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Pump on well went - boarder feels it's her fault -wwyd?

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  • Pump on well went - boarder feels it's her fault -wwyd?

    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?
    On the 8th day God created the Quarter Horse. On the 9th day, he Painted the good ones.

  • #2
    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.


    • #3
      No advice, just the observation that both you and your boarder appear to be very sweet, honest and generous people.
      Equinox Equine Massage

      In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
      -Albert Camus


      • #4
        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!)
        Last edited by Meredith Clark; Jun. 17, 2010, 03:08 PM.
        http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


        • #5
          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.


          • #6
            You could take the money and tell her you are going to donate it to the horse charity of her choice.
            Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


            • #7
              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.
              If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


              • #8
                Originally posted by Blue Eyed Tovero View Post
                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.

                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.
                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                -Rudyard Kipling


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                  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.
                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                  • #10
                    I would be the same way!

                    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.
                    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                    • #11
                      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.


                      • #12
                        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.
                        Rhode Islands are red;
                        North Hollands are blue.
                        Sorry my thoroughbreds
                        Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :


                        • #13
                          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.


                          • Original Poster

                            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.)
                            On the 8th day God created the Quarter Horse. On the 9th day, he Painted the good ones.


                            • #15
                              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 !
                              Susan N.

                              Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.


                              • #16
                                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.
                                "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                                • #17
                                  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.
                                  "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                                  • #18
                                    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.
                                    Homeopathy claims water can cure you since it once held medicine. That's like saying you can get sustenance from an empty plate because it once held food.


                                    • #19
                                      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. :-)
                                      David A. Staples
                                      Pony Tail Acres | Find Us On Facebook


                                      • #20
                                        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.


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