|Hello, Reception, there is water coming
through the ceiling
If you have one bathroom at home, and you get a flood every 20 years, you tend not to think about the problem. But if you have a hotel with 20 bathrooms, then the same statistic means that you get a flood every year. One tends to be more sanguine about water pouring through the house
The first rule is to do the plumbing in such a way that one can isolate any one bathroom, and that the water for the whole hotel does not need to be turned off - hence compounding the problem for other guests.
The second rule is to purchase baths that even the most water happy guest cannot get to leak. It was on this point that we ran into problems at Corisande. We ripped out the old bathrooms, scrapped the antiquated shoddy fittings, and constructed new, larger bathrooms. And for these new bathrooms we naturally bought new baths - need I say top quality baths from Ideal Standard with brass fittings.
Five of these baths were installed before Christmas 1997. Guests filled the new rooms over Christmas with no problems, but on New Years Eve, a phone call to reception alerted us to water pouring through a ceiling. 7.30 on New Years Eve is not an ideal time for such an event, but we rarely can chose the time or the place.
Armed with spanners, screwdrivers and hammers, I tried to find the source of the problem, as the water was not overflowing over the top of the bath, then it had to be leaking from the overflow or the plug. It being New Years Eve, time was short and we had to valve off that bath. My first thought was that the plumber who had just installed that bath had done a "country plumbing" job and not checked his joints.
Next day, more water, but this time from another of our new bathrooms. I then wrestled off one of the overflows. From the bath side it looked fine, but when you took it off, I saw that the overflow only filled about half of the hole in the bath, the rest of the space was taken up with a cosmetic plastic flange, of no practical value. Later calculation showed that it filled 53% of the hole. I knew no what the problem was - it was a design fault
Well, I am on the phone to Ideal Standard, where their Scottish "customer relations" man is a touch aggressive. Me " I think it is a design fault". Him " We have never had a complaint before". Me "You would say that". Him " Are you calling me a liar". The conversation tended to deteriorate from there. With very bad grace they agreed to send a man to look at the problem , but "if it proves to be your fault, then you will have to pay for our men to look at it". Fine I say, but if it proves to be your fault then I will charge you all my expenses, carpets damages, guests inconvenienced, my time in dealing with it, etc. The Scottish gentleman at Ideal Standard did not think this fair - funny how these things get one sided, he thought he could charge me, but was astonished that I would charge him!
Eventually two men from Ideal Standard came, agreed it was a design fault, and changed all five baths for a more satisfactory overflow, which filled the hole in the bath. No more leaks, but would I buy another Ideal Standard Bath?
And if you want to stay in a nice hotel by the sea in Cornwall, Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall
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