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  1. #1

    Can AC Condensers be ruined by lawn sprinklers?

    To my surprise and disgust my neighbor submitted a claim to his homeonwers insurance claiming his 12 year old AC condensers were ruined by dog urine. Along with the claim his wife gave a statement to the insurance company that she had seen my dog urinating on their condensers. The claim about my dog urinating on the condensers never happened and can prove easily. The main thing is they did not bother to check and see the dog only urinates in the grass, never on objects. Plus he is never near the condensers. But not looking to get into that here. They targeted me all along and left out many details. The insurance company shipped the condensers off and agreed the units had been damaged beyond repair which I am not looking to dispute as the condensers have always looked really old with the white residue on the condenser fins. The insurance company paid the claim and then came after me based on the statement given by the wife. Let's just say I am furious but will not get into that part.

    I moved into the home in 2004 and I always recall seeing the white residue on the neighbors condenser fins. I actually have a photo of the condensers taken from my screened porch in 2005. The photo is attached. If you zoom in on the condensers you can see the white residue on the left condenser back in 2005. I also have another photo of the condensers taken in 2010. This photo was taken when I put in a walkway. The photo is attached. You can see a similar amount of damage to the fins in the 2010 photo also. Also, the condenders are on risers in the 2010 photo when they were not on the risers in the 2005 photo. Gotta hate the fact I have photos of the condensers so far back.

    Around 2007 the neighbors discovered their lawn sprinklers had been spraying tap water on them for years. That is when they had someone out to look at the condensers and he put the AC condensers on the risers . This is also when they fixed the sprinklers so they were not spraying water on the condensers. But as the pictures show the units took on quite a bit of damage from the lawn sprinklers and the neighbor knew at that point they had shortened the life of the units.

    Attached is a picture of where one of their sprinkler heads is located that was spraying water on them for years. Never seen a sprinkler head between 2 AC condensers. They have other sprinkler heads that were spraying water on the condensers from other directions. I am also attaching a picture of the risers that were placed under the condensers in 2007. They are now stacked off to the side now that the condensers have been replaced.

    Based on my research it appears that the damage from the lawn sprinklers would have caused the damage that was submitted in the insurance claim. As I told them this has all been a fabrication.

    So just wanted some professional input on this situation to complete my investigation.

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Athens, Ohio
    Posts
    1,991
    Dog urine is highly corrosive. That type of damage is usually in the lower coils where the dog sprays. How extensive was the damage to their coils?
    I've never known a domestic water supply to be that corrosive. Think of what it would do to water pipes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    And what sort of photographic, video, or DNA evidence do they have that your dog peed on their condenser?

    It's an insurance companies subrogation department sniffing around for someone to pressure for money for a claim they should have denied in the first place.
    There is a pretty good chance that your neighbor isn't even aware that the insurance company is looking in your direction.

    IMO, unless they have some actual real evidence, they can pound sand.
    We are not lawyers though, so can't give legal advice.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    19,298
    You need an attorney.

    Make sure you press charges for making a fraudulent claim.

  5. #5
    The only evidence the neighbor's insurance company is using for coming after me is the statement from the wife that she witnessed the dog urinate on the condensers. The neighbors know they came after me because I went over there immediately when I opened up the letter from their insurance company. I have been screaming from the day I got the letter from their insurance company there is no way they have evidence of my dog being responsible because he has never done it and never will. I invited the insurance company out to watch him urinate for as much as they like. My insurance company is in the process of denying the claim.

    Based on the pictures the condensers appear to have sustained the damage years ago. And then they eventually failed after 12 years of usage. And I know the neighbors knew they had issues back around 2007 because that is when they were put on the risers and the sprinklers were adjusted. So it just seems that the damage would have come from the sprinkler water that hit them for years. The neighbors have had an outdoor cat all of these years and they did not tell the insurance company this either. Have learned that cats can spray their urine to mark territory. But even with that fact I just don't think this was ever about urine. It just feels like this was all done to deflect the blame away from the neighbors and in my direction.

    I am so upset about it I am going the attorney route even when my insurance company denies the claim. This has consumed 2.5 weeks of my life and I am still angry about it.

    You would think now that the neighbors have their new AC units they would have said for me to keep my dog away from their new AC condensers if that is what they believed happened in the first place. But they have never said a word to me about my dog in the 9 years I have been next door. That is because my dog has never done once what they have claimed. It is crazy.

  6. #6
    I should also add that the neighbor's old AC condensers failed in August of 2012. It took until January 2013 before they got new AC condensers installed. So it was a long process. By the way, I got the dog being blamed for the damage in April of 2009 which is way after the 2005 photo. And we have actually spent more time out of the state than at the home.

    I am just trying to understand what causes damage to AC condensers. Yes, urine is the most common but I know this damage would have not have come from my dog's urine. And the fact I know the neighbor's had issues with their lawn sprinklers doing damage to the condensers many years ago. That is proven in the photos. And I have seen postings online about how lawn sprinklers can destroy the condensers over an extended period of time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,474
    Got pictures of the damaged coil? I imagine we can tell you if it was a dog or sprinkler. Usually a sprinkler will lime things up, dog damage will eat the fins right off. Look in the Wall of Shame, probably find plenty of examples.

    Sis's unit is like that, still don't know whose mutt did it. Big section of coil with no fins. Cools fine!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MD
    Posts
    4,412
    to answer your question.

    yes. sprinkler water will "calcify" the coil and corrode it.

    i had a customer strap tiny water tubes to his condensor to make a mist.

    the coil was so hard from the calcium and if you put pressure on it, it would crumble to pieces.

  9. #9
    Don't have pictures of coil yet. Just the pictures I have of condensers from 2005 and 2010 which show the lime on the outside of them. But subrogation department at neighbor's insurance company stated on the phone that the coils had crumbled in a manner described in the posting below by gravity. As part of demand letter I am having attorney send to the insurance company we are requesting the investigation file. Based on phone conversation I had it appears the investigation file only includes the statement from the neighbor and the inspection report stating the coils were crumbled. I can't believe their insurance company paid the claim.

  10. #10
    The neighbors old condenser fins had the lime on them all the way back to 2005 photo. No sections of the fins were ever missing. Just the lime look all along. This appears to be consistent with lawn sprinkler damage. And neighbor's insurance company says the coils had crumbled. This also seems to be consistent with lawn sprinkler damage.

    Great feedback everyone. Keep it coming.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,761
    unless they have video of my dog doing the deed i would tell them to p!ss off.

    as others have said with good photos of the coil it could be determined whether it was urine or minerals that did the damage.
    even if it was urine there is no way they could prove it was your dog.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,965
    I have replaced several condensers like that. Most did not have dogs and were behind fences. In all cases there were irrigation heads in that area. Imo the irrigation caused it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    nebraska
    Posts
    1,629
    First off don't get worked up to a stroke. Up to them to prove it was your dog and not some stray tom cat running around.Water usually coats the whole side that's exposed and leaves a white residue. Urine eats a spot that gets hit over and over again,usually the bottom 3-5 rows on a corner.

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