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Steve Robson

Marine Industry

Learning and Development Consultant

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Leaking Roof


There are 2 drops of water leaking from the ceiling every minute.

If you placed a bucket under the leak at 6pm, would it be full by 7am the next morning?

Answers on a postcard. (This isn't a joke, no trick answers, it can be worked out mathematically)

10 Responses

  1. Of course it would…

    …it was already full, but it would now be full of either a combination of water and air, or all water.

  2. Leaking roof

    Given that most buckets have a capacity of 10 litres or more the answer would be NO. The bucket would be half full. I think. Maths not my strong point!

  3. Apprentices

    I used to use this when selecting engineering apprentices. Good way to see how their mind works and how they go about problem solving.

    If anyone thinks they can use it I also have another good one I'll put on here soon

    Not saying if you are right or not yet 🙂

  4. Nowhere near full.

    Nowhere near full.

    1 teaspoon holds about 120 drops, 5ml.

    2 drops a minute = 120 drops an hour

    So in 13 hours, there will be 13 * 5 = 65ml.

    A tea cup would be more than enough.

  5. No

    120 drops an hour for 13 hours is 1560 drops.  If each drop is 1ml (which is likely too big) the volume would be just 1.5l.  I'm not convinced that something large enough to just hold such a small volume could be termed a bucket!

  6. No

    The answer is No and the amount of water is very small meaning that even the smallest of buckets wouldn't be full.

    How each prospective apprentice approached the problem and presented their answers was one of the measures we used to use in selection. (this was a very long time ago, it's probably done on a i Pad now!)

    Water drops are "usually" measured at 0.05ml but because of the overall small quantity of water it doesn't really matter. The point of the task is to see how people approach it.


  7. No – Fix the leak

    We're all taught that water wastage is pretty bad, so why not have someone fix the leak, therefore NO, the bucket would not be full…


    It also depends on what is actually leaking – I doubt it's the ceiling that's doing the actual leaking, you need to find the pipe!

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Steve Robson

Learning and Development Consultant

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