Recently a broken sprinkler head outside shoot up water and caused
water damange inside my condominium. When I reported the damage to my
HOA board, they did not believe a sprinkler could actually shoot up
water high enough to cause damage in my property, so they denied my
claim to fix the damage.
I personally know it is possible for broken sprinkler geysers to shoot
up quite high, and I found a number of web pages discussing this.
However, I didn't find enough web pages that specifically described the
height the geyser can reach.
I would appreciate it if people could describe to me their personal
experiences with broken sprinkler heads and geysers shooting up so that
I may bring more "evidence" to try and convince the HOA board.
Specifics on how high the geysers reached would be appreciated.
They should have forwarded your claim, or you, to their insurance company.
HOA's are supposed to carry insurance, separate from your regular
homeowner's insurance, that takes care of these issues. A broken pipe in
the common area causing damage in your home should certainly be covered,
however, I have experienced the same issue your dealing with, and neither
the insurance company or the HOA would do anything.
It was only later, after much research and too much time, that I found I
could have pressed the issue and been compensated.
Simply invite the board members out to the sprinkler, remove the head, and
turn it on. Or you could take pictures of the geyser and show it to the
What they believe can or cannot happen is irrelevent. You have the damage,
you can easily recreate the problem that caused the damage, and you can
supply proof fairly easily.
Don't bother with the idea that you can drag in a stack of posts from a
newsgroup and that will somehow convince the board to approve your claim.
They'll just roll their eyes.
I've had sprinklers break and the geysers would be anywhere from 2 to 20
feet. It really depends on where the head is in the system, water pressure,
how bad the break is, and so on.
Ask the board for the insurance information, then file a claim. If they
deny your claim, appeal it. Do some research, study your CC&R's, and keep
pushing until you get your money.
I would not try to prove the scientific principle, just the nature and
amount of damage. In order to be legally noticed, your state or HOA
rules may require notice by certified mail (Florida law states all
official biz should be directed by c.m.). Look at your HOA document and
be sure you give proper notice; I would not settle for a phone call to a
board member. Take pictures? Got receipts for damaged goods? That
would be a plus. Be sure to state the date, what happened, and define
the nature and extent of damage, repair/replacement costs, etc. It may
be simpler to file with your own ins co, but I don't know. If your HOA
board refuses, you may have the option of filing a complaint with the
agency that administers HOA's; some have mediation boards. If it was a
real financial loss, it might be wise to talk to your attorney.
I had a sprinkler head in my front yard that broke off and the water shot
into the air and was over 20 feet high. There were a total of 3 head 0n the
zone and the other 2 continued to work while the 3rd one gushered.
Only geyser I have seen was when my car was being towed out of a hole in
the parking lot because a sprinkler pipe broke beneath the pavement.
The tt driver was being ever so careful with my car that he forgot about
the above ground water meter right in front of him. Really awesome!
The city fixed that without complaining :o)
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