“Hot water!” is a call commonly heard in the old and middle wings of Mayfield, but last week a leaking pipe temporarily caused the opposite problem.
Sarah Erdman, resident director at Mayfield, first noticed an issue on Monday, when the heating units began to blow cold air. Then, on Tuesday, some Mayfield residents began to hear a strange sound.
Described as anything from “tennis shoes in a washing machine” to “a waterfall” to “a drowning ghost,” the glugging sound from the heating units was caused by air in a water pipe.
Facilities services investigated the problem on Wednesday, and found that a heating water line had sprung a leak, letting air into the pipes and draining quite a bit of water into the tunnels under Mayfield’s middle wing.
“These things happen periodically. The pipe that broke is almost 50 years old,” said Steve Brankle, director of facilities services.
The repair job was uncomplicated. Facilities services, pairing with McReynolds Plumbing, only had to replace a t-shaped piece of piping, but doing so required a steam line to be shut off, so no one would get burnt while working on the repair.
Unfortunately, the steam line provides both hot water and heat to Mayfield, so from Thursday morning to Friday morning, students withstood cold showers.
Despite the unpleasantness, most Mayfielders showed good humor when faced with the problem.
“It’s kind of annoying, but I guess stuff happens,” said freshman Elise Toevs.
“I heard people reminding other people to be thankful [when] we had hot water,” said sophomore Amy Stubbs.
With the minor inconvenience done with, Erdman expressed gratitude for facilities services’ efficiency.
“I’m glad it was fixed as quickly as it was,” said Erdman.
“Our daily inspections of the mechanical rooms allowed us to catch it quickly,” said Brankle.