But that's exactly what residents say has happened at Park Plaza for the past three weeks before it was fixed on Tuesday. They say half of the 23-storey Vancouver building had been without hot water after the boiler servicing the top half of the building broke down.
"I am from Kazakhstan and you know what ... the maximum we didn't have hot water? Two days. So now everybody back home is laughing at me saying 'you move to Canada for a better life, but you don't have water for three weeks?" said resident Olya Melnik.
The strata council has declined a CBC interview request, which meant the property manager and the company trying to fix the problem can't talk about it either.
Delay, lack of info frustrating: residents
But those privy to the hot water issue told CBC that even though the building is only 20-years-old parts for the boiler were scarce, and when they were found, they were shipped by ground transportation rather than by air, which added to the delay.
"There hasn't been much communication on either end about when things are going to happen and why they are taking so long," said Jeremy Martin, another resident.
Some residents have had more than enough, such as Melissa Lazeo who has had to boil water for washing her dishes and bathing.
"Fire the company, fire the plumbers and get this fixed now. We don't have time," she said.
There are common showers in the building that still have hot water, but not everybody is comfortable using them. Yet others are confident that the building management is trying to find a solution.
"There's no bad intention," said Ashley Hoehn.
"It's not like somebody came in and ruined the machine or anything so I think its one of those things that people should lighten up a bit and be thankful for the things we do have."