Sunday, October 22, 2006

House Debugging

Slowly, but surely we have noticed our water pressure in our primary shower decreasing. This is annoying, because we really liked the super-high-firehose-bruising-pressure it once had a reputation for.

And what did I do about it? Well, I said to myself, ya know, I should really call a plumber. And two, I should Google this.

The only problem was, I never did get around to calling a plumber. And I had no idea what to Google.

So I did nothing.

And then it hit me today - why don't I debug this problem like any other software issue? See, whenever I'm around home stuff I always forget that the debugging principles that I use daily still apply.

So what did I do? Well, I tried a variety of tests. I checked another showers in the house at the same time. Then I tried a different shower head. Just like in debugging software, these attempts may or may not fix the problem. But at least you learn another data point. And it's all about getting enough data so the problem becomes transparent.

In the end, the shower head swap seems to have worked. This annoying situation took 4 minutes to fix and cost us nothing.

So, the moral of the story: just because the subject area isn't one you are a master in, you can still THINK and TEST your way out of a problem.

I wonder how many more times I'll have to learn this lesson till it sticks?

--Ben

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