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NEWS | Dec. 28, 2012

Commander's Action Line

By Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The Commander's Action Line is your direct link to me as the commander of Joint Base Charleston. I would ask that you first give the appropriate base agency a chance to solve the problem, but if you don't get a satisfactory answer, call and leave your feedback at 963-5581, or send an e-mail to

This forum is your opportunity to make Joint Base Charleston a better place to live, work and play. This is also your venue to tell me how our Airmen, Sailors, Air Force and Navy civilians and contractors are supporting you as a customer.

To ensure you receive a response to your concerns, please leave your name and the information needed to contact you.

COMMENT: Hello, I'm calling to complain about the sauna and steam room at the Air Force Fitness Center. It's been down continuously since April. The sauna was up for about three weeks and it went down for electrical problems. It's a new unit, but they can't seem to fix that. The steam room was working, but now it's been down for the last month. I'd appreciate it if anyone can weigh in on that. Thank you.

RESPONSE: The sauna in the Air Base Fitness Center has been plagued by multiple electrical failures during the last couple of months. 628th Civil Engineer personnel have worked diligently to increase the reliability of this system with some success.

During troubleshooting operations, several things were discovered as being contributing factors to these malfunctions. The sauna heating unit is designed as a dry unit with a one-hour continuous run time and temperature safety limit switch. It has become evident that users of the sauna have been covering the thermostat with wet towels to raise the temperature and pouring water into the unit to create steam which extends the runtime and temperature inside the sauna. The unit was not designed for this, and the moisture being introduced into the components is causing electrical failures. Temperature and run time controls on this unit are for customer safety and tampering with them may cause serious safety problems including electrical shorts, unsafe temperatures, and possible electrocution.

The 628th CE continues to troubleshoot the problem and is working with the manufacturer of the unit to bring it back into operation. No completion date has been established at this time; however, the steam room is currently operational.

Thank you for calling the Action Line.
Col. Richard McComb - Joint Base Charleston Commander