Published: Sep 17, 2010 10:56 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 17, 2010 4:26 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A condo unit owner is steaming mad saying her association is going too far to save money.  The Homeowner Association board is turning off the hot water to the laundry room leaving some residents out to dry.

Amie Champa says turning off the hot water in her condo's shared laundry room is the wrong way to go about saving money.

"My husband suffers from allergies and we've asked our doctor the best way to get rid of these allergies, and he said you need to wash your towels, your bedding in hot water to make sure there are no dust mites or dust or anything that could be on there needs to get out," Amie told WINK.

A few months ago, Amie says she discovered what happened.

"They went around, the board, went around and uncut-- unplugged all the hot water heaters.  It was very sneaky, no one said anything, or told us what they were doing, I just happened to notice it wasn't working," Amie recalled.

So she went to the board to tell them that she wanted the hot water option back.

"There's been three letters back and forth.  The last letter I sent was about three pages long with several points for my side of the story," she said.

When we asked the board president why the hot water was cut out, he sent us a response with these reasons:

#1.)      Sterilization of laundered clothing does not happen unless the water temperature is greater than 160 degrees.  Domestic water heaters are limited to 150 degrees so our water heaters are incapable of sterilizing anything.

#2.)      The only fact in reference to the definition of "cold water detergent limitations" is that below forty degrees, you do loose some cleaning power.  The MINIMUM ground water temperature in this area of Florida is 72 degrees.  We do not have cold water we have warm water.

#3.)      Bleach (including color safe Clorox) does an ample job of cleaning average clothing.

#4.)      Cold water washing is easier on your laundry and will make you clothes last longer.

#5.)      The cost of operating eight water heaters to ALL MEMBERS (incl. end units) could be as much as $2800.00 or as little as (you pick a number).  Regardless of what number you choose, little to no benefit is provided in exchange for this ongoing expenditure.

#6.)      Your elected BOD at a duly noticed meeting in April of 2010 broached this subject with the owners in attendance.  Not one person at that meeting had an issue with cold water washing only.  As a result the BOD of directors voted to disconnect all common laundry water heaters and use the money for other improvements that have more meaning to the forty eight owners the BOD directors represent (don't forget the Board represents 48 owners not just the interest of 32 owners)..


But to Amie no reason is good enough.

"I can't imagine if I were able to sell my condo the look i would get, by the way you can only use cold water to wash your clothes.  I think i would just get laughed at," Amie said.

What the board claims about not being able to sterilize clothes with hot water is true; but what Amie says about killing dust mites with hot water is also true.  The board president says he has informed every owner about the decision and is including Amie's concerns so they can make up their own minds.

The board will discuss it again in December and encourages residents to voice their opinion.