.

It's nice that she's taking responsibility, but if it's not her fault it's just not her fault. Since she feels so strongly, I guess to be polite you should be gracious and allow her to do something nice for you. But not pay for the new pump.

Maybe buy something for the barn that everyone can enjoy, or organize a potluck cookout. Just some small gesture.

She sounds like a conscientious and decent person. You're lucky to have such a nice boarder.

I've left the water running too. Flooded the sacrifice paddock. It happens.

poltroon
Jun. 18, 2010, 02:05 AM
I've left the water running too. Flooded the sacrifice paddock. It happens.

Me too. I also blew a pump last time, gah. But we've also had times when the system has leaked for weeks and the pump survived until we found the problem.

ChocoMare
Jun. 18, 2010, 07:25 AM
I would be the same way! :sadsmile:

We developed an underground leak in the barn hydrant after spring thaw. It MIGHT have been caused by me, my hubby OR the other 2 boarders in the barn trying to force the handle up when it was frozen. OR it just might have been the 25+ year old pipe's time to break.

Regardless, if there is any possibility that we caused or contributed to the damage, I want to make it right. I forked over $80 to the farm manager to help with the expense, since we can't fix it ourselves.

I agree with JSwan... put her contribution towards a new something at the barn for all to enjoy. :)

Tom King
Jun. 18, 2010, 09:06 AM
Good grief, what kind of well and pump is it for that price? Unless there was a water flow problem with the well, or the pump was not properly sized for the available water, running should not hurt it. Everything wears out after a while.

RacetrackReject
Jun. 18, 2010, 09:27 AM
I've left the number running numerous times, knock wood, and have never had a problem. I did have to replace a pump this winter after a bad freeze with multiple pipes bursting, but only because the pump itself cracked in half and would not seal. I think it was $300 for the pump and $150 for someone to switch it out. I don't know what sort of pump you have for $2500. That sounds insane to me.

Kate66
Jun. 18, 2010, 09:47 AM
It's absolutely not her fault. We had to replace our pump a few months ago after 7 years. Believe me we have left it running all night many, many, many times and it didn't burn it out. It was probably a build up of minerals etc over the years or just plain, it was done. Your boarder sounds wonderful but really, it is NOT her fault and I don't think you should take her money. It had nothing to do with her.

Blue Eyed Tovero
Jun. 18, 2010, 10:17 AM
Thanks for the ideas. I like the idea of buying something that all of the boarders can use - I'm going to talk to her about this today. Some new jumps would be nice!!
As for the price of the new pump, most of that amount was for labor and the guys get double time for weekends. Also, our well is about 275 feet down. Workers were here for close to 7 hours. cha ching $$. (Forgot to add we also needed a new holding tank as ours had a slow leak so that added to the price.)

bludejavu
Jun. 18, 2010, 11:12 AM
I don't see any way it could be her fault. We have two wells, both of which have been left running several times over. Sometimes it has caused the older pump to lose it's prime but that was no big deal - we just reprimed it. The only time we replaced a pump was when the newer one was struck by lightening and was totally fried. That cost us about $1200 but it was on a weekend so we were charged more than we would have been had it happened during regular business hours.

You have a great boarder and she may just wake up one day and realize it really wasn't her fault after all. I would reiterate that to her and tell her if it would ease her conscience, just donate something less costly for all the boarders to share. If it's possible, maybe even put a little brass plate on whatever it is stating that she donated it. That way, if she does wake up to reality one day, she might not be so remorseful.

ETA - blue eyed tovero - we were posting at the same time. If they were charging double time plus the cost of the tank, I could definitely understand how it added up. Hang on to that boarder :)!

CatOnLap
Jun. 18, 2010, 11:23 AM
Blue Eyes, obviously that boarder is a big problem who will never end with her insane efforts to "help"...
I will take her off your hands immediately!

I find pumps around here, whether for the septic, the well, the sump, the hot tub or whatever, seem to all last 7-10 years before wearing out and they all seem to cost between $500 and 1000 to replace.

Chief2
Jun. 18, 2010, 11:28 AM
Refuse the money and call it a day. It is not her fault. These things only last so long and then they go. The one at the barn went 12 years and had to be replaced at 10 degrees below zero on New Years Day; the one on my brother's farm went after 10 years. It's never convenient, and it's not any one person's fault. Think "timed obsolescence".

What you paid is highway robbery. The first pump I mentioned ran around $500, with the DIY replacement process. My brother hired 3 people to replace his because it is connected to the house water supply and they wanted to avoid bacteria in the water. The cost: $1500. Mr. Chief2 (helped replace pump #1) says this is not hard to do, and strongly recommends learning the DIY process for substantial savings.

arabhorse2
Jun. 18, 2010, 11:32 AM
Wow, what a wonderful boarder! Let her pay something if she insists, even though you don't want her to. It'll make her feel better. I do like the suggestions to use the money towards something barn or horse related.

My well pump and pressure tank both had to be replaced this past December. My well guy had been keeping the system limping along for the last 4 years, but he and I both knew it was only a matter of time.

I paid a total of $800.00 for everything, which included him digging up the well. He's a local guy and really appreciated the business. I appreciated the nice price! ;)

My well isn't as deep as some, but he placed the pump at 100 ft. and said he could have gone even lower, but didn't feel the need.

shortbusgeek
Jun. 18, 2010, 03:19 PM
Tell her to go ask the company that did the work. Tell them the situation and ask them if it's her fault. If they say no (which they obviously should) then maybe she'll accept their answer. If she still insists on paying part of it then I'd go with the ideas of the others here... she's welcome to donate some jumps or some footing for the arena or a smoothie blender and ice maker or something for the lounge. Whatever. But these kinds of expenses are routine expenses for a farm and that you certainly appreciate the offer but it's really not her fault. :-)

Tom King
Jun. 18, 2010, 07:31 PM
We also have a deep well. Our first pump lasted almost 20 years-don't remember exactly. I hung the 1 1/2 hp Grundos all stainless steel pump on a stainless sailboat cable-loop formed with NicroPress sleeves like sailboat shroud. Pipe is 1 1/4" PVC. I secure a cable pulley on the loader bucket and run the cable through the pulley lifted into the air by the tractor to a truck bumper.

To pull the pump out someone just drives the truck slowly forward. PVC pipe gets brittle after it ages anyway, so I just let it break all to pieces as it comes out and bends over. PVC pipe is cheap, so new pipe goes back on at a pump change. It's just laid out on the ground, glued up, and it takes several men to get a big loop up in the air and hand feed it along as the pump is lowered back into the well by the cable.

Wires are disconnected and reconnected at the well head and taped to the PVC when it's laid out with 3M 33+ electricians tape every 6 feet or so and new waterproof connectors to reuse the same wire onto the new 2 wire pump. I think the pump-best you can buy- is 6 or 7 hundred dollars.

http://secure.mycart.net/catalogs/catalog.asp?prodid=1914084&showprevnext=1

Just a for-what-it's-worth for anyone interested.

Fairview Horse Center
Jun. 18, 2010, 07:42 PM
PVC pipe gets brittle after it ages anyway, so I just let it break all to pieces as it comes out and bends over. PVC pipe is cheap, so new pipe goes back on at a pump change.
...
new waterproof connectors to reuse the same wire onto the new 2 wire pump. I think the pump-best you can buy- is 6 or 7 hundred dollars.

OK, that is interesting. We have been here 30 years, and replaced the pump twice, but have always re-used the pipe. Last year though, pump only two years old, and it stopped working. I was going to be really mad if the pump had a problem, but when we pulled it up, the wire was broken half way down the well. Now we have replaced all the wire, so hopefully no more problems.

Tom King
Jun. 19, 2010, 09:23 AM
Submersible pump wire "breaking" sounds like a really odd thing to me. It's really tough stuff.

http://www.aquascience.net/wire/

If anyone can pull 350' of PVC pipe full of water out of a well without breaking it, I'll tip my hat to them. I just pull it on out and replace it.

CatOnLap
Jun. 19, 2010, 09:30 AM
I secure a cable pulley on the loader bucket and run the cable through the pulley lifted into the air by the tractor to a truck bumper.

I swear Tom, they should clone you and sell you in the "Ideal Husband Store".

This is a very clever use of the available tools and you didn't even have to call a crane.

Fairview Horse Center
Jun. 19, 2010, 10:09 AM
Submersible pump wire "breaking" sounds like a really odd thing to me. It's really tough stuff.

http://www.aquascience.net/wire/

It may be tough, but it DID break, and in the middle. It is pretty expensive, but better to replace that than have to pull the pump again - especially if someone is paying $2500-$5000 to do it. It was about $90 for the wire - money I wish I had spent when we pulled it up to replace the pump.

FINDING that wire locally was even more entertaining. It is not carried in electric OR plumbing supply places. DEFINITELY not the cr*p Lowes and Home Depot try to sell you for well pumps. :no: :( Not at the Co-ops, or Southern States. Thank you TSC!! <and for your late hours after we wasted all of the day going/calling the other supply places, and racing to beat those closing times> We were really lucky too as there was only about 75' left on the roll - just a few feet more than we needed. THEN they didn't have the underwater connectors, so we had to race to another TSC to get them. Yup, wire changing and pump replacing by flashlight. :yes:

Thank God for boarders who let you fill 300 gallons of troughs on the back of a pick-up at 11PM with their home water.


If anyone can pull 350' of PVC pipe full of water out of a well without breaking it, I'll tip my hat to them. I just pull it on out and replace it.

As I said before, my well is only 50' deep. We have now pulled the pump up at least 3 times and replaced it with the same PVC pipe.

Fairview Horse Center
Jun. 19, 2010, 10:26 AM
I secure a cable pulley on the loader bucket and run the cable through the pulley lifted into the air by the tractor to a truck bumper.

To pull the pump out someone just drives the truck slowly forward.

About 20 years ago, a friend of mine had a pump issue. Her young but determined "farm" husband was going to replace it himself, as he was pretty experienced in electric and plumbing repairs - how hard can it be? ;)

My friend had to go ride a few horses (her job) and was due home to help him at noon. He decided to get started a bit without her, as she was running late. Well, his pump was a lot deeper, living a bit in the mountains, than my 50' that we hand pull. He got the bolts undone, and realized his mistake, as it was not tied off to anything. :eek:

He really was sweating bullets when she pulled up a few minutes later, trying to hold on to the pump, as of course, he couldn't budge it. She at least was able to get it tied off to the bumper of her truck. I am surprised they were still together after that. :lol: :lol:

Watermark Farm
Jun. 19, 2010, 01:36 PM
What a nice boarder, but I'd refuse her $$. Well pumps only last for so long. Sure, maybe she sped up the death process by leaving the water on, but probably not by much.

I swear well equipment only breaks on a weekend or holiday, too!

CelticRiverDance
Jun. 19, 2010, 01:51 PM
Rather than donating it to some charity, I'm sure there's some "nice to have" amenity that she and you and all the boarders would enjoy.

What a great idea!:yes:

BeeHoney
Jun. 19, 2010, 02:00 PM
Well, I don't know exactly what you should say to your boarder, but I do know that you should not accept the money, or even a partial amount of it, even to use it for another purpose (charity, barn cookout, whatever). You are so lucky to have such a nice boarder who is so honest and who feels so badly that there might have been a chance that she contributed to the death of the pump. But, the death of the pump seems to very clearly fall under the category of normal wear and tear, and normal wear and tear is clearly a boarding farm's responsibility. "Normal wear and tear" repairs (and yeah, a lot of them are $$$$$$) are just part of what boarders are (or should be) already paying for in their monthly boarding fees.

If you did accept even something from this person, there is a chance that in the future after she thought about it she would realize the truth of the situation (not really her fault), and then she might feel badly about having overreacted and handed over a bunch of money needlessly, and that might create an awkward situation. In retrospect, she might feel taken advantage of, or she might even feel like you owe her something.

Pookah
Jun. 20, 2010, 09:16 PM
I would continue to refuse the money, but wow, you are lucky to have such a fabulous boarder, and you should tell her that!

dkcbr
Jun. 21, 2010, 09:42 AM
I'm on the side of "don't accept her money", and wonder if printing this thread out for her might help her feel better.

Both you and she rock for bending over backwards not to take advantage of each other!! :)

AnotherRound
Jul. 16, 2010, 08:26 AM
Yes, do not accept the money. There are some people who are afraid of making mistakes and are quick to spread dollars around to ensure nobody blalmes them or is angry with them, like a form of hypervigilance. Almost a way of pre-empting a possible bad scene where she gets discovered for her error and blamed.

Its nice to be offered from your point of view, but you shouldn't accept the money because its being applied as an appeasement from the boarder's point of view and whatever that is making her do that I sure wouldn't want to get mixed up in.

The money shouldn't be used generally around the farm. I think that would reinforce her need to pacify people with money. Stay away from taking the money, and if she pushes it, get concerned and ask her why she wants to pay money for something which has nothing to do with her? Tell her she needs to get the technical details from the well guys so that she understands pumps go after some years, that they are made to be run for long periods, that it was ok that it ran overnight, and that her board covers the costs of running the farm.

If you say all that at one time, she may get it, at least, get the fact that you arone't going to take the money, whether she accepts the truth or not.

AnotherRound
Jul. 16, 2010, 08:30 AM
Oops, this was an old thread, how'd I come up with it? Sorry. Except, well, now that I resurrected it, how'd it go with the money spreading boarder?

anchodavis
Jul. 17, 2010, 02:48 PM
Wow, what a great barn! Got any openings? :D
I agree it couldn't have been her fault. It's nice she wants to help foot the bill tho.... although I've never heard of anyone being so insistent over such a huge expense.... weird. Good weird!

philosoraptor
Jul. 18, 2010, 09:21 AM
That's sweet of her to care. :)

I don't believe it's her fault. If it was dying, it was dying. If it were me, I'd not accept any money.