Are You Making It More Difficult to Solve Problems Than It Needs to Be?


It’s frustrating when a problem comes up. First you have to realise there is a problem. You see it or someone complains. Perhaps your service person reports it to you. If it’s a minor problem, usually it can be resolved quickly with very little fuss or irritation. What about a major problem? They come in different varieties. You have customer complaints, equipment breakdowns, vandalism, theft, and other things to occupy your time and await resolution. Today, specifically, I’m going to focus on mechanical and electrical annoyances.

It usually starts with someone noticing something is not working properly or not working at all. We all hope when this happens, the problem will be immediately known and the solution apparent and easily rectified. But what if it isn’t? You have to start thinking about how this could have happened, what is the result and what things are affected. Human nature being what it is; often we think it is the most serious item which is causing this particular problem. We don’t always start with what may be the easiest cause of the problem, but the most difficult. I’ll give you an example. An owner called me once complaining his foam-brushes were not working. It was winter and below freezing out side and while his brushes were still weeping, they would not work. He had taken apart solenoids, checked his lines for blockage and tested to see if he had power to the system. At this point he had been working on this for a couple of hours with no success.

He was quite frustrated by this point and fed up with looking for the cause of this disaster. After listening to him describing everything he had tried, I suggested we start at the very beginning to see if we could get things going again. I asked him to activate a bay and turn it to the brush. Nothing happened. I then asked him to tell me what the air pressure was on the gauge. He replied it was zero. My next question was “Is the air compressor working”? He checked and sheepishly reported that the plug had come out of the socket and the system was now working.

Don't laugh at this because it is quite easy to stress a little when something happens and often our minds start to look for the most serious thing it could be that went wrong. The takeaway from this is to think about the start of the problem. What might be the easiest thing it could be and work toward the most difficult. I’ve done it myself when discussing a problem someone has. I forget to ask the easiest things.
“Is it plugged in?” for instance. I believe this is why computer geeks’ first question is often, “Have you tried turning it off and then on again”?

If you have a problem and have not discovered what could be the cause and solution, call us here at Pelco, but check to see if it is
plugged in first.