Construction company looks for cause of cold showers in Duvall

Many students in Duvall Hall began complaining about issues with the showers in their pods in late September. Duvall resident senior Samantha Trestik said sometimes water temperature would drop from normal to lukewarm or even freezing cold. Other times, the water pressure would fluctuate and the pipes would rattle loudly behind the shower head. “You just never know what to expect,” Trestik said.

Duvall Resident Director Emily Soucinek sent out a dorm-wide email apologizing for the inconvenience that has caused. She thanked residents for being patient while Facilities Services got to the core of the problem.

“At first I thought it was just a glitch and would go away, but when it kept happening, I started to get frustrated,” Trestik said. “When Emily sent out the email, that’s when I realized it was a bigger problem that would probably take longer to fix.”

Ed Kelly, director of Facilities Services, said the problem is still undetermined. He said the problems are recurring and once they think they’ve fixed the problem, something else pops up.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and we appreciate the patience and grace from the RAs and the students,” Kelly said. “We will get this problem fixed.”

Kelly said when Duvall Hall first opened in Sept. 2006, some students began complaining about the water pressure fluctuating. Facilities Services thought the mixing valves located under the sinks and showers we not operating correctly, and they proceeded to replace all the valves. The mixing valves still do not mix properly and need annual replacements, though they should be lasting longer.

Mulnick Engineering is the company who built Duvall five years ago. On Oct. 10, they checked every fixture in Duvall Hall. They concluded that the problem with the building is the hot and cold water connecting valves under the building.

Because the hot water valve is one big tube with three loops, Facilities Services has decided they need to put isolation valves on all three hot water loops to figure out which loop is the issue.

On Oct. 28, Walkers Construction will send out plumbers to install the isolation valves, and then will return the week after to figure out which loop they need to tear apart. This means Facilities Services will be shutting off all the water in Duvall, which Kelly presumes will take place when students are home for break.

Walkers Construction has been by Whitworth’s side every step of the way, Kelly said.

There has been no charge for the repairs and Walkers has taken full responsibility for the issues at hand. Kelly stresses the long history Whitworth has with them, as they have done construction on the Mind & Hearth coffee shop, the remodeling on Westminster and now the HUB expansion.

One way students can assist Facilities Services in correcting these issues is by keeping track of exactly what problems students encountered and at exactly what time of the day it occurred.

“Shower Reports” are available for students to record their issues.

 

Story by Jennifer Ingram

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