What if something breaks

I experienced the following: when filling a coffee machine, the technology failed. A part got stuck mechanically and I couldn’t loosen it. I immediately told the owner. He said he would see if he could repair it. Unfortunately, a repair was not possible and I now have to buy him a new machine.
I’m happy to give money if i’ve destroyed something. But in this case I don’t think it’s fair to buy a new coffee machine. I haven’t done anything wrong.
What is your opinion on this? Have you ever had to replace something?


I’ve had a part of an expensive coffee machine break while a sitter was staying. They didn’t tell us and I didn’t realise until after the review had been done. Unfortunately by that point we were heading into Christmas and ended up not being able to get the new part for a month (which cost $500) and only had instant coffee over Christmas. Was a real first world problem but still annoys me. I now specifically say in my notes that sitters are not to use the machine (and don’t include in the amenities etc) and leave some instant out for them instead. The last sitter seemingly did nevertheless use it but didn’t break it and cleaned it so that’s fine.
If I realised instantly that the earlier sitter had broken it I probably would have mentioned it and maybe if they had offered to contribute I would have accepted (but hard to say now). Probably because of that experience as an HO as a sitter I rarely use coffee machines on sits unless it’s a pod machine. Just easier to get my coffee fix in some other way when I need it.

Did the owner say you had to buy him a new machine? Unless it was a shiny near brand new machine that feels a bit wrong. Contribute maybe but if the repair person has confirmed that it wasn’t a user error but a tech failure that could have happened to anyone then really it’s not fair to make that your responsibility and if it was brand new he might still be covered by warranty.


Ugh. Those are the kind of things that you hope doesn’t happen, but when it does, it’s unsettling. I had a minor thing break, but the owner was really good about it. I went to a couple of stores to replace it, but it was out of stock. I left the money for them to replace when it was back in stock, but it was not expensive.

Has the owner asked you to cover the full cost of replacement? If so, was it new? If so, does it have a warranty? If it doesn’t because it’s a bit older, and they are asking you to buy a completely new machine, that doesn’t seem right. If it were me, I’d ask when it was purchased and for how much. Then offer a prorated amount which deducts for the time they used it and you contribute the remaining portion. It’s not perfect, but it’s one solution.

I tend to go out of my way to not use anything that’s a costly item when I pet sit if I can help it. If there are expensive appliances, I avoid using them. I bring a portable French press for coffee or I bring instant packets. The less I have to worry about, the better.

I hope they are good about this and you can come to a satisfactory resolution.

Good luck!


I’m sorry this happened to you. You should have been told about this before you discovered yourself. Your off limits of your new machine and the instant coffee offerings is a good one to avoid worry in the future by both you and the pet sitter.

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I have broken plates, a mug, etc. I will tell the HO what happened when I send them the daily pet picture. I asked about the mug with a photo of the pieces, whether I should throw those away. It was hand-made ceramic, maybe by a pupil maybe by their child, I did not know if it could have sentimental value. If they had wanted to keep it I would have gotten glue to put it together again.

These things tend to happen when there is too much clutter in the kitchen, no free space in cupboards. In one kitchen, on the day of final cleaning I tried to hang a cup on a crook. One of the cats distracted me and it fell 20 cm on a small teapot and the spout broke off.

I don’t offer to replace that kind of thing. It can happen to the normal inhabitants, it is what also will happen when there are guests. But I see now that the HO complained about that even in her review of the sitters after me (they had offered to pay for an “expensive” glass pane).


I live in fear of breaking that very sentimental yet utterly ordinary looking mug. I have had a cat take a mug of the counter after thinking the tea bag string was some kind of toy. I told the owner, they said don’t worry about it but it stressed me out so now I travel with my own mug just in case. It’s the ugliest thing in the world and never even chips. As with the coffee machine, I’d rather not risk anything happening so avoid it where I can.


It is no guarantee. I had not even used that mug and that teapot that I broke.

I don’t think you should have to replace it - I think if I was an owner and had people house sitting for me - I would put away things that could break and are expensive. The only technology we have used in a kitchen is a crock pot and the lid handle came off - we fixed it in the garage with some super glue - we told the owners - they were cool and said they will go to the local thrift shop and find another lid - sorry for your luck on this one.


Honestly, if it’s a mechanical failure and not your fault, it feels a bit off to foot the bill for a new one.


@Kristina have you done your own research into if it can be repaired? It may be something simple to fix yourself . There are lots of useful
Videos on YouTube . This is what I would do in my own home , if I was looking after a friends home and if it happened on a sit .

I have accidentally broken an expensive wine glass :woman_facepalming:t2: On another sit I melted a kitchen utensil ( :woozy_face:don’t ask !? ) part of a matching set !!

For the first I found an exact replacement new in the box on eBay and it was delivered before the end of the sit.

For the second again eBay was the answer with a matching new in the box set for sale - I had to buy the whole set to replace the one damaged item.

In both of these incidents it was an accident. The hosts may have said not to worry about replacing but I felt it was the responsible thing to do . I looked to minimise the cost of replace the items whilst making sure it was an exact replacement for what I had accidentally damaged . The hosts appreciated my efforts and gave me a good review and subsequently invited me back to sit for them again.


I take my own mug, plate, bowl, glass, knife, spoon, fork and next time I will take my coffee machine as I ike a certain coffee pod each morning. I take my own towels including tea towels, kitchen roll and toilet rolls.
Poor you getting stuck with replacing the machine. If i was the house owner o wluld not expect you to.


It seems a bit rough expecting you to pay for a new machine - especially if the original isn’t new (you don’t mention this) but if it was then a guarantee might have covered it.

On my latest sit the HO had left items in the dishwasher, and when I took a plate out it split. It was a discontinued line of an expensive make, but I found online what it would cost to replace if one could be found and left a note to the HO (I didn’t want to bother her on her holiday - maybe I should have?) with cash of that value. She didn’t mention it afterwards.

I know I didn’t break this plate but I will now take coffee press, mug, plate, bowl. I am wary of breaking something precious.

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Thank you so much for your support. I’ll get back to you later

The coffee machine was not new. It was well looked after, but had signs of use. I will ask if it is still under warranty. That’s a good idea.
It was a coffee capsule machine and the refillable capsule had become so jammed that it could no longer be removed. I naturally asked google and found out that this happens regularly.
I’m also very unhappy about this but it happens. As I don’t own a car I can’t transport as many things as I can cups for example.
I hope it comes to a good end

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That sounds like a nespresso machine. In which case yes they jam like this all the time. They are the coffee version of the printer scam where the money is made in the pods not the machines so they seem to be built to break. Also using non-nespresso pods voids the warranty.
Has the owner actually said you have to replace the machine? How much is a new one? Is replacing it with one bought second-hand possible (you have no obligation to replace old with new).

Whew! I was just at a sit with a Nespresso machine. I had a bad feeling about it. I realized that it’s impossible to buy new pods at least in the US as you have to get them online. The petparents had left pods out but most were decafe and we go through a lot of coffee and usually bring our own blend. I am primary on sits, so told my partner: “Do not use that. We’ll wind up drinking all their coffee.” They also had a stovetop espresso maker, so we used our coffee in that. So glad after hearing this!

Another thing to avoid in pet parent homes!

If traveling by car, I bring our preferred stovetop percolator. If other I usually scope out by asking owners in advance. I

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If the owner provided/suggested the refillable pods rather than the pods made by the machine manufacturer for that machine this seems to be on him. Just googled refillable pods and those sound like a disaster waiting to happen - I wouldn’t be brave enough to stick those in my machine even if they are cheaper or more environmentally friendly. Has he actually said you have to buy him a new machine?

I think it’s out of order (pun not intended…) for the home ower to ask you to replace his coffee maker. It’s not new, a pod getting jammed could happen to anyone.

At best, I might pay a small amount towards a replacement (if it’s out of warranty), as a gesture of goodwill. Certainly not the full cost!


Hi Blanca,
yes he wants a new machine. It costs frim 90 euros with milk frother. (I live in Europe)

I also find it very sad that he says I did something wrong and it’s my fault. I should at least replace the machine for him.
I’m a careful person and would never willfully destroy anything.