Monday, 19 January 2015

The Bizarre Case of my Defective Geyser

I was really frustrated.  

Last month I installed the third geyser in my bathroom . Brand new ones. But somehow the water would just not heat up ! 

I had shifted to this house a few months back. So, when the already installed geyser did not heat the water, I thought that maybe the geyser was old and I should replace it. So , I bought a locally made geyser.  But even after keeping it on for 2 hours , the water was lukewarm .

"Ok..." I thought . "Maybe the geyser is defective. It is locally made without any quality standards....".

 After a few more days of futile trials, I bought another geyser from a standard company . It also had a warranty of two years. The installation engineers came and installed the same.  It was working perfectly.  "Ahh ..." I thought. "Finally I will have nice hot showers ... "

I enjoyed my bath the next day and the day after .  After the 4th day, again the water was lukewarm. The next day I kept the geyser on for a few more minutes. The result was good . Steaming hot water. Two days it was fine. Again the fourth day the water was lukewarm ! Even after keeping the Geyser on for 15 more minutes, it was not even lukewarm ! 

The next day I called up the service centre. The service engineers came and tested the geyser.  It was working just fine.  I did not know what to say. I told them that the Geyser was behaving erratically and they should take my word for it .  

"We understand Madam... ", they said "whenever you face any problem, just give us a call and we will come the next day and fix it.... today it is working fine .... !". 

The engineers were trained to be polite . 

The end result was that even in this freezing cold, I was really nervous of taking a bath ... I did not know whether I will get warm water or not ... ! I took resort to heating water on my gas oven for my bath. 

I called up the service center again.  After 5-6  repeated calls,  the Geyser company was kind enough to replace the Geyser and install another brand new one.  But to my utter frustration, it did not solve the problem at all !  Some day it worked excellently , the next day it did not .  

I just did not know what to do ! 


About 10 days back, I went to visit an ailing relative who was suffering from acute back pain.

"You know Ananya ... " She said . "All these years I suffered , thinking that something is wrong with my bones .  But this time when the pain was really acute, I had a thorough checkup and the investigation report and further discussion with my doctor made me realize that all these years my perspective was wrong.  I was taking care of my bones, taking Calcium supplements , having probiotic food , but actually the root cause was Ergonomics !  My work involved a lot of twisting and working at a particular angle for prolonged periods of time. This was the root cause.  As soon as I took corrective action about my posture, things improved drastically "

"Really ? " I said 

"Yes ! See, I was looking at the problem with a preconceived idea about the solution ... the problem was somewhere else ..... !"

Something clicked in my mind . 


The next day, I started with a fresh mind. 

I logged the days when the Geyser worked fine and the days it did not.   I tried to link all the activities before and after I turned on the Geyser in the bathroom . The study gave a strange result.  

It showed that on the days the maid cleaned the bathtub, the Geyser did not work properly.

I investigated further. 

And the investigation result was an eye opener for me

I found out that the pipes leading to the bathtub was linked with the Geyser pipe leading to the shower. And since the pipe to the Bathtub was at a lower height , there was a backflow of water into the geyser tank if the tap to the bathtub was not closed.  When the maid cleaned the bathtub, she invariably did not close the tap of the hot water , instead she closed the main tap. 

So what was happenening is  that the Cold water tap of the bath tub was open and water from it flowed back into the pipe which led o the shower and the cold water mixed with the hot water and the temperature of the water from the shower became lukewarm !

From the next day, when I switched on the Geyser, I closed the cold water inlet tap of the bathtub and I got steaming hot water from my shower - everyday, everytime !

So, the problem was not in the Geysers , but somewhere else !


Don't we make similar mistakes at workplace and also in our lives ? 

Sometimes, we just have to make a paradigm shift in the way we look at problems. 

The solutions lie infront of our eyes, but maybe due to the dreary habit of looking at the problems with the same angle and in the same way, we fail to find solutions to them ! Sometimes, "our clear stream of reason loses its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit". 

I have learnt my lesson. 

I will always try to keep my mind open when I try to solve problems. 

Have you ever faced such situations ? Do write your comments.


  1. Congratulations, madam detective! :-) (Note: Just that one 't'--the first one--made such a huge difference... from your 'defective' to 'detective'!).

    Most times we try to fix the apparent symptom whereas the problem lies elsewhere... that good ol' Fishbone Analysis to get to the root of the matter is just the need. As you did in your thorough investigation!

    Elementary, my dear lady! :-D

    1. I love fish bones :-) .... Thanks to Ishikawa .....

  2. thank u for sharing this. its v thoughtful :-)

  3. Interesting and so true - set notions and beliefs often block our vision, be it workplace or elsewhere.

  4. Ananya,
    Your comment that 'Engineers were trained to be polite' is another eye opener ! Because, they went about their job like horses (blind on all sides except front). They could have detected well before all your study, trend, etc. if only their eyes were open ! -Narayan

  5. I really like to read. Hope to learn a lot and have a nice experience here!
    tank top

  6. This is called co-lateral thinking.

  7. Thank you for sharing this blog. Keep on making such important blog post.Thank you....