Following the recent hot water shutdown in Gutmann College House, some residents are still experiencing inconsistent water temperatures.
According to a statement from Facilities and Real Estate Services Executive Director of Operations and Maintenance Faramarz Vakili, a hot water shutdown was administered on Feb. 22 and 23 to fix a lack of hot water, an issue that arose after students returned from winter break. Gutmann residents were notified of this shutdown via email. Some students expressed frustration that there has not been improvement in the hot water after the shutdown.
Vakili said that intermittent failure of mixing stations — which are plumbing units that mix hot and cold water together to result in precise water temperature — were the reason for the lack of hot water. During the hot water shutdown, FRES replaced the valves of the mixing stations.
“This is fairly standard maintenance that may occur in buildings,” Vakili said.
He added that FRES received 20 work orders related to lack of hot water.
Engineering junior Ryan Oliver, who lives on the third floor of Gutmann, said that the issue has been ongoing since before winter break. In December, he often experienced cold or lukewarm water coming out of the shower and submitted maintenance requests about the issue.
“The plumbers would happen to come by when the weather was hot, and they would say the issue is fixed," Oliver said. "We would explain that it was inconsistent, and they said there was nothing they could do."
He added that the problem worsened, and there was no hot water at all when he returned to campus after winter break on Jan. 4. He continued to submit maintenance requests as a result.
Oliver’s suitemate, Engineering senior Guillermo Ribeiro-Vecino, also lived in Gutmann last year and said that he rarely experienced hot water inconsistencies in the morning when he showered. However, since returning from winter break, he has had to wait up to 90 minutes before the water is hot enough to shower in.
“One of my roommate’s parents actually got involved and emailed the school, which escalated the issue to the building administration, who stopped by to check in on the issue and said it would be resolved,” Oliver said.
The administration provided Oliver and his suitemates with access to a room in Harnwell to shower, and when the issue still wasn’t resolved, a room in the Sheraton.
“We’ve only been getting a room in Harnwell, a room in the Sheraton, hot water alternatives, because one of our parents spoke up and complained. This is an issue that’s across parts of the building to my knowledge, and they have not addressed it,” Oliver said.
Engineering junior Alan Qiao, who lives in a different part of Gutmann than Oliver and Ribeiro-Vecino, has also experienced inconsistent hot water.
“Right now, it’s okay for me because it’s only at night time. If I plan around that, it can be inconvenient, but it’s manageable,” said Qiao.
However, other students have found the issue to be resolved.
"I luckily cannot report any issues within the past few days," College junior and Gutmann resident Mackenzie McKillip wrote to The Daily Pennsylvanian.