Management Report: January 2023

Posted on Sun, 01/01/2023 - 11:00am

By Violette Deschamps, Malibu East Manager

Office Hours FURNACE: It came to my attention that two HVAC contractors have installed new furnaces in units that are exceeding the capacity of the existing electrical wire and breaker to which they are connected. The original wire and breaker serving the furnace and condenser that were installed in a unit are designed to respond to a demand of 50 amps. These new furnaces draw 60 amps. These furnaces are more powerful but may create serious issues with the electrical wire and/or breaker. Some signs to look for are the repeated tripping of the breaker because it is overloaded, or a malfunction of the equipment. Regardless of the installation date, you may contact the installer to get information about the amperage your equipment draws and discuss remedies, if need be, or have the new furnace checked by a reputable and licensed HVAC contractor or electrician, particularly if the breaker keeps tripping.

ELECTRICAL PANEL AND WIRING: The original electrical wires installed in units at Malibu East, running between the breaker box and the electrical outlet receptacles, lighting switches and fixtures, and water heaters are made of aluminum. This material is a good conductor but less flexible than copper – in other words, more brittle than copper – and with time, tends to loosen at the connections either in the walls or at the electrical panel. It would be a good practice for owners to have a thermography performed with an infrared camera to test the electrical panel and other electrical devices in their units. Management has an annual infrared thermography performed on all the electrical equipment located in the common areas. An electrician shortly follows with corrective measures as a remedy to the hot spots revealed during the thermography. Corrective measures may involve tightening connections and/or replacing breakers or other electrical parts.

BICYCLE ROOM: The concrete work in the Bicycle Room has been successfully completed. However, bad luck with the weather prevented the application of the epoxy on the floor; the weather turned too cold too quickly and the flooring contractor was unable to perform the work as anticipated because of the concrete being too cold. The flooring work will be performed as soon as the weather permits.

SLIDING DOOR Q & A: Auburn Corporation is planning to make a second presentation to owners on Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. Auburn’s information will be email-blasted to owners in the first week of January. The goal of its presentation is to gather a second pool of owners wishing to replace their sliding glass doors.

  1. I suddenly have a big cold-air draft coming from my bedroom sliding door that I never experienced before. Why is it happening now? The components, hidden and visible, of the existing sliding door have aged. Over the years, slowly but irreversibly, the components of your sliding door are becoming brittle, worn out, thinner, broken, missing, shortened and the like. Added to the aging parts is the climate change that brings higher wind velocities combined with colder temperatures. Those factors contribute to an irreversible “fatigue” on the components of your sliding door that have become weaker as they age.
  2. How would the wind pressure on my sliding doors cause water infiltration that I started to notice at the junction of the knee wall and floor? The aluminum frame and glass panes are the components protecting you against cold air and water infiltration. The aluminum frame of the original sliding doors and its thermal glass are much thinner and smaller in size than the new products designed nowadays for high-rises. Sliding doors have been substantially improved since the 1970s. Cold air and water infiltration will increase with time as the components are aging and exacerbated by climate change.
  3. Does air infiltration mean that my sliding doors are likely to cause leaks? Yes, it is likely to happen considering that water follows the same paths as cold air.
  4. Why would I spend this kind of money to replace my sliding doors? First, the new sliding doors increase your comfort exponentially during the cold and hot seasons. Secondly, they will contribute to decreasing your electric bill year-round. Lastly, the replacement cost is likely to be less expensive than the cost of the damage to the concrete and electrical conduits that a leaking sliding door is likely to require.
  5. What happens if a new sliding door has been installed in violation of the Sliding Door Replacement Guideline adopted by the Board? Sliding doors installed in violation of the Malibu East Rules and the city ordinance will have to be replaced by, and at the cost of, the unit owner. Further, the sliding door installed in violation of the Rules will be the subject of a specific disclosure to potential buyers of the unit. As you may be aware, the Association is required by law to issue a disclosure about the Association’s financials and other matters at the time of a unit sale. Violations of the Rules and construction defects in a unit known by management must be disclosed in the disclosure form called “22.1,” under provision #7, which refers to “improvements or alterations made to a unit or the limited common elements assigned thereto.” Such disclosure will apply if a sliding door is known to leak in a unit or installed in violation of the Rules of the Association.
  6. What are the risks of a neighboring owner filing a claim against another owner for water damage to their flooring, wall finishes, artwork, etc., as a result of leaking sliding doors? As the sliding doors are aging, slowly but surely, the risk of a claim is likely to increase alongside the observed increase of water leaks from the sliding doors.
  7. Will the Board approve a second vendor to make a presentation to owners? Some steps have been taken in that direction. However, nothing has been concluded yet because of a combination of factors: one vendor is reluctant to make a bid unless the Board requires the replacement of all original sliding doors, which it hasn’t done; a vendor’s limited capacity to undertake the replacement of a large number of sliding doors; delayed installation due to an overloaded calendar; or a lack of price competitiveness with Auburn Corporation by a second vendor.