For decades I have urged clients, -participants in our Turbo programs; when facing a problem to explore, search for and find the root cause of the problem, before trying to find a solution. The best solution to the wrong problem - is far worse than a mediocre solution to the real problem. Exploring for root cause, finding the root cause is difficult, symptoms come to the surface they are easily spotted. The natural instinct of human nature is to look for someone to name, blame and shame. The root cause of the problem is often hidden in the process of the way we do work. The root cause is often well below the surface and it takes real thought to identify the root cause.
A couple of Saturdays ago after spending several hours on YouTube, at Home Depot and calling the former owner of our house in to help. I finally got my sprinkler system going I was proud of myself because I had finally successfully installed a new controller.
I programmed it and pushed the "on" button: moments later the sprinkler heads popped out of the ground and I began to successfully water my lawn. That was the good news! The bad news was a few minutes later when I walked down the patio steps toward the lower part of the property I saw water like a water feature flowing out from the steps. There was obviously a severe leak in the system. I began to dig and search for the leak. Of course I looked on the surface that's the easy place to look. After digging deeply around the steps it became painfully clear that the leak, the broken pipe was behind the stairs. Then we realized that there was really no way that I could physically break the steps free with the tools we had.
Fortunately my friends at ERS Excavation a Rental Service in Wilsonville were able to arrange for me to pick up a pneumatic hammer. With the help of René we were able to tear out the old cement steps and finally get access to the broken pipes and find the root cause.
What we discovered is in the picture above the root of a nearby tree had grown through the area. As you can see as you examine the photograph closely the root had actually grown in around the pipes until it finally broke the pipe. This was the root cause of the problem.
After breaking a few tools, hurting Renés back, and buying some new stone walkway steps the pipe is repaired the steps, replaced and everything is working beautifully. As difficult and painful as this experience was it reminded me once again how important it is for us when endeavoring to solve a problem to move beneath the surface, bringing in helpers, get the expertise of friends, and when necessary get the additional tools needed to find the root cause.
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