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Old 29.06.2011, 08:08
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Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

It is even legal for our apartment complex to turn off our hot water at night? I know they don't want us taking showers during this time, but turning of the hot water completely does not seem right.

Last night my 3 year old woke up crying because he has some sort of bladder infection and it is painful to pee. It was 3 in the morning and he was afraid to pee so I was going to let him sit in the tub with a little warm water and see if it helped... only there was no warm water! I couldn't believe it! When I told my husband this morning he said that the hot water doesn't turn on until 7am.

Considering I am due with another baby in a couple months I am worried now. What about those late night messes when you need to wash baby (or myself off). How can you do that with no hot water? I really want to contact the landlord and tell him this isn't acceptable... but then I'm wondering if this is common in Switzerland?
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Old 29.06.2011, 08:28
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

I've never heard of the hot water (as opposed to the heating) being turned off in the night in Switzerland, but in the days before hot water was in the tap at all, we used to fill a kettle, put it onto the gas stove or the hot plate (these days one would just plug it in) and use the hot water mixed with cold (which I presume is still running) to wash in.

In a flat we lived in where the hot plate took for ever to heat the water, I used to fill a vacuum flask each evening to ensure I had warm water to wash in first thing in the morning. Showers were just a dream way into the future.
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Old 29.06.2011, 08:31
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

7 am seems a little late, considering most Swiss are up and out at about 5am (ok, a wee bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I mean)
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Old 29.06.2011, 08:42
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

7am seems late to me too, but I think we are the only couple under 70 years old in our complex so no one else is rushing to work in the morning.

I would be okay with heating up water on the stove if I knew it was necessary... but we have hot water available and they turned it off! That is what makes me so mad. Can they be that controlling?
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Old 29.06.2011, 08:56
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

Not without informing you. Contact your landlord and ask him what the situation is with the hot water.
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Old 29.06.2011, 08:57
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

Assuming you've been in Switzerland for about a year and you've only just now noticed there's no hot water between 10pm and 7am, are you sure it wasn't a temporary problem?

Have you really never turned on the hot tap after 10pm before? Or before 7am?
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Old 29.06.2011, 09:03
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

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Assuming you've been in Switzerland for about a year and you've only just now noticed there's no hot water between 10pm and 7am, are you sure it wasn't a temporary problem?

Have you really never turned on the hot tap after 10pm before? Or before 7am?
I seem to recall from a previous thread (Somthing about the thermostat in a fridge I think) that the OP only moved in to the flat recently.

It does seem bizarre to me and 7 am is very late for the hot water to come back on. I would contact the landlord if I were you.
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Old 29.06.2011, 09:15
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

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I seem to recall from a previous thread (Somthing about the thermostat in a fridge I think) that the OP only moved in to the flat recently.
Oh yes, I remember that thread; when she turned the thermostat the wrong way so kept it on its hottest setting. That was two months ago or so. I still find it hard to believe that in two months they've never tried the hot water between 10pm and 7am.

Having re-read the thermostat thread, I now assume she needs tap-turning-on instructions.
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Old 29.06.2011, 09:17
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

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Oh yes, I remember that thread; when she turned the thermostat the wrong way so kept it on its hottest setting. That was two months ago or so. I still find it hard to believe that in two months they've never tried the hot water between 10pm and 7am.

Having re-read the thermostat thread, I now assume she needs tap-turning-on instructions.
Maybe she's just getting water from the fridge. Warm water was never a problem before.
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Old 29.06.2011, 09:25
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

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It is even legal for our apartment complex to turn off our hot water at night? I know they don't want us taking showers during this time, but turning of the hot water completely does not seem right.
Like the others who have responded, I have never heard of this happening before.

There are some odd timing things though. When I moved into my current flat, I couldn't get the extractor fan over the cooker to work. When I asked the landlord about it, the answer I got was that "it only works at mealtimes". I have been living in the flat for eight years now and have still not managed to work out what my landlord considers to be "mealtimes" .
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Old 29.06.2011, 09:27
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

Yes, we moved in 2 months ago. And about the thermostat, I was told by a swiss guy (my husbands boss) to set it to the highest (which was actually the lowest) setting so it's not entirely my fault...but I doubt I'll ever live it down.

As to the water issue, I shower at night so I have never noticed the lack of warm water in the morning. My husband has mentioned it several times but now that we are closer to his work he goes in later and doesn't need to get up as early anymore. Thus we have never needed the hot water during the night and the mornings have not been a big enough problem to complain about.

We know the hot water turns on right at 7am (husband has tested this several times). I'm not sure exactly what time it shuts off. There is a board at the entrance to our apartment that states no showering between 10pm and 7am so I assume the water is turned off at 10pm, but I'll test it tonight and see what time it shuts off.

Sounds as if this is not normal so I'll complain to the landlord and find out why our hot water is being turned off.
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Old 29.06.2011, 09:28
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

We had a similar problem in our old flat in Basel. Basically when we were getting up for work at 5.30 there was no hot water for washing with. We contacted the agency and were basically told that if we wanted the hot water to come on earlier we would have to get permission from all the other residents in the block and thus the price of our nebenkosten would increase due to the longer times that the hot water was available.

We never did get the consent from the others and so a few months later we moved out, in my current place I have no problem, hot water 24/7 and the strange thing is both apartments are operated by the same agency.
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Old 29.06.2011, 09:28
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

Hi lukenjenny,

We've got hot water at night but it seems to take longer to warm up than it ever does during the day. I assume this is because nobody else is using any, and so the water in all the pipes has gone cold.

Are you sure yours doesn't warm up eventually, if you let it run long enough?

Question #2: how is your husband's German? Is he Swiss? I'm wondering how he knows about this 10pm-7am thing. Maybe it's written in the house rules somewhere, or maybe one of the neighbors told him - or maybe he has just lived somewhere before where it was that way. Either way, it can't hurt to ask him how he knows. (Besides, if he is Swiss, or if his German is good enough to be finding these things out on his own, I'd let him deal with the landlord! Up to you of course.)

edit: didn't see your post above.
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Old 29.06.2011, 09:31
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

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We never did get the consent from the others and so a few months later we moved out, in my current place I have no problem, hot water 24/7 and the strange thing is both apartments are operated by the same agency.
I guess it depends on what instructions the actual owner of the building has given to the agency. In my building, hot water and central heating are available 24/7 all year round, but it's a private landlord as opposed to a bank or an insurance company.
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Old 29.06.2011, 09:38
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

During winter time we also don't have hot water, but between 10pm and 7am. Considering the heating is fed by the same cistern of hot water, that also means we didn't have heating right after october.

We contacted the vermiter and they didn't want to do anything about it until we wrote a theratening letter, since we were paying for a heating system that was not working. They sent someone to our home and he basically told us the problem is on the cistern system: because it is so old, they have to turn it off once and a while (during the night in this case) and the only way to fix this was to put a new system, which would cost far too much. We had to get into an agreement and they agreed to change the times. There are a lot of old grannies freezing during day time at our place during winter now...
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Old 29.06.2011, 09:42
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

Soudns horrible not to have hot water over night or to be allowed to shower after 10pm. I always shower right before going to bed, which is around 1am (and then again when I get up, but this is well after 7am).

I'd move. I think. Actually I've been rather lucky with my current apartment. I was thinking of moving a few months ago but when the current tenant explained the washing machine rota I was put off Like stephen_ne says above, it must vary on who owns the block. Mine is a small one with a private landlord. I will now steer clear of large insurance company owned ones!
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Old 29.06.2011, 09:49
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

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Soudns horrible not to have hot water over night or to be allowed to shower after 10pm. I always shower right before going to bed, which is around 1am (and then again when I get up, but this is well after 7am).
Let's just say sometimes my neighbours get some night frights to the sound of the shewolf calling: "OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! THIS IS COOOOOOOOLD!"

Having no shower at night is also bad for love life... I'm moving soon enough!
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Old 29.06.2011, 09:58
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

The cheapest and effective approach is to join a Mieterverband and get their advice.
Their membership fees don't cost much, and there is one for each Canton:

http://www.mieterverband.ch/ Deutschschweiz

http://www.asloca.ch/ Romandie

http://www.asi-infoalloggio.ch/ Tessin

I am sure this is "illegal" as a judge once decided that people could shower at 5 am, the landlord was ordered to put in better noise insulation.
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Old 29.06.2011, 10:07
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Re: Apartment complex shuts off hot water from 10pm to 7am

...ah but I bet there is a clause somewhere in the small print which says that permission to shower at 5 a.m. doesn't mean the landlord has to produce hot water for this purpose.
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