"Joshua D. Drake" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> My experience is that when this type of thing happens it is typically 
> specific queries that cause the problem. If you turn on statement 
> logging you can get the exact queries and debug from there.

> Here are some things to look for:

> Is it a large table (and thus large indexes) that it is updating?
> Is the query using indexes?
> Is the query modifying ALOT of rows?

Another thing to look at is foreign keys.  Dan could be running into
problems with an update on one side of an FK being blocked by locks
on the associated rows on the other side.

                        regards, tom lane

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TIP 9: In versions below 8.0, the planner will ignore your desire to
       choose an index scan if your joining column's datatypes do not

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