Sprinkler causes flood in New House entrance

The latest water damage to New House was not caused by another burst pipe, as some residents feared, but by a sprinkler triggered when an air conditioning unit in the house manager’s office overheated early Tuesday morning.

At approximately 4:30 a.m. Oct. 11, New House was woken by a fire alarm after the sprinkler began to discharge. Several inches of water flooded the entrance and approximately one third of the Arcade (the hallway connecting New House’s six houses).

Students living in Houses 4, 5, and 6 were permitted back into the building within the hour; others had to wait longer.

House 1 was the only part of New House damaged by the water, House Operations Manager David Nunez wrote in an email to residents.

“I share your concern about possible leaks in New House, but I want to reassure you that the sprinkler head reacted to a heat source exactly as it was designed to do,” Nunez wrote.

By 2 p.m. the following day, the sprinkler system had been repaired and contractors were on site removing water and completing clean-up.

This is the second time in three weeks that House 1 has faced water-related damages. On Sept. 23, leaks resulting from a loose screw in the overflow drain of a bathtub in iHouse, part of House 1, caused several ceiling tiles to collapse.

New House will close for renovations or demolition at the end of this academic year.