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Thread: It's been a while but here is my latest adventure!

  1. #1
    VIP Member VIP Member LubeJobs42's Avatar
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    44 MTI 39 MTI 35 MOTION 16 DONZI
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    May 2002
    Fort Lauderdale

    It's been a while but here is my latest adventure!

    I haven't been logged on very much at all. We moved into our new house a few months ago and it has taken a lot of time.
    Now that i am caught up with the house stuff I'll start posting more regarding my boating plans!

    This story is very very long but it's pretty amusing! A typical story that could only happen to me! Please excuse the grammar. This took a while to write and it's 2 AM

    One night I can’t sleep and I’m on the computer at 2 am. I find a brand new generator on Craig’s list that the contractor paid $24k and was asking $11 obo. My wife really didn’t want me to buy it as we have been doing renovations on our new house for 3 months and finally got rid of workers.
    Of course I bought it anyway. It was such a good deal I couldn’t pass it up. The guy agrees to $9k. I commit to it over the phone. The guy was going out of town but I gave him my word I was taking it as long as it was new as he said. When I finally got to see it the thing was huge. 9 feet long, 5 feet wide and 4 feet high. What the hell did I commit too? Bigger is always better, so I bought it!! LOL
    I don’t even check, I assume the area I just moved to has gas service. Of course not. I guess the 120 gallon propane tank on my front lawn should have been a clue. I did some checking and it turns out the 120 would not be sufficient for this size generator. It would only run the house for a few days.
    I call around to propane companies. I find out I need a 500 gallon tank which would need to be buried. I get a quote of $10k to install a new 500 tank, run new gas lines and install the generator to the house. I never expected $10k but I already bought the generator! I hire the company and they apply for the permit.

    While waiting 4 weeks for the plans and permits I having all the landscaping done outside the house. My wife wanted to go simple and put some sod and small landscaping. Of course I can’t do that. I bought 8 big canary palm trees, 6 for the back yard and 2 for the front. We needed to get a crane to lift the trees over the house. We hired an 80 ton crane at $300 per hour for a 6 hour min to lift the trees over. When the crane came out they realized the power line running across the street was in the way. We needed a 100 ton crane that has a longer reach to clear the powerlines. 100 ton crane is $600 per hour.
    The morning of the tree install the crane shows up on time. I tell the landscape company owner to install 7 trees. Leave the 8th one out for now so it’s not in the way of the propane tank going in. While discussing this the landscaper gets a call and has to run as his truck with the trees had a blow out and was stuck on the highway. I have a $600 per hour crane and crew sitting and waiting for 3 hours for the trees to arrive. Disgusted I go to work.

    I get home that evening and the trees are beautiful. Only problem tree 8 is installed. I call my landscaper and ask why. He says “It’s no problem, I spoke to propane guy and he told me where the tank is going we are ok”.
    No problem. Trees look great. They have to sit for a few days with the tops of the trees tied up like a pony tails. Saturday morning the landscaper comes and cuts the cords holding the tops closed and opens them up. They are gorgeous. I yell upstairs to my wife to come down and look at the trees. She walks down with a look of disappointment. I ask her what’s wrong and she is hesitant to tell me. Finally she says, the trees on the east side of the hose completely block the view of the water. All you see is tree tops. I think she is overreacting (which she doesn’t do). I go up and look out of the windows in her bathroom and sitting room and you can’t see a thing but tree tops.
    I was so mad because the landscaper talked me into 3 trees on each side of the yard instead of 2 because he said trees should be in odd numbers for a better look.
    I told the landscaper we need to remove 1 tree from each side of the house. After looking at them again, we realized we would need to remove one tree from each side but also reposition the other 2 to get them away from the window.
    After thinking about the crane price and the amount of work to install them we decided to keep the trees as they are. From downstairs they look beautiful and in a few years they will be taller and not block the view.
    Monday morning they come to install the propane take. They have 3 big trucks, 12 guys, a backhoe, the tank. It looked like a circus. I got in my car and left for work. 15 minutes later I get a call. I answer the phone and get “Gino? WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THNKING”!!??
    I said who is this? “It’s Jeanne from Propane USA, you put a tree right where I have to dig” what were you thinking? I try to calm her down but meanwhile my stomach is turning. I tell her, my landscaper spoke to Steve (Propane USA owner) and he confirmed the tree was not in the way of the tank. Steve gets n the phone and says they talked about where the tank is going but the tank is very long and needs a larger hole. I call the landscaper and they discuss it.
    The main problem the propane people had was they were afraid the steel track backhoe will tear up my marble driveway so they can only use run the backhoe in the dirt, The tree blocks the path. They decided to take away the backhoe and go get a tiny little back hoe. Meanwhile the entire crew is waiting for the new backhoe.
    After an hour the little backhoe arrives and they start digging. After about 10 minutes they hit something. They think it’s a large coral rock but they can’t get around it. Turns out it is a 14 foot long concrete septic tank with 9” thick walls. It’s over 25 years old and not on any surveys or previous plans. They spend the day trying to break up the Septic tank with the little back hoe. NO WAY. They tell me the tree has to be moved as they can’t maneuver the machine the way they need to.
    Landscaper shows up and is waiting for his crew to arrive up to move the tree. I leave to work. I come home that night and the tree is in the ground. I can’t believe it. He moved the tree 2 feet to accommodate for the tank but rather then leaving the tree out until the project was done, he replanted it. I called him but luckily for him he didn’t answer.
    The next morning the propane crew shows up. The foreman knocks on my door and I can see by the look on his face it’s not good. The tree is far enough from where the tank is going to go but now the backhoe can’t fit in between the tree and the bushes to get by to continue breaking this concrete coffin.
    They decide to go at it with jack hammers. They work on the septic tank for 4 days. We end up having a big storm one night and the septic tank and hole filled up with water. They tried to pump it out but the pump kept getting clogged. I friggen mess. They had to bring in a big diesel pump to pump it out and once they did they finished digging up all of the concrete. They got the tank in the ground. Finally!
    I get home from work and see the hole from hell filled. I am thrilled. I go to look on the side of the house and the generator is there on a concrete slab they brought. Only problem the generator is right in the middle of the path. You only have about 2 feet to walk around this monster. I call the electrician (Sid) and ask him if they plan on moving the generator closer to the house. He tells me, no, it has to stay there.
    Because the 24” access door is on the side closest to the house. Any closer and you can’t open the door to service it.
    I tell him to turn the generator around so the door is on the opposite side facing out. He tells me that then the muffler will be on the opposite side of the unit and it will be less than 10 feet from the window on the garage and won’t pass code inspection.
    I ask our options. He says “buy a smaller generator”. Of course that’s not an option. I ask him “if I remove the water softener system and relocate the entire pool pump system and heater 2 feet down, can we then flip the generator since we can move it 3 more feet”. He says yes.
    I have my handy man rip out the water softener system, the pool heater and pool filtration system. The pump that runs the waterfall on the pool is burnt out so I figure now it the time to replace it. I call my buddy that is a pool builder for advice on the pump. He was out of town but told me to have my handyman go to the pool Supply Company he uses and get the pump and other materials and put them on his account to save money. He tells me to buy 2 pumps because if the one is bad the other isn’t far behind and they are only about $280 each.
    My handyman makes a list and goes to get the stuff. I go to work. I get home after work and expect to see the pool system in. Wrong! He has only 2 of the many many pipes installed. I look on the floor behind him and I see a strange looking pool pump. It’s nothing like my old pump. It’s’ twice the size and has a computer box on the side.
    I say to him, “what’s that?” He says it’s one of the new pumps. I start thinking that is not a $280 pump. I get the turning in my stomach feeling again. I look further behind him and I see this tall thing with an lcd read out. I ask, “What’s that”? It’s the new computerized filter system. I said “there was nothing worn with the old filter, why did you get a new one?” He says, “yes, but you need this filter to go with the new pumps so they can talk to each other”. I wanted to puke. I asked him how much all of this new stuff came out to (and charged on my buddies account).
    I lost it! WTF gave you the idea to spend $5800???!
    He said “Im sorry, I know you like the best and the guy said this is the best!” I was so mad I couldn’t see straight. I told him to pack it all up and return everything. He left with the equipment. I wasn’t even sure he would be back I yelled so loud. I felt bad but that was really stupid.
    The next morning he calls from the supplier and they will only take the filter back. The pumps already have PVC pipes glued into them so they can’t take them back. I told him to bring them to the house. I would sell them on ebay. I told him to Just get the regular $280 pumps.
    He gets everything and installs it all. It took him 4 days to do a 1 day job. He leaves for the weekend. I notice the waterfall doesn’t have much flow and I think few things aren’t right. 2 of the valves are backwards. One pipe is routed wrong. Normal crap. I figure I will have him make it right when he gets back on Monday.
    During the weekend he has a fight with his ex-wife. She claims he assaulted her. He gets arrested. He is here on a work visa. They end up sending him to Krome detention center (immigration jail.) It’s been 4 weeks and he is still locked up.

    offshorexcursion likes this.

  2. #2
    VIP Member VIP Member LubeJobs42's Avatar
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    Fort Lauderdale
    My buddy that has the pool business gets back in town for the weekend and comes by to see what’s wrong and if it’s an easy fix. He starts hysterical laughing as soon as he walked up to the system. He actually took a picture of the system install to send into the pool builders magazine. He submitted the photo to the “how to Not install a pool system” contest. I swear to God! He explains to me that a line can only have one 90 degree fitting in a line run, maybe 2 at most depending where it’s flowing. Every 90 fitting cuts the pressure by a big margin. I have one line with 6 90 degree fittings! That’s why there is no flow!
    My buddy says what I hear very often “ONLY YOU”. Turns out the entire system is wrong. He also removed a pipe that had the air tube that goes underground all the way to the pools hot tub to start the jets. This is a big problem. It’s going to be nearly impossible to rerun that tube. My jets in my hot tube will probably not be working for some time.
    My buddy tells me not to worry, he has a subcontractor he uses that handles problem systems and he was going to have him come by on Monday to look at redoing the system and correcting all my problem. The guy came out Monday and texted my buddy “thanks but no thanks”.
    I will need to wait until my buddy comes back in town and he wild redo the system for me himself.
    Sid, the Generator installer comes back and installs the generator in the correct place and all seems perfect. We are finally done!
    I thought!
    I get a call from the Propane place and they tell me they could not get the final inspection because the city is requiring us to get a new, updated survey showing the propane tank as well as other changes that have not been recorded over the years. I call and schedule the survey.
    They ask if they can get paid for the job. I figured after all the trouble they had, I should pay them. I get the bill and it’s nearly double what I was quoted. Between the wasted time, the septic tank removal, the moving of the generator with changing the plans and permit it was much more. I also didn’t read the fine print. Tank deposit, permit fees, propane etc not included. I was so pissed but what do I do at this point? I paid.
    We had a lot of rain the next week. The first nice day we had the landscape light guy showed up to install my landscape lighting. He walks over the propane tank and sinks in the ground up to his knees. He calls his helper and he sinks as well while pulling him out. Apparently there were air pockets around the propane tank and we ended up with a huge sink hole. I call the propane people and they come out and fill the hole, ruin my sod, made a mess on my freshly pressure cleaned driveway. At least it’s finished.
    That night I notice one side of my house is without landscape lights. I’m out checking the transformers and outlets in the yard and I hear my wife screaming from the front of the house. I go out front and over the propane tank there is water bubbling out of the ground like a monster movie. There is a stream running down my driveway and as far as I can see down the block, every house on both sides of the street have a 4 to 6 foot wide puddle in from if it, coming from me. I’m standing there watching my new sod float away. I panic! I try to turn off the water main but the handle on the valve was broken off.
    I call the propane people and the owner calls me back. He tells me to check if the sprinklers are on. Turns out they broke the main 1.5” sprinkler feed line and the system was running for over an hour. I get it turned off and again, the propane company comes back the next morning to fill my new hole and repair what they broke.
    Friday night comes and I get home from work. 20 minutes after I get home my doorbell rings. It’s my neighbor. “There is a power line down in front of your house, Call FPL”.
    We do. 30 minutes later we hear the FPL truck pull up and they knock on my door. They tell me “We are killing the power for a few hours for repairs”.
    I think GREAT! I can use my new generator and I can finally tell my wife “I know it was rough, but isn’t it worth it now”?
    During this whole ordeal I was thinking that now that I have the generator, we won’t have a power failure for years! This is great! The generator that was so much trouble will save the day and my wife will be over all the problems we’ve had getting it installed.
    My power goes off. I tell my wife the generator is supposed to start within 60 seconds. I start counting out loud. I’m waiting about 1 minute and nothing! maybe it’s 2 minutes? Nothing! It’s just not starting.
    I call Sid the generator electrician.
    “Hi Sid, this is Gino. Our power went out and the generator didn’t start.”
    “Who is this?”
    “What’s the address?”
    “Oh. 3700. What’s the problem?”
    “Powers out and generator doesn’t start”
    He says to me “How do you expect it to start with no battery? We need to install a battery. Do you want me to get one and install it”??
    I wanted to reach through the phone and choke the bastard. I sat with my wife, in the dark with candles for 5 hours. My wife really doesn’t have appreciation for the generator.
    At least I got a good deal on it, Only $9K!!!

    Can't wait to start boating again! A lot less aggrevation!

  3. #3
    Registered BattleCry's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    Completely Nationwide
    Dude, Seriously! Do one thing at a time. Don't allow your adult ADHD to kick in. If you are going to start any major projects, contact your OSO bretheren first so you don't have to write a 4 week diatribe on "I wonder where I went wrong, Again". I get a chuckle out of it, but I am more willing to help so that you don't get the mess to start with.

  4. #4
    Registered Catastrophe's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    FABULOUS STORY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Registered Biggus's Avatar
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    Apr 2001
    Naples, Maine
    Yikes ..I can feel your stress brother!

  6. #6
    Just Milkin' It Platinum Member Kelly O's Avatar
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    May 2004
    Auburn, New York
    Hilarious story !! Thankyou.

    This shows not just bad luck, but very poor decision making by those you pay top dollar to and expect results. Seems on projects with over-lap that all service providers start working against each other at the owner's expense.
    HOLY COW !!

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Platinum Member CigDaze's Avatar
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    Jun 2001
    St. Petersburg, FL
    I'm so sorry, Gino. That's all just unreal! But what a story, hot damn!!
    You still reign as king of bad luck.

  8. #8
    The Illustrious One Charter Member sean stinson's Avatar
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    Back on the dock!!!!!!!
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    Internationally Famous
    Did you have that feeling..."I can't believe I just did that!!!!"
    Dying,....Is the day worth living for!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Platinum Member Platinum Member Scott B's Avatar
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    Dec 2000
    Slightly North of Cuba
    LOL, propane is the devil Gino, just be ready. A diesel trailer mount is the way to go, no permits other than the transfer switch.. Hmm, gee, and I just happen to have a 400 amp 120/240 automatic transfer switch in stock. And the price is RIGHT on it...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    NJ, PA
    No, way I call BS we want photos geno, we know you took pictures! You want to buy a Skater?? lol 9k

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