One's personal plumbing is not perfect and as I type this, I am to have kidney surgery on the 1st of June.
No matter. A couple of years ago we had hot water coming in through our cold water taps. The building's plumber who was replacing the water tamping valves, that is the valves that stop gravity increase of water pressure as it comes down from the top of the building, was conveniently on site. He quickly stopped the hot water at the cold tap. But things weren't' right. Our hot water was not hot. He increased the hot water temperature and all was good, until we showered and the water pressure was too low. A couple of days later he returned and worked out a balance between hot water and pressure.
A couple of years before this, we had renovated our kitchen. We bought a beautiful and stylish sink tap. R has only recently told me that the plumber who installed our beautiful tap, that we will hate it, and we did. The pressure was so low that we could not get really hot water to the sink and it was even worse after the aforesaid plumber adjusted the valve.
We put up with the lack of decent hot water at the sink for a time but Household Management started to complain, use bad words and started talking about downsizing. When my evening meal is at risk, I need to act. I measured the kitchen tap flow, 3.5 litres per minute. No wonder the plumber told R we would hate the tap. We went to the big green shed and chose a tap with 7.5 litre flow. The building's plumber company installed the tap and even with better flow, still the water was not hot. The lads fiddled with settings and after they left, we barely had really hot water anywhere. Less than an hour after they left, the shelves under our sink were wet with leaking water. One of them immediately returned and fixed the problem. In his tight shorts with muscular legs, the hot young lad lay on our kitchen floor on his back with his head in the sink cupboard. Your correspondent felt faint and was badly in need of smelling salts. No man should look so good and so vulnerable while lying on kitchen floor.
Nothing was fixed, in spite of the new tap and now our hot water in the bathrooms had gone cool to point of not needing to add cold water to a shower and then to lukewarm. It was so cool, I felt cold as soon as I stepped out and began to use the overhead heat lamp. We learnt that turning on a second hot water tap a bit did give us proper hot water, R turning on his bath tap as he showered and me turning on my basin tap as I showered.
As we were about to travel to South Australia, I did nothing until we returned. A week or so later I came across our building manager, the very handsome Sri Lankan born, with great dress style. I explained our issue, and he came up with us to our floor and played with the settings, and wow, we had hot water again, very hot water. However he said our tempering valve was twenty five years old and f*****. I called the building's plumber and a 7.30 Monday morning appointment was made. After the building managers adjustment we had really hot water at the kitchen sink and hot showers too, until something kicked in and the hot water reduced to a trickle. Turn the hot water off for two minutes and it would return to normal. This is not satisfactory for showering.
The plumbers arrived promptly and mostly worked outside our apartment as they replaced the tempering valve and a metre of copper pipe. They came into our apartment a few times to check water temperature and pressure, and at my insistence, the water temp was set at the highest level. which would be fifty degrees. You can keep you fingers under that temperature water for a few seconds.
The luxury of simply turning on a hot water tap and adding some cold, without stoppage of hot water, and having really hot water at our kitchen sink is simply marvellous. Building supplied hot water may be cheap, but it is better to have your own water heating system.
But there is more to this story. We are billed by a meter for the gas used to heat our hot water. I don't understand it. It is something about pressure factor. The bill used to be about $40 a month but about two years ago we were told we had overpaid and we were in $20 credit. Over the subsequent two years, our hot water bill dropped to about 50 cents a month or less. We are now in $16 credit.
Being an honest person of honour, of course I informed the gas company. I expect after this tempering valve change, our bill will return to the normal amount.