Technical support people get to hear some pretty astonishing
problems from time to time. But when someone claims that his computer
reboots every time he flushes his toilet, even the most jaded tech
support person must assume the customer is pulling his leg. Amazingly,
this wasn't the case!
When our bold tech support guy, let's call him "Jimmy," took the
user's call, he at first dismissed it as a prank. A computer that
reboots when the toilet is flushed? Yeah, right! And the CD-ROM cup
holder needs an upgrade so it can hold a Double Gulp soda, too!
However, after a while it became clear that the user was really
having a problem. Intrigued, a few members of the tech support team
decided to make a house call since the user was living nearby. What on
earth could possibly result in what sounded like the punch line of a
The team was greeted by the anxious user who showed them to his
basement office. Sure enough, as he flushed the nearby toilet, the
computer went down and rebooted. The team looked at each other. Jimmy
bent down to examine the cords at the back of the computer. Erica
checked the event logs. Bobby investigated the toilet.
Unfortunately, the close examination did not reveal anything.
Frustration and puzzlement descended upon the team. Then, suddenly, a
light came on in Bobby's head: The house water pump was right next to
the toilet, what if... and sure enough, the water pump was on the same
power supply as his computer. Every time the user flushed his toilet,
the pump started and the voltage fluctuation caused the computer to