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Old 09-10-2019, 02:28 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
10,890 posts, read 5,105,467 times
Reputation: 22671

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Quote:
Originally Posted by unlabeled View Post
I sympathize but feel that you need to hire a professional estate management corporation if you want financial compensation for mistakes made by household staff in your absence. Employers can't legally or morally request financial compensation when employees make a costly mistake. It doesn't matter if the employee is rich or poor, or if the loss is thousands or millions. It's the kid's fault he left the water running and it'd be reasonable to fire him, but it's your fault that you leave the property unattended for so many days.
Did nobody read the OP's first post in its entirety? She's out of the country.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
26,797 posts, read 63,711,406 times
Reputation: 31164
Brain can just walk away and forget you. there is not a lot you can do about it. The fact he is willing to step up indicates some good moral character, but everyone has a breaking point.

Our water bill comes every three months. My wife kept trying to get the algae out of our pool she killed it and worked on vacuuming it out then had to fill more. Every now and again she would forget and let the hose run too long overfilling the pool. She spent hundreds on chemicals before giving up and deciding we just would not use the pool this year. Then we got the September water bill (for June July and August) $1098!

We had a very cool summer, so our water bill should be lower, but it was higher. We also used very little Ac this summer, but our electric bill for August was still much higher than last year. Not sure why. Most likely rate increases. W e have fewer people living here now and most of our lights are now LED.

Point is, you could have done the same thing yourself - very easily.

The other thing to keep in mind is not all of that bill is due to him leaving the hose running. Caring for a pool requires you pump out water while vacuuming. If you live where the summer has been hot, you have more than normal evaporation (even with a cover, but without a cover you get massive evaporation). In most places, water prices have gone up. Also check all of your toilets. If your house is sitting there unused there is a good chance one of them is stuck running. even a tiny valve leak will cost you 400 or more during a billing cycle. Listen to each toilet for a few hours. Does it ever refill even a little while sitting? Finally if you water your lawn, check all the sprinklers. Are any broken or missing? Is the irrigation system leaking? This can easily go unnoticed in a vacant home.

Lastly compare your bill/water usage from last year with a month when he did not leave the hose running. Is it higher?
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
8 posts, read 1,479 times
Reputation: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiluvr1228 View Post
Did nobody read the OP's first post in its entirety? She's out of the country.
Did you not read my post? I know she's out of the country and that is exactly my point. It should never have ballooned into a costly 5-day leak. What if the homeowner had not bothered to return for a month or year, would everyone still try to pin the entire bill on the pool boy? Homeowners are responsible for the daily maintenance of the property, including inspection of their laborers' work after it has been completed. If the homeowner chooses to be absent from the property for extended periods of time then the responsible choice is to hire a concierge through an estate management service to do routine inspections. If he's an independent contractor and not an employee then I was wrong about his financial liability, but I still don't feel he is responsible for the entire bill.
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Old 09-10-2019, 03:57 PM
 
Location: N. Raleigh
711 posts, read 1,357,489 times
Reputation: 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyMae521 View Post
I know, I know. Business is business and money is money. But you've been given an opportunity here to do something for this ambitious young man that he will never forget. You will never forget it either. And you both will look back on this forever as a moment in your life when you took the highest road you could take.


Make believe he is your son and let it go. As someone else posted, pay it forward. It's not easy out there these days. You will be a hero to Brian forever. IMO, that is priceless.


(I just finished reading "The Cellist of Sarajevo" by Steven Galloway. One of the themes of this based-upon-fact novel is human kindnesses extended towards others during the siege of Sarajevo where the consequences were much greater, yet these kindnesses were extended daily. It's what kept those suffering under the siege feeling that they were still human. This may seem to be OT, but I think it addresses why you're feeling a bit of guilt.)
How very well put. Kindness is rarely forgotten and if you are in a position to help this young man then do it. Err on the side of mercy.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:29 PM
 
10,158 posts, read 4,761,491 times
Reputation: 13282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieneke View Post
I'm guessing that he hasn't offered to pay you directly because he doesn't have the money. When he understood the cost to be $200, he offered a free month of service. If the bill is $1000, that's a lot of free service and, from his perspective, perhaps there's no guarantee that you will keep him after 5 months of free service.

Personally, I would let it go. He's young, he does a good job, he screwed up, and having to pay the bill might be a real hardship.

Is there a valve that can be added to the hose to automatically shut off the water after a specific time interval?

Yes, this is quite an expensive mistake the the pool guy should never have been able to make, if the homeowner had installed a $15 automatic water shut off.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:37 PM
 
10,158 posts, read 4,761,491 times
Reputation: 13282
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
I ended up letting Tammy go in late June, because I came home and the pool looked horrible (not the first time). That's when I hired Brian.

It wasn't until I found the water left running in August that I realized this is most likely what happened in June. By the time I figured this out, I'd already fired Tammy. I can't prove she ever left the water running, and maybe it was some other "great mystery," but it seems like the most reasonable explanation.

Ok, so Tammy left the water running in June causing a very high bill then Brian left the water running in August causing a very high bill... have you considered the possibility that you do have a big leak somewhere? Or perhaps neighborhood teen pranksters who are turning on your faucet?
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Lone Mountain Las Vegas NV
13,377 posts, read 5,123,687 times
Reputation: 5957
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
Yes, this is quite an expensive mistake the the pool guy should never have been able to make, if the homeowner had installed a $15 automatic water shut off.
Good ones are more like $60 to $75 and you want a good one as the cheap ones create more problems than they solve. Some will fall in while on and never turn off.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,275 posts, read 2,034,929 times
Reputation: 3465
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
Good idea about a timer for the valve. I'll have to search and see if such a thing exists.
Sure, there are a few different kinds. We've used them for watering our garden and have had horrible luck. They either get stuck open, or stuck closed... neither of which is good for a garden of course.

If I were in your shoes I'd get a very simple hose-end timer that runs off the water flow. No batteries, and no programming to screw up. You just set the time and that's it. I'd replace it at least annually because cheap plastic gears wear out and when it fails you may have this same disaster scenario all over again.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,275 posts, read 2,034,929 times
Reputation: 3465
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmensch View Post
Good ones are more like $60 to $75 and you want a good one as the cheap ones create more problems than they solve. Some will fall in while on and never turn off.

Any particular brand you can recommend? We've had several of these fail. I'm going to install a proper underground system for our garden, but we invariably end up using the hose bib timer for odds and ends tasks, and it's a pain when they don't work.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Lone Mountain Las Vegas NV
13,377 posts, read 5,123,687 times
Reputation: 5957
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikernut View Post
Any particular brand you can recommend? We've had several of these fail. I'm going to install a proper underground system for our garden, but we invariably end up using the hose bib timer for odds and ends tasks, and it's a pain when they don't work.
AA702 would know much better than me. I personally have a permanent one which is actually the same gizmo that controls the level in a commode. I have had to fix mine twice in 23 years. It is a simple device but you need a separate water line to it and a hole in the deck and a pipe to the pool. I expect over a grand - maybe more depending on how hard it is to get the water line.
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