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  1. TopTop #1
    Valley Oak's Avatar
     

    Solution to this disagreement?

    I have two friends who have the following disagreement:

    One friend worked for the other as a gardener. Let's call the gardener Bret. Let's call the other friend, John. One day, while Bret the gardener was working at John's house doing the gardening and landscaping, he left the hose on. It was not running water, though. The faucet was simply open but the hose's handgun at the end of the hose was closed.

    That night, something happened and the faucet blew off and allowed a lot of water to run out. John is afraid that he is going to get an $800 water bill next month and wants Bret to pay for it or part of it. Bret does not feel responsible because he feels that is a malfunction of the house and, therefore, not his fault. Hose faucets in a garden do not normally "blow off" and spill a bunch of water.

    My questions are: What is a fair solution to this disagreement? Is Bret even responsible in the first place? If so, is he 100% responsible? Should there be any restitution and if so, how much?
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  3. TopTop #2
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    My first thought is that it's not wise to leave the hose on because it builds pressure. So, I looked it up and found this:

    "It is certainly OK to turn off the water at the end of a hose for short periods. If you leave it on this way for long periods you are stressing the hose which could lead to a ruptured hose when you are not around. This could lead to a waste of water or to water damage if the hose sprays on something.

    In addition, this could lead to a leaking water valve because the stem packing will be under pressure. The usual valves have a seal around the rotating (multi-turn) stem, but if the valve is a "ball valve" (90 deg on-off), then this doesn't apply.
    I think it is best practice to shut off the valve on the pipe when you are finished using the water."

    As a gardener, Bret should be aware of this, so it would seem that he should take some responsibility, but it may be helpful to get mediation.
    Last edited by Barry; 09-16-2019 at 01:27 PM.
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  5. TopTop #3
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    I don't think the gardener should be held liable.

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  7. TopTop #4
    Dustyg's Avatar
    Dustyg
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    Reading this quote from one other response : "this could lead to a leaking water valve because the stem packing will be under pressure. The usual valves have a seal around the rotating (multi-turn) stem, but if the valve is a "ball valve" (90 deg on-off), then this doesn't apply.
    I think it is best practice to shut off the valve on the pipe when you are finished using the water

    I believe that the gardener is responsible.


    Quote Valley Oak wrote: View Post
    I have two friends who have the following disagreement:...
    Last edited by Barry; 09-17-2019 at 01:23 PM.
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  9. TopTop #5
    Fortunecookie
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    If Bret is not a licensed contractor , then I say John is liable for hiring him in the first place. John should always be watching over someone he hires..... He's the boss! Take responsibility for it !
    Last edited by Barry; 09-17-2019 at 01:23 PM.
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  11. TopTop #6
    OldGranddad
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    The disagreement is over the possibility that a high water bill may come. They could save a lot of energy and wait for the bill before starting to fight. They may not have so much fun, but if the bill is small, they might still remain friends. Maybe they, like so many people, just like to fight.

    If the gun at the end failed, the gardener would be at fault. If the valve failed, it should be the homeowner.

    Old Granddad
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  13. TopTop #7

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    According to this description, the hose did not burst because of the faucet being left on. The hose bib or the piping failed. I do not see how that could be a result of the faucet being left on. Also, $800 seems unrealistic. Mistakes are made. I can't count the number of times I have left the faucet on.
    Tofu Larry
    Last edited by Barry; 09-17-2019 at 01:24 PM.
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  15. TopTop #8
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    So, are you saying that the hose bib or piping may have failed even if the faucet hadn't been left on? The fact that you've left the faucet on a number of times with no problem doesn't really apply here. When mistakes are made, someone has to own it. (or not)
    Quote Tofu Larry wrote: View Post
    According to this description, the hose did not burst because of the faucet being left on. The hose bib or the piping failed. ...
    Last edited by Barry; 09-17-2019 at 01:25 PM.
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  17. TopTop #9
    podfish's Avatar
    Supporting Member

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    Quote Shandi wrote: View Post
    So, are you saying that the hose bib or piping may have failed even if the faucet hadn't been left on? The fact that you've left the faucet on a number of times with no problem doesn't really apply here. When mistakes are made, someone has to own it. (or not)
    another factor: who owns the equipment and is responsible for maintenance? and why aren't the local lawyers weighing in, instead of those of us who just play one on TV the interwebs?
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  19. TopTop #10
    Glia's Avatar
    Glia
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    What if it is the hose in the middle that failed (burst under the pressure of the open hose valve/bib)?

    Quote OldGranddad wrote: View Post
    ...If the gun at the end failed, the gardener would be at fault. If the valve failed, it should be the homeowner.
    Last edited by Barry; 09-18-2019 at 03:52 PM.
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  21. TopTop #11
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    It would seem that if a hose burst in the middle, under the pressure of the open hose valve, the hose may have been faulty or due for replacement. We don't know exactly where it burst, other than this indication "the faucet blew off". I wonder if any pictures were taken?
    Quote Glia wrote: View Post
    What if it is the hose in the middle that failed (burst under the pressure of the open hose valve/bib)?
    Last edited by Barry; 09-18-2019 at 10:56 PM.
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  23. TopTop #12
    Dustyg's Avatar
    Dustyg
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    It's the faucet that blew off, not the hose bursting. Too much pressure. Still say gardener at fault.
    Quote Shandi wrote: View Post
    It would seem that if a hose burst in the middle, ...
    Last edited by Barry; 09-18-2019 at 10:56 PM.
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  25. TopTop #13
    wisewomn's Avatar
    wisewomn
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    Local lawyers most likely want to be paid for their opinions/advice. :-)

    Quote podfish wrote: View Post
    ... and why aren't the local lawyers weighing in, instead of those of us who just play one on TV the interwebs?
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  27. TopTop #14
    Glia's Avatar
    Glia
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    The "faucet blew off" part of the story is a bit mysterious. However, it is reasonable to conclude that the event would not have occurred if the water had been turned off at the connection to the house/building in the usual manner.

    Bret should have turned off the water at the faucet. It is part of cleaning up the area, putting away tools and such after landscaping or construction work. John should have checked the area before going in for the evening. IMO they are both equally responsible.

    Quote Valley Oak wrote: View Post
    ... That night, something happened and the faucet blew off and allowed a lot of water to run out. John is afraid that he is going to get an $800 water bill next month and wants Bret to pay for it or part of it. Bret does not feel responsible because he feels that is a malfunction of the house and, therefore, not his fault. Hose faucets in a garden do not normally "blow off" and spill a bunch of water.

    My questions are: What is a fair solution to this disagreement? Is Bret even responsible in the first place? If so, is he 100% responsible? Should there be any restitution and if so, how much?
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  29. TopTop #15
    Thad's Avatar
    Thad
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    Anything to do with the hard plumbing is the homeowners responsibility. The hose being attached and turned on offers no greater effect on water pressure than at the faucet, its arguably less in that the hose offers a water slam buffer due to the flexibility of the hose. The only incremental difference is the weight of the hose coming off the faucet but faucets are designed to handle that. A faulty faucet is the homeowners responsibility.
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  31. TopTop #16
    Shandi's Avatar
    Shandi
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    How many of us know if our faucets or hoses are faulty? May be a good time for inspection.

    Quote Thad wrote: View Post
    Anything to do with the hard plumbing is the homeowners responsibility. The hose being attached and turned on offers no greater effect on water pressure than at the faucet, its arguably less in that the hose offers a water slam buffer due to the flexibility of the hose. The only incremental difference is the weight of the hose coming off the faucet but faucets are designed to handle that. A faulty faucet is the homeowners responsibility.
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  33. TopTop #17
    rossmen
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    As a plumber I've seen this sort of thing before. The faucet would not have blown off with the additional weight of the swollen hose if it wasn't flawed somehow. Close examination of the break would probably reveal the flaw. Both men could feel luck that it happened outside the house and the garden got well watered. Flooding inside is a real bummer. Perhaps Bret could do some gratis gardening for forgetting to turn off the hose. And John can prepare himself to negotiate with the water company. Often they will reduce the bill and or spread it out after leak events.

    Quote Valley Oak wrote: View Post
    I have two friends who have the following disagreement:

    One friend worked for the other as a gardener. Let's call the gardener Bret. Let's call the other friend, John. One day, while Bret the gardener was working at John's house doing the gardening and landscaping, he left the hose on. It was not running water, though. The faucet was simply open but the hose's handgun at the end of the hose was closed.

    That night, something happened and the faucet blew off and allowed a lot of water to run out. John is afraid that he is going to get an $800 water bill next month and wants Bret to pay for it or part of it. Bret does not feel responsible because he feels that is a malfunction of the house and, therefore, not his fault. Hose faucets in a garden do not normally "blow off" and spill a bunch of water.

    My questions are: What is a fair solution to this disagreement? Is Bret even responsible in the first place? If so, is he 100% responsible? Should there be any restitution and if so, how much?
    Last edited by Barry; 09-20-2019 at 11:52 AM.
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  35. TopTop #18
    jbox's Avatar
    jbox
     

    Re: Solution to this disagreement?

    Obviously since it could not be either Bret's or John's sole fault they both must hire attorneys and sue one another, the hose manufacturer, the faucet manufacturer, the plumber who installed the hose bib, and the original home builder. This is the only way to be sure the guilty party or parties are held responsible and ensure this travesty will not ever happen to anyone else.
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