Lack of hot water leaves Pearl City apartment residents in the cold, wanting answers

PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Residents at a Pearl City apartment are frustrated with the lack of answers after living with no hot water since Saturday.

Ann Kawano says most tenants at Hale O' Hauoli are elderly and every time she has approached the on-site resident manager with questions, she's been met with hostility.

"She would say 'don't bother about that with me right now'," said Kawano. "We don't get a definite answer, so it's very difficult to explain that to people who are disabled or some of the very senior people."

Another tenant, who didn't want to be on camera, says they were never given any warning that the hot water would be shut off.

He repeatedly called the property management company, Cambridge Management, to no avail.

"Managers need to be more proactive in how they take care of this building," he said. "As tenants in this building, we should be notified and not three days later."

Residents say they have been boiling water to take hot showers.

Kawano says her neighbor, who's in a wheel chair, had to transfer the hot pot on her lap from the stove to the bathroom.

"We were terrified when we heard that," Kawano said. "Can you imagine if she had to go over any bumps?"

Kawano says it was only at 5 p.m. Tuesday that a sign was finally posted at the front office.

"Notice," Kawano read. "Water shut down 8-16-17 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Commercial plumbing will be installing our new broiler heater."

Kawano says the notice is three days too late and residents still want answers.

Our calls to Cambridge Management were not returned on Tuesday.


Cambridge Management responded two days later on Thursday, with the following statement sent via email:

"Hale O'Hauoli experienced an unexpected leak in one of our two hot water boilers. We hired a plumber to bypass the faulty boiler until a replacement could be made which resulted in a less hot water than we normally have. Unfortunately, the exclusive use of one boiler caused it to shut off temporarily. The malfunctioning boiler has been replaced and is fully functioning. All residents have hot water. We didn't issue a letter initially, because the plumber had bypassed the bad hot water heater and assured us that the one heater could handle the supply until the bad one was replaced. We received complaints on Monday and Tuesday and believed that the heater was simply running out of hot water before it could replenish due to the high demand. It was not until Tuesday that we knew that all residents were being affected. We asked the plumber to expedite the replacement and they scheduled the work for Wednesday morning. That is why the letter went out Tuesday.

I regret that we didn't do a better job of communicating as we really do care about our residents, our buildings and our reputation. And, we would never suggest that residents boil water on their stoves or do anything dangerous. We would have tried to come up with a different solution if we couldn't restore the hot water on Wednesday."

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