Is your electric company ruining your golf course irrigation system?

Eric von Hofen
It seems to happen at the worst times – Friday at 2:30pm, the night before the member guest or the day after you punched the greens in the middle of summer.  You come to work and as soon as your headlights hit the driveway you know something is wrong. You can tell that the system did not run. The investigation begins. You head to the office and check the computer and everything looks like it ran. Now you grab your cart and head to the course.  I have four pump stations so I get my battle plan together and head to the main one first.
Eric von Hofen
Jackpot.  I walk in to check the VFD and it’s out and this time it’s still smoking.  “Great, we lost another one”, I say.  I call my irrigation tech and tell him to check the faults on the other three stations.  He reports back and says that two are showing low pressure faults and the other is showing a high pressure fault.  Now I know that the other three pump stations have not been damaged.
Eric von Hofen
I get on the phone and call Florida Power & Light for service.  I tell the FPL rep that I have lost another VFD and I need the power shut down to this station and I would also like to know if we had a power surge.  I get a ticket number and three hours later the truck shows up.
Eric von Hofen
The FPL guys open up the magic vault with their keys and after three minutes of being in there they say everything is fine.  Looks good.  I say, “What?  Are you kidding me?  The VFD is still smoking.  How can you say everything is fine?  What about a power surge?”  They say we might have had a “line event”. I say a power surge and they say no. What is a line event then? I call it a power surge and they call it a line event, ok moving on.  They tell me to call the claims department.  I have that number in my phone also, so I dial them up and put in a claim.  Four days later the rep calls me back to tell me the claim has been denied.  After 40 minutes of going back and fourth with the guy we still don’t get the new $7,100 VFD paid for.  I explain that this is the third drive in four years and we have spent $23,000 on fixing them.  He says, “Sir we don’t pay claims on past history”.
Eric von Hofen
The entire world works off of history, from health care, car insurance, job history,  stock market and police records.  But not the electric company. Houston we have a problem.  How can they work like this?  I would love to hear from you if you are having the same problems and your golf course is suffering because electric companies don’t want to pay up.

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