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View Full Version : I give up... screwed over again



dmalbone
Dec. 10, 2010, 07:52 PM
So DH took the day off to be home for the irrigation/water guys to run the water to the barn. I had to work sadly. First I got a call that they couldn't put it where I wanted since the rock around the barn was too hard, packed, and frozen for his trencher to get through. Not a huge deal since the barn is so tiny, but it irked me. I had separate outlets installed next to the spot I wanted it for the heated hose, tape if needed, etc.

Finally, at the end of the day DH called me and said "there might be a problem, I think you might have to stand on something to use this." I laughed and thought he was making fun of my whopping 5' stature. Apparently not. The guy told us to buy a hydrant with a 4' bury depth so we did... Apparently since he trenched up to the barn at 30" that's the depth he installed the hydrant. So all 30-ish" of the regular pipe that's supposed to be sticking up is, along with another 18"!?!?! From my calculations that's 48" above ground and I am a foot taller than that. Really people? Do you really truly believe it's supposed to be installed like that? I highly doubt it. Apparently the guy told DH "I guess I should have told you to get the 3' ". I don't know exactly what DH said to him. I was too angry that he didn't tell him to fix it (apparently he froze his testicles off today working outside in the cold and didn't have them to stand up for himself) that I just hung up. The guy said there's something in the way of the hydrant connecting at the bottom and he is coming back out tomorrow to fix that part- nothing about the height. So I guess I get to be the one to tell him it's not ok. Never ever again will I buy bare property and turn it into a horse farm. Ever. This guy came highly recommended by 2 people we know! I think I'm just cursed.

jawa
Dec. 10, 2010, 08:24 PM
So Sorry!!!

IFG
Dec. 10, 2010, 08:28 PM
I almost hate to ask, is that going to be below your frost line?

dmalbone
Dec. 10, 2010, 08:34 PM
I almost hate to ask, is that going to be below your frost line?

God, at this point who knows. He swears that this is what he does ALL of his water and irrigation lines at and that it is below the frost line and will not freeze. He might have trenched deeper, I don't know. He said the frost line was 30" (the fencer said that as well) so I would assume to would have the common sense to but it below that.

IFG
Dec. 10, 2010, 08:38 PM
At least the two of them agree. I had to bury my lines 4' down here in the Northeast.

SLW
Dec. 10, 2010, 09:00 PM
Grrrrr. That is awful especially since he came recommended. :( Get hubby to build you a nice, 18" square, 6" tall wooden box/step to keep right by the hydrant.

dmalbone
Dec. 10, 2010, 09:02 PM
Grrrrr. That is awful especially since he came recommended. :( Get hubby to build you a nice, 18" square, 6" tall wooden box/step to keep right by the hydrant.
Yeah... maybe I should also mention that I'm klutzy, pregnant, and have had two high ligament ankle sprains in the past year, one of which isn't healed (6 sprains total in 3 years) from stepping off of things or just plain stepping wrong. We try to keep me on the ground as much as possible. :lol:

wsmoak
Dec. 10, 2010, 09:06 PM
I hate it when they press on with a project instead of stopping when something is obviously not right. :/

We're doing the same thing (building out horse infrastructure) and luckily I work from home with a very flexible schedule so I can go outside and supervise.

Otherwise the skylights on my barn would have been put in the wrong place, the area cleared for the arena would be the wrong shape, etc. As it is I've got two gate openings that are too small and one that is too large, because apparently dragging the gates out to where I wanted them installed was not enough!

So far, nothing too bad has happened, and I suppose your current catastrophe is also fixable.

Zu Zu
Dec. 10, 2010, 09:12 PM
Sorry ~ how terrible ~ What a PITA !

Just stand your ground ~~~ it is important !!!

I had a problem with a new hydrant once = too tall :eek: inspite of the instructions of "replace this one with one JUST like it"

I hope I never ever have to build again ~ which includes new water lines, electrical lines buildings or even a dog house.,

Jingles for you ~ hoping your Saturday is productive and this problem is fixed.

JSwan
Dec. 10, 2010, 09:20 PM
The guy said there's something in the way of the hydrant connecting at the bottom and he is coming back out tomorrow to fix that part- nothing about the height. .

He's going to have to dig it up so he might as well replace it with a 3' while he's at it.

The hydrant drains when you close it. Usually (around here anyway) what you do is where the water line connects to the hydrant you dig a bit deeper there and fill it with gravel. It allows the water in the hydrant to drain when you close the handle. That's the "frost free" feature built into a hydrant.

If there is 'something in the way' it won't drain. And the hydrant will freeze and split.

Though I really and truly hope he trenched deep enough or a too tall hydrant is going to be the least of your problems. :no:

Sorry you're having all that trouble. Makes you wonder what ever happened to a good old fashioned work ethic, doesn't it.

This may be Christmas, but you're not Santa Claus. Give the knucklehead a piece of your mind. You can do it!

MistyBlue
Dec. 10, 2010, 11:26 PM
Use the pregnancy hormones to your advantage. Because nobody should have a hydrant filling your buckets at or above chest level! Either your arms will wear out holding buckets up in the air or you'll get soaked as water splashes that far to the ground to fill the bucket or you'll need to keep a short hose attached...which in winter means taking it on and off all the time and blowing it out so it doesn't freeze.

So yeah, I'd light into that contractor.

And hang in there...yeah building a place from the ground up could make anyone insane. But over time...you do laugh when you look back on the screw ups and you do end up appreciating every square inch of the place because you get to know every square inch of your place!

And look on the bright side...at least you haven't had to break up an epic battle between your bulldozer guy and your logger! That was one of my top highlights when we started building this place. Chainsaw vs dozer blade, it weren't pretty.

atr
Dec. 10, 2010, 11:33 PM
I kinda wish I had a 4ft hydrant--I've had to dig DOWN to my 3ft one on more than one ocassion in the wintertime... and I've usually run out of space to get a bucket under it by about February.

ladybugred
Dec. 11, 2010, 12:05 AM
Sorry about your issues, I have a couple questions though!
1. As others have said, will this be below your frost level? Maybe call your Ag dept?
2. Couldn't the hydrant pipe just be cut shorter? Or when he digs it up to fix it tomorrow, could you get a smaller one??
3. Or could he be less of a dumba$$ and bury it lower???

Be a b*tch if you have to, this is your money ,and your property!!

Good Luck!
LBR

goodhors
Dec. 11, 2010, 12:25 AM
Make sure he digs a BIG hole to allow hydrant drainage, and have a pile of only ROCKS to refill with. You do NOT want dirt in the drainage area, freezes hard and solid early in the season, then hydrant freezes too.

Don't cut the hydrant down, it needs the length if it is placed properly.

Hope your water line is deep enough. It should be deeper than "average" if there is any vehicle traffic driving over it. Tire weight seems to push the frost crystals deeper than average. We see that happen often around here.

Our frost depth is 6ft deep. I would not expect to be able to use any hydrant with water lines not 6ft deep in winter here.

Sorry about having to do the job twice, but it seems most contractors are like that. The only ones I never had problems with were the fence installers. I drew out what I wanted, walked the ground with them, no problems except they centered two gates. I said gates MUST be able to fold back against the brace posts and be tied open. He said fine, redrilled and rehung them.

Glad he will be back so you can have things done the way you want. Accept no excuses, you will not be happy about it. Pregnant ladies should be HAPPY and contented, not ticked off!! Happy mom means happy baby!

Catersun
Dec. 11, 2010, 03:10 AM
From one pregnant woman to another... channel your inner bitch and make him do it right!

Alagirl
Dec. 11, 2010, 03:45 AM
Channel?

Unleash the red eyed beast of crazy! :lol:

ReSomething
Dec. 11, 2010, 04:34 AM
My dad is in the trades and I worked summers for an architect. This stuff is par for the course.
And you got very unlucky with this weather as did we, we have a set of portable shelters sitting waiting in Indiana that we are trying to figure out how to get up here without having the delivery truck stuck or sliding down the hill on the ice or the mud. Months of drought, we order this thing and wham! rain, snow and single digits.
However.
If your guy isn't done, then first, check the frost depth. 30" sounds right here in KY but you are more north of us. You can deal with the standpipe a couple of ways.
If it is far from a building you can raise the grade around the pipe, which means quite a few pickup loads of dirt to make a gently sloping mound so you don't have to step up or down.
Or you can have him replace the too tall unit. Although I don't think it is impossible to cut a frost free down to size, you'd have to be shortening all the interior workings too and really you'd be much better off just getting the correctly sized unit.
Then you MUST make sure that he has made it a sump. The hydrant drains every time you shut it off, that's why the pipe doesn't burst, and it doesn't need heat tape, and it drains into a sump in the earth under the bottom of the pipe. Ours was installed with a five gallon bucket filled with 2" gravel around the bottom of the pipe, every time the water drained the bottom of the pipe sat in that puddle and within four years the pipe developed a pinhole leak and turned into a geyser when you turned it on. We lost the use of it for one winter and DH spent a week playing with the backhoe replacing it and changing the drainage.
Tom King has often posted regarding underground plumbing and FFhydrants with tips on mating pipes and getting the longest life out of your setup. I'd find and post the link but it is 3AM - it might be up in the FAQ's.

I know it is hard but take a deep breath. What I remember from working with the architect is that he was the guy that had to cope with this kind of stuff, and he charged the clients a pretty penny to do it. He didn't have any better luck than they might have though. When you are all done you'll still have a nice place and you'll appreciate all the work that went into it!

EquusMagnificus
Dec. 11, 2010, 10:01 AM
From one who lives in the great North, 30" doesn't sound nowhere deep enough.

Here it is a minimum of 48", 72" under driveways or paths that are cleared from the snow in the winter (snow adds insulation).

jawa
Dec. 11, 2010, 10:17 AM
I would check with your local Ag Agent to find out the minimum depth to maintain a frost free zone.

Once you are armed with that information, I would demand that the hydrant be done to your specifications in order for the contractor to get paid.

Best of luck

chai
Dec. 11, 2010, 11:05 AM
The town I live in requires anyone digging a trench to apply for a trench permit. Your local building or plumbing inspector might be able to help you if the guy did not build to code.
Good luck. I had to laugh about your description of your DH, though. :-)

dmalbone
Dec. 11, 2010, 12:25 PM
Thanks everyone. He hasn't showed up today yet so who knows. He's not paid yet (learned our mistake about that last time...). I can call someone Monday about the frost depth, but according to the frost depth maps that I can find online we appear to be 30". DH's dad does cell phone towers all over (he manages the projects of actually building the towers and all that fun stuff) and agrees that it's 30". There's no traffic- not even foot traffic over the area where the water line runs except an occasional riding mower. However... I don't understand how physically that much hydrant is sticking out of the ground if it is buried at least 30". It is inside of the barn, so there's really no building up around it to make it a normal height. We paid $100 for this Woodford hydrant ourselves because this idiot told us to get a 4' hydrant and those seem to be the best! Now I can't afford to go buy another $100 Woodford hydrant and have a wasted one here.

Zu Zu
Dec. 11, 2010, 12:39 PM
Hoping this can be fixed with just some "playing hard ball" with this guy. Just research and get everything set in your mind before Monday .
GOOD LUCK ~

EquusMagnificus
Dec. 11, 2010, 12:44 PM
At least that is good news (for the frost level).

New constructions AND renovations are a PITA. Don't say no to New constructions forever. You might find that for the same hassle, you'd rather have some new stuff. Ask me how I know? :winkgrin:

In all seriousness though, you will learn, or have learnt already, that those guys are usually pretty sloppy at their job. They want it done fast, not necessarily well, and get paid a lot and fast too.

You need to make all your research, get the guy down to do the job and tell him exactly what you need. You must be very well versed because he might argue with you. It's very much fun. Paying all that $$$ to argue with a so-called-pro. Alas, that's the way it is.

Another lesson learned the hard way for me, don't trust the pros. ;) Do you own research!

ReSomething
Dec. 11, 2010, 01:04 PM
At least that is good news (for the frost level).

New constructions AND renovations are a PITA. Don't say no to New constructions forever. You might find that for the same hassle, you'd rather have some new stuff. Ask me how I know? :winkgrin:

In all seriousness though, you will learn, or have learnt already, that those guys are usually pretty sloppy at their job. They want it done fast, not necessarily well, and get paid a lot and fast too.

You need to make all your research, get the guy down to do the job and tell him exactly what you need. You must be very well versed because he might argue with you. It's very much fun. Paying all that $$$ to argue with a so-called-pro. Alas, that's the way it is.

Another lesson learned the hard way for me, don't trust the pros. ;) Do you own research!


This. You don't need to be a beyotch. Be an informed consumer and learn how to do some of the minor stuff yourself.

EquusMagnificus
Dec. 11, 2010, 01:15 PM
This. You don't need to be a beyotch. Be an informed consumer and learn how to do some of the minor stuff yourself.

Exactly, just be solid and don't let yourself get pushed over!

dmalbone
Dec. 11, 2010, 01:16 PM
Well, he called DH and we have a solution. SHOCKINGLY (I do have bad luck after all) the guy wasn't ok with the way it was left yesterday and bought a 3' hydrant and wanted to put that in. Apparently after the two left our house they talked to each other and said that "she's short, there's no way she can use that". It's not a nice one like we have, but at this point I just don't even care. The low on Monday is 2. Hey, at least they bumped it up from the -2 that they were predicting. I just want water! So he's on his way here and DH is at the store grabbing more gravel/rocks. At this point I really just want it done so it works. My fingers are crossed that it gets done today (and it would be really nice if it took them a while and we couldn't go to DH's work Xmas party. I hate those stupid things. :lol: Oh yeah, as far as "learn how to do some of the minor stuff yourself." We've done a TON and are tired of doing stuff out there. :winkgrin: We completely insulated, built all the walls, built the doors, stained, varnished, leveled the stall floors, installed the mats, installed the lights, redid all of the fencing, built corrals off the stalls. We were "only" paying someone to build the barn shell, build the fences, run electricity, and water. DH works full time, and I work pt and go to grad school full time. We're at our max work load. Minor stuff we're ok with. Tapping into the well and trenching past septic, electric, and phone lines, we're not. Wish we could have. Would have saved some money that's for sure.

ReSomething
Dec. 11, 2010, 01:25 PM
I apologize if I sounded flippant. It's been my experience that a farm is a never ending project, just like a boat.

Hope this all falls into place nicely for you.

dmalbone
Dec. 11, 2010, 01:33 PM
Exactly, just be solid and don't let yourself get pushed over!

I think this is where we're terrified. I don't know if you remember, but our fencer but a line in the totally wrong spot. DH talked to him the next day and evenly said (he's not a rough and "it's gonna be my way or the highway" type guy. He's an IT guy for pete's sake. :D ) "This fence line is in the wrong spot and isn't like our diagram. It's an electric fence and it can't be this close to this tree." The guy literally threw his stuff done and said forget it, we're leaving. They were quitting because he told them they did something wrong. So I think we're terrified now...

MistyBlue
Dec. 11, 2010, 01:34 PM
Yeah, same here Dmalbone...Mr Blue and I take on what we can (and what we think we can, LOL) and then leave the bigger stuff to those who know what they're doing...hopefully. (and to fix what we thought we could do ourselves)
Over the years though things change a tad here and there and you find your list of stuff you can do without help grows. And your collection of tools grows. And then you get to the point where a trip to a hardware store is 1000x more exciting than a trip to Bloomingdales. :winkgrin: Heck, I've been going to Home Depot 2-3 times per week and buying all sorts of little stuff just so I can keep entering their "win a $5000 gift card" contest. :lol: The cash register workers are now ringing everything up separate for me for more chances, LOL! (nailgun is on the shopping spree list)

Also ask around and be on the lookout for a handy person who's honest and has a lot of experience in different things. Those folks are worth their weight in gold...just found out today a friend I've known for a while can do a bit of everything and when he picked up my tractor today for a repair I can't do, he's also bringing back a cord of wood and new barn doors. :D And all for less than the barn doors alone would've been from the company that built my barn!

And yeah, some contractors are a lot more temperamental than you'd ever imagine. We've had more than one of those types here before...it's sad when I have to remind them that *I* am the girl and they'd better stop acting like one. ;)

dmalbone
Dec. 11, 2010, 01:35 PM
I apologize if I sounded flippant. It's been my experience that a farm is a never ending project, just like a boat.

Hope this all falls into place nicely for you.

Oh no, I just meant that I wish we had the knowledge and time to do EVERYTHING ourselves. At least it would get done correctly. I just didn't want to sound like the princess who sits inside polishing her nails and complains that nobody does anything to her liking. Poor DH is already ready to move back to the city. :sigh:

fordtraktor
Dec. 11, 2010, 01:37 PM
Thanks everyone. He hasn't showed up today yet so who knows. He's not paid yet (learned our mistake about that last time...). I can call someone Monday about the frost depth, but according to the frost depth maps that I can find online we appear to be 30". DH's dad does cell phone towers all over (he manages the projects of actually building the towers and all that fun stuff) and agrees that it's 30". There's no traffic- not even foot traffic over the area where the water line runs except an occasional riding mower. However... I don't understand how physically that much hydrant is sticking out of the ground if it is buried at least 30". It is inside of the barn, so there's really no building up around it to make it a normal height. We paid $100 for this Woodford hydrant ourselves because this idiot told us to get a 4' hydrant and those seem to be the best! Now I can't afford to go buy another $100 Woodford hydrant and have a wasted one here.

Yeah, my concern for you is that he didn't bury as much as he was supposed to since so much extra is sticking up. When he digs it up, I personally would be there with a measuring tape myself, making sure it's below 30 inches. Then blame that on crazy pregnancy hormones making you neurotic if it turns out to be OK.

Call him up and ask him if he'll buy a shorter one and swap it out for you. He probably deals with them all the time and can reuse the too-long one on another job, whereas you would just be stuck with it.

Edited to add: just saw your update that he did this. Glad to hear it! Hope it works out for you. Would still be there with my tape. I'm very Type A.

spotmenow
Dec. 13, 2010, 07:53 AM
Sounds too shallow to me...we just buried a 4' hydrant. After being stood up by two "highly recommended" people", we just did it ourselves...rented the mini-excavator, hired the guy up the road to run it, and luckily my father is very good with plumbing.

Your comment on never buying bare land again...careful what you wish for-FIRST we had to rent equipment to locate the electric line (this turned out to be plural) and old water line that was leaking and then we had to avoid them with our path-an added dimension of fun!

SmartAlex
Dec. 13, 2010, 10:23 AM
Oh no, I just meant that I wish we had the knowledge and time to do EVERYTHING ourselves. At least it would get done correctly.

My husband IS the kind who can (and does) do everything himself. And he does it correctly with over kill as if its supposed to last a thousand years maintenance free. He lays awake nights thinking of potential problems and engineering them out. Every contracting supply store from lumber to electrical dreads the sight of him walking through their door with his latest outlandish request for stuff they don't stock and have never heard of. He has our excavator on speed dial and has bought so much gravel etc they guy ought to send us a gift basket each Christmas. We own more tools and equipment than the rental place, and my husband has been known to buy implements on the anticipation that one of his friends may ask to borrow it someday.

With that set up story let me tell you. If it can go wrong it WILL go wrong. Nothing works out as planned. You are screwed before you begin. I can match you story for story from the opposite perspective. :yes: So, it's not just you ;)

dmalbone
Dec. 13, 2010, 10:34 AM
My husband IS the kind who can (and does) do everything himself. And he does it correctly with over kill as if its supposed to last a thousand years maintenance free. He lays awake nights thinking of potential problems and engineering them out. Every contracting supply store from lumber to electrical dreads the sight of him walking through their door with his latest outlandish request for stuff they don't stock and have never heard of. He has our excavator on speed dial and has bought so much gravel etc they guy ought to send us a gift basket each Christmas. We own more tools and equipment than the rental place, and my husband has been known to buy implements on the anticipation that one of his friends may ask to borrow it someday.

With that set up story let me tell you. If it can go wrong it WILL go wrong. Nothing works out as planned. You are screwed before you begin. I can match you story for story from the opposite perspective. :yes: So, it's not just you ;)Lol, Well that's reassuring. At least it's just the way things are and not me!

He showed up on Saturday and was really nice. He dug the hydrant up and tested the lines and apparently there is something in them somewhere. :mad: So now there's a clog and he has to dig up the line to find it. YAAAAY!!!! :rolleyes: He's coming tomorrow to attempt to fix it.

dmalbone
Dec. 13, 2010, 10:36 AM
Sounds too shallow to me...we just buried a 4' hydrant. It probably does! I'm quite a bit further south than you though. :)

SmartAlex
Dec. 13, 2010, 11:06 AM
Oh.. .and P.S. The last time my mother's frost free hydrant gave up, she carried water for three days from the back up well waiting for the "well guy" to show up to fix it. Found out that one of his parents had passed away and he was understandably backed up. So, my husband agreed to come and do it on the weekend. **Enter freak early snow storm.** The flat bed trailer was snowed in, so he drove 8 miles on his tractor with back hoe attachment through 8 inches of snow.

Now, "us girls" had to go get a replacement. Not trusting us to communicate his needs properly in this dire circumstance, we walked into the pipe supply store with the old hydrant (7 or 8 feet of sufficiently mud and ice covered pipe) and said "I need one of these... please." :lol:

EqTrainer
Dec. 13, 2010, 11:23 AM
From one pregnant woman to another... channel your inner bitch and make him do it right!

That's right! Bring her on!

Bluey
Dec. 13, 2010, 11:46 AM
The place you got the too tall hydrant should exchange it free or for a minimal restocking charge, try asking them.

You don't want that much pipe sticking out for several reasons, including that you will have to add a short hose to fill buckets from so high up there.;)

I hear you on not wanting to say much to anyone doing work for you.
Try a neighbor with an attitude.:eek:
I have yet to have someone quit on me or have to run some off, but it sure takes some good diplomatic skills to get what you want exactly and tons of patience to learn to live with what you can't change.:lol:

Do try to get that hydrant exchanged, that would help, I think.:)

Gnalli
Dec. 13, 2010, 10:47 PM
My husband IS the kind who can (and does) do everything himself. And he does it correctly with over kill as if its supposed to last a thousand years maintenance free. He lays awake nights thinking of potential problems and engineering them out. Every contracting supply store from lumber to electrical dreads the sight of him walking through their door with his latest outlandish request for stuff they don't stock and have never heard of. He has our excavator on speed dial and has bought so much gravel etc they guy ought to send us a gift basket each Christmas. We own more tools and equipment than the rental place, and my husband has been known to buy implements on the anticipation that one of his friends may ask to borrow it someday.

With that set up story let me tell you. If it can go wrong it WILL go wrong. Nothing works out as planned. You are screwed before you begin. I can match you story for story from the opposite perspective. :yes: So, it's not just you ;)

I am married to his twin... A roof 12 yrs ago-plain simple tin 14x14-we should have had 150 in materials besides what we already had...nope 350 more... That roof stood up to 120 mile straight line winds on top of a hill...He was so pleased with himself. I just go on now.

EqTrainer
Dec. 13, 2010, 10:53 PM
I am married to his twin... A roof 12 yrs ago-plain simple tin 14x14-we should have had 150 in materials besides what we already had...nope 350 more... That roof stood up to 120 mile straight line winds on top of a hill...He was so pleased with himself. I just go on now.

They must be triplets, because Mr. EqT builds everything the same way!

wsmoak
Dec. 13, 2010, 11:17 PM
They must be triplets, because Mr. EqT builds everything the same way!

Apparently it's an entire clan. I have a Klene Pipe run-in with more lumber attached to it than I thought possible. Everything is doubled and pre-drilled and counter sunk. It's not going *anywhere* in anything short of a tornado! And even then, those 40" anchors should hold the frame down, we'll just have to replace some wood. ;)

LAZ
Dec. 14, 2010, 12:50 AM
Get the guys guarantee in writing. My lines are buried 3' except in a few places where they turn up with the wrong fittings for
the hydrants. Guess where the ONLY place they ever freeze are? I've got almost all of those fixed but it is a pain!