How to Tell If Your Bathtub Is Broken

​​How to Tell If Your Bathtub Is Broken

It’s the workhorse of the bathroom, so when your bathtub is broken, it demands immediate attention. It’s easy to forget about the lowly tub until suddenly your daily showers are compromised. What are the most common reasons your bathtub might not be fully functional? How can you tell if you need to repair or replace it? We’ll address these questions below.

Visible Chips and Cracks

Let’s start with the most apparent issue you might be having with your tub: cracking. One of the more tell-tale signs that your tub is broken, cracking can occur within the tub’s basin. These cracks can range from tiny hairline cracks to much larger cracks that threaten the integrity of the tub.

While small cracks may be repairable (preferably by a skilled professional), larger cracks signal the need for replacing the bathtub. In either case, it’s a good idea to have your tub checked out by an experienced plumber, who can determine whether the cracks are repairable, and also look for any potential leakage or water damage.

Rust and Low Spots

Another visual clue that your bathtub is broken is the appearance of rust or low spots. If you have a cast iron bathtub, you may see some signs of rust, but it usually isn’t a cause for replacement. On the other hand, Sheet metal bathtubs can show rust around the drain. 

When that happens, it’s only a matter of time before the bathtub rusts through and fails completely. Likewise, low spots can occur in a sheet metal tub, allowing water to collect and cause discoloration and rust. Any of these issues could mean replacing your bathtub.


If you notice puddles or pooling water on the floor after taking a bath, you may have a leaking bathtub. Another way to test for leaks is to plug and fill the bathtub with water, then check the water level a few hours later. If the water level is lower, you could have a leak. Leaking water is not a trivial matter. 

Over time, this can cause severe damage to your floors or foundation, leading to hidden mold growth. A substantial potential health issue, black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum), readily grows within a constantly moist environment, such as an undiscovered leak in your bathroom walls. Finding and fixing leaks is essential to avoid harming your family’s health.

Stains and Difficulty Cleaning

You might not think that stains on your bathtub are a big deal–it’s only aesthetic, right? If your bathtub is difficult to clean, or there are stains, it could mean that the tub’s finish is worn. The problem here is that the tub’s surface becomes more porous without the protective finish, which means it is a breeding ground for bacteria. If you can’t remove the stains and the surface of your tub looks dull, you should look into repairing or replacing the bathtub.

Let Salisbury Plumbing Help

If you suspect your bathtub is broken, Salisbury Plumbing can help you determine what the problem is. Our experienced technicians can locate leaks and help you decide whether repairing or replacing your tub is the best option. We provide 24-hour service to the Utah County area with dependable, licensed plumbers. Contact us online today!

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