Hot water problem

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  • Hot water problem

    Hi all

    My daughter is at university and is sharing accommadation in in halls with 8 other students. The problem is that they have had no hot water on and off since sept 2008. The uni have sent several plumbers to fix but it keeps breaking down. Now they have put in an emersion heater which is great but it only heats enough water for 6 people to have showers not 8 and then there is not enough to do washing up or anything else until the tank fills up again. They have made numerous complaints with no luck would they be due any compensation under their contract as it states they will be provided with hot water. Do they have to provide enough for the amount of people living there as it stands at the moment they have to draw straws on who has a shower on each day.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by katrinahale View Post
    Hi all

    My daughter is at university and is sharing accommadation in in halls with 8 other students. The problem is that they have had no hot water on and off since sept 2008. The uni have sent several plumbers to fix but it keeps breaking down. Now they have put in an emersion heater which is great but it only heats enough water for 6 people to have showers not 8 and then there is not enough to do washing up or anything else until the tank fills up again. They have made numerous complaints with no luck would they be due any compensation under their contract as it states they will be provided with hot water. Do they have to provide enough for the amount of people living there as it stands at the moment they have to draw straws on who has a shower on each day.

    Thanks
    This sounds unacceptable, although I suppose it will depend to some extent on how long is considered 'reasonable' for one shower? If each of each six students all stay in for 10 mins each, then a hot water tank may well run out of hot water quickly. If the same water-heating system is in place in the other flatlets in the same block and no-one has complained, it might just be that your daughter's corridor-mates are being unrealistic and wasteful about their hot water usage.

    If they are not being unrealistic, then they need to get onto the University Accommodation Manager - start with the manager of their particular residence, give them a clear deadline for action and then take the complaint higher, right up to the top dog if need be. My son had a similar problem in his university residence (no flushing toilets and no hot water for the first two weeks of term!) and it took a lot of nagging, at quite a high level, before it was fixed. As a parent presumably with an interest in the payment of your child's rent, it may also be effective if you and other parents also complained. Firm, polite, but above all persistent pressure is the only thing which seems to work with big organisations, especially ones which sub-contract work out to a management company who re-sub-contract to a smaller private firm, who are always on another project when wanted.

    Unfortunately, in my experience, Universities do not seem to be bound by the same obligations as us 'ordinary mortal' landlords and get away with some fairly shoddy stuff which would have the EHO scuttling round to a normal rented house, PDQ.

    Good luck.
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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    • #3
      The thought has just occurred to me that if you can tell us the approximate height and diameter of the new immersion-heater cylinder (assuming it is the only means of heating the water for those 8 students), there may be a plumber or heating engineer on the forum who can tell you whether it is likely to be up to the job or not.

      Does the immersion heater produce hot water for wash basins, showers and occasional washing-up only? Or do they do all their own cooking, washing up and cleaning as well? Presumably no hot-fill washing machine in this residence?
      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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      • #4
        Ask thenm to fit an inline water heater (electric or gas) far more efficient and continous h/w supply...an electric one is cheaper to buy than a shower !

        Also i think you will find that 8 people sharing one shower is not acceptable and 2 showers should be proved!


        The Rodent
        A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
        W.Churchill

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
          Ask thenm to fit an inline water heater (electric or gas) far more efficient and continous h/w supply...an electric one is cheaper to buy than a shower !

          Also i think you will find that 8 people sharing one shower is not acceptable and 2 showers should be proved!


          The Rodent
          Rodent, OP did not say there was only one shower - only that the heater seemed insufficient to cope with the amount of hot water needed for 8 students to have showers.
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          • #6
            Hi Yes there is only one shower and 2 toilets.
            They have a cleaner that comes in provided under the contract. There is not a washing machine but they do all their own cooking and washing up.

            They have all been complaining for weeks now and they dont seem bothered, can they withhold rent payments until it is satisfactory ?

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            • #7
              I'm tempted to say that sharing might be fun, but that would be tasteless, so I wont.

              Why don't they stagger their showers? Some in the morning, and some at night.
              That would give the tank a while to re-heat. Keep chasing the Uni for another plumber.
              I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jta View Post
                I'm tempted to say that sharing might be fun, but that would be tasteless, so I wont.

                Why don't they stagger their showers? Some in the morning, and some at night.
                That would give the tank a while to re-heat. Keep chasing the Uni for another plumber.
                jta...most students (especially female ones) want to shower in the morning and the evening (especially if they aren't paying for the energy to heat the water). It's one of the reasons the planet can't cope, let alone the immersion heater in this particular building!

                Things have moved along a bit since the days when students had to 'book' a bath with their landlady about a week in advance!

                That sounds wrong, but you know what I mean!
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
                  Also i think you will find that 8 people sharing one shower is not acceptable and 2 showers should be proved!


                  The Rodent
                  I don't think it's acceptable either, however I think University residences are exempt from the normal HMO regs, for some reason which I have never been able to work out.

                  I don't recall exactly, but I have something in the back of my mind about them coming under the same rules as residential care homes and other 'regulated buildings'... which seems to mean they have to have fire alarm practices about three times a week, day and night, and you're arrested if you put blu-tak on the wall, but that they can get away with 8 people and one shower.

                  (Or 8 people and one, small [=armpit-high] fridge-freezer, in my daughter's first year in self-catering halls).
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                  • #10
                    Newer blocks have all got en-suite !

                    So MTG when can we share a cold shower ?

                    The Rodent
                    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                    W.Churchill

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
                      Newer blocks have all got en-suite !
                      That's because they are beginning to realise they need to compete with your jacuzzis and tiled wet rooms, Rodent. And there may be rules about new blocks which don't apply retrospectively to older blocks. More's the pity (for the poor students), but it makes our student houses look very attractive, doesn't it?
                      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                        That's because they are beginning to realise they need to compete with your jacuzzis and tiled wet rooms, Rodent. And there may be rules about new blocks which don't apply retrospectively to older blocks. More's the pity (for the poor students), but it makes our student houses look very attractive, doesn't it?

                        Regardless. 8 people sharing 1 shower is utterly ridiculous.

                        The Rodent
                        A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                        W.Churchill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
                          Regardless. 8 people sharing 1 shower is utterly ridiculous.

                          The Rodent
                          I agree. Especially all at the same time
                          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                            I agree. Especially all at the same time
                            Well in my younger days i would have been well up for a bit if that, as long as it was me and 7 other females !

                            In fact, i think i could still be fairly easily persuaded

                            The Rodent
                            A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
                            W.Churchill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thankyou for your comments I visited her last week im sorry but if you saw the people she shares with you would not want to share anything with them let alone a shower !

                              Back to my question can they withold rent until its fixed or claim any compensation ?

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