Thursday, February 04, 2010

Think it Through

I had an unhappy encounter with a plumber today.

I don't have enough hot water in my house. This is a new condition, and obviously something is wrong.

I have two hot water heaters in my house. Both are about 10 years old.

The plumber arrived, didn't even ask me about the symptoms and said, "oh, these are 10 years old. You should just replace them." The bid he gave me was around $3,200 to either replace both of the water heaters, or remove them both and put in one new super-duper water heater instead.

The truth is, the water heaters may indeed need to be replaced. The point I want to make, however, is that the plumber didn't make me feel that he was sincere, because he didn't even TRY to diagnose my problem. He provided a solution before even looking at the actual problem. This is not a good strategy.

When we attempt to solve a problem, we need to make sure we look squarely at the problem and understand it completely before we propose a solution. We'll have more credibility, even with ourselves, if we actually analyze the problem, rather than just propose a solution without proper consideration.

Do I really need new water heaters? I don't know. The troubleshooting done by this guy... was not adequate, so I will investigate further. His approach did not inspire confidence.

I firmly believe we should listen to each other (and ourselves) and give due diligence to a situation before we leap to any conclusion. It's a sound approach to water heaters... and life!