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Old 09-10-2019, 05:20 PM
 
10,163 posts, read 4,770,195 times
Reputation: 13291

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
I did Google a while back for a company who would check an empty house, and didn't really find anything. My son lives 30 minutes away but he spends a significant amount of time out of state for work, so not a good option. We just bought this house in January, when my husband took the job out of the country, to be our retirement home next year and to be a place to put all of our possessions in the meantime. So I don't really even know any neighbors yet, other than very brief hello's.

Hire a dogwalker and tell them there is no dog.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:25 PM
 
10,163 posts, read 4,770,195 times
Reputation: 13291
Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmensch View Post
There are add on auto pool fillers. Here's one.

https://www.amazon.com/Fill-Matic-20...27049323&psc=1

The built in ones are better but it is a pretty extensive task to add one to an existing pool.

Anyone providing pool service should have something like that and never ever fill a pool without some kind of a shutoff.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:27 PM
 
4,103 posts, read 2,858,308 times
Reputation: 7751
So many good thoughts - shut off valves, it happened before with Tammy, leaks somewhere else, grace.

Let's just add one more thing, but for the fact that the OP was gone, this wouldn't have happened. She would've noticed that the hose was on and turned it off.

Even having someone come in to water plants or check the property on a regular basis might have helped prevent this oversight from growing into a big bill.

I'd go with the free month of service, pay the bills once properly adjusted. Lessons learned on both sides.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,278 posts, read 2,038,288 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvmensch View Post
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.

An automatic filler is nice. Thankfully the people who built the house we live in today included a auto filler with the pool.


We do use the hose bib timers quite a lot for other tasks, though, and it would be nice to find a reliable one.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Lone Mountain Las Vegas NV
13,399 posts, read 5,136,456 times
Reputation: 5957
Actually when we fill our pool we use a garden hose. Have a big 3/4 inch one. We are on a well and have lots of pressure and flow so the hose is 3 or 4 times faster than the auto fill. We also have pressure water in every corner of the yard via the irrigation system. So we could run two lines at once though it would likely limit by the pipes and might annoy the neighbors if we actually managed to drop the pressure.
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Old 09-10-2019, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
1,455 posts, read 1,335,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
This is already the second company we've used, and we just bought the house this year.
Good pool companies are hard to come by. I fired my first pool service because about half the time they didn't show up, and they always wanted cash on the spot whenever they cleaned the filter (without telling me in advance when they would do it; I paid the basic bill via online banking). When my solar heating system developed a leak, they claimed that they couldn't clean the pool, but they kept collecting payments. All that they had to do was shut off the feed to the solar heater.

I fired my second pool service after my pump motor burned out, and my pool motor guy said that he had never seen that much debris in a pool motor in 20 years of servicing pumps. He said that it was due to poor pool cleaning. That service started out really well, but after a while the owner stopped coming out and he sent people who he had hired (family members, I'm guessing). They spent only a fraction of the time that he had spent cleaning my pool, and a lot of stuff was left undone.

The last guy who I fired was cleaning my next door neighbor's pool, and he seemed to be happy with him so I hired him. After a while, my pump stopped circulating water. I found out that this guy had been running his suction line directly into the pump return without using a leaf filter when he cleaned, and he was just hoping that the basket on the pool motor would catch everything so that he could clean it out there. I had to pay $120 to have my return line blown out, and the amount of debris that came out of it was incredible. Debris accumulated in the line over time, until eventually it got to the point that the return line was almost completely blocked. When I asked about it, I was told, "It should clear out on its own in a few days." When days became more than a week, I called the tech who blew out the lines.

My current service is more expensive than some, but they consistently show up, and they identify and fix problems before they become major issues. I found them through Yelp, and they had consistently good reviews.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:04 PM
 
Location: S.W. Florida
2,296 posts, read 985,038 times
Reputation: 6440
Unless Brian is a fly by night one man operation, he must be licensed by the city or county to provide these services. He will also have insurance, which will limit his personal liability. At any rate, he made the mistake and he should own it. Sometimes life lessons are hard.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:42 AM
 
10,163 posts, read 4,770,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron61 View Post
Unless Brian is a fly by night one man operation, he must be licensed by the city or county to provide these services. He will also have insurance, which will limit his personal liability. At any rate, he made the mistake and he should own it. Sometimes life lessons are hard.

It sounds to me like Brian is a one man operation - no mention of his "employees". Insurance has deductibles and exclusions. One hard lesson of life here for the homeowner is that if you're going to leave your home vacant for long periods of time you should arrange to have it monitored and to install cheap shutoffs on hose bibbs. As I said earlier, a $15 device could have prevented this whole problem.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:19 PM
 
18,882 posts, read 20,851,341 times
Reputation: 27868
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Bear View Post
You really have been very kind to many of the responders, and you have also laid out your priorities.


So, add up all the bills, have a sit down, face to face, serious conversation with Brian and explain what it costs, and that you don't wish to hurt him such that he goes out of business. Whatever he charges you per month, divide the amount you have incurred by his rate and tell him he will be servicing your pool for that many months at HIS EXPENSE until the debt is paid off. Be very firm. No negotiating or squabbling. Be honest that you appreciate his service aside from this event.


That is very fair. You save him his company and continue to have an otherwise good pool guy.
While that sounds good itís not a fair trade. The two transactions should be separate.
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:52 PM
 
7,190 posts, read 3,965,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
The young man (Brian) who takes care of our swimming pool once a week was adding water to our pool with the garden hose, and he forgot to turn it off when he left. I arrived at this home 5 days later, saw the water running, and knew we would have a very expensive bill.

When the water bill came, it was for 48,000 gallons (we normally use 1000 gallons or less because this is not our primary residence), at a cost of $418, which I let Brian know. He offered to give me one month of free pool service, but that is only $200. I told him I would see if the water company would give me a price adjustment (they did, down to $225).

Then a couple weeks later I remembered that our billing for water and sewer had recently been changed, and is now administered by two different companies. Our sewer bill arrived, and it was for $550! So I called Brian back, and told him about the additional $550 but that I would apply for a "pool fill credit." (still waiting to hear back about that). Brian just said something vague like "Well, hopefully we can work something out." He has never offered to cover the bills whatever they are.

THEN I realized that the day the water meter was read was on the third day out of the five that my garden hose was running non-stop. This means my NEXT month's water bill and sewer bill will also be extremely high. (And the price adjustment thing can only be requested once per year, so they will be due in full.)

I hate that the expenses I'm reporting to Brian just keep growing and growing. He's a very nice and polite kid (probably 20-something) who is trying to get this new pool business going, and I'm going to have probably over $1000 of bills, because he forgot to turn off our water. I'm bothered by the fact that he hasn't offered to pay whatever the water and sewer bills are for the two months. But I am currently living out of the country, good pool guys are hard to find (he's good other than this one lapse), and I probably need him more than he needs my business.

Should we insist he pay the total bills (minus a small portion for our household water use the few days we were there)? Or perhaps split it 50-50 as a gesture of goodwill since we do want to keep him as our pool guy? Why am I feeling guilty for expecting him to pay? (Ah, I know the answer: because we are older and financially secure, and the thousand bucks will hurt him a lot more than it would hurt us. Should that be relevant?)
He's a pool guy. He doesn't have that kind of money. He made a big mistake. People make mistakes. Like leaving their houses unattended for days on end without anyone checking up on it, or w/o canceling services so no one is there doing anything w/o you there. Big mistake. (I llearned the hard way that when leaving the house unattended for a week, it's best to SHUT THE WATER OFF.) Your mistake.

I'd take him up on the month of free service, and leave it at that. Next time, cancel all services while you're gone for a week, and hire a house sitter to go by every couple of days to check up on things. And shut the water off.
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