Document Type : Research Paper


1 650 Clair Harris Road Bldg. M, Room 113

2 650 Clair Harris Road Bldg. M, Room 112


Root cause analysis techniques are often applied to problems in the workplace; however, they may also prove very useful to home projects. This research explores the application of two root cause analysis techniques in home projects: (1) 5 Whys to determine the root cause of a home air conditioning unit that runs continuously but does not cool, and (2) an innovative Lean PFMEA to repair a John Deere riding mower that starts, then stops. Employing the 5 Whys technique led to the discovery of incorrect color-coded wiring from the original air conditioning unit to the thermostat. Lean PFMEA enabled a correct diagnosis and resolution of the mower start/stop issue via a Kaizen event, grass clippings in the fuel line, which was remedied by cleaning the fuel tank and replacing the fuel lines, fuel filter, and carburetor. These techniques provide Lean methodological approaches to problem-solving, which often leads to reduced homeowner aggravation, repair time, and repair expense.


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