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Broken boiler chills Gerry showers

By Samantha Hilyer

Students were putting in work orders since Jan. 27 to have the hot water fixed, said Shaffer. (Source: Hilyer)

It was a chilling Sunday evening to say the least for sophomore March Smith.

“I thought I was just going through my normal shower routine,” she said, “but as I walked into the shower room, I was warned that the showers were freezing. With hope, I turned the shower on, but only disappointment came out.”

On Jan. 26, Gerard Hall residents noticed the water temperature was lower than normal. While some residents experienced a normal shower temperature that day, others were not so fortunate.

Shelley Shaffer, maintenance manager, explained the elusive root to this problem. When several work orders came in, she said, faculties management sent workers to inspect the boiler room which is responsible for the water temperature of all appliances, including sinks and showers, throughout Gerard Hall. However, the boiler was intermittently operating as usual, making it difficult to diagnose the issue.

Shaffer stated that FMO was eventually able to observe the boiler while it was malfunctioning and discovered that the water heater’s igniter switch had gone bad, resulting in the fluctuating shower temperatures throughout the week.

After realizing this, Shaffer said that FMO contacted a contractor who then cleaned up the boiler room and replaced the broken igniter switch. On Jan. 31, Gerard Hall prefects informed the residents that the water heater had been fixed, so there would be no more cold showers.

“I was warned that the showers were freezing. With hope, I turned the shower on, but only disappointment came out.” - Marcy Smith

Shaffer said that this water heater incident coupled with cold showers is the first of its kind that she is aware of occurring in her time of working at Saint Vincent College.

Gerry residents like Anthony Vanden Burk and Arielle Kreuzwieser were caught off guard by the showers’ inability to heat up, even when set to maximum heat. But despite students’ complaints, not everyone thought that the shower situation was so bad.

Danny Whirlow, junior English major, said he was surprised at first by the much colder shower, but he did not think it was in any way an inconvenience.


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