Bathtub Plumbing: How to Catch a Problem Early

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Bathtub plumbing problems are a lot like a referee at a basketball or football game, the only time you notice them is when something has gone terribly wrong.

Let’s face it, we live busy lives and there’s not exactly any extra time to think about things like our bathtub plumbing.

What makes the problem worse is that unless you have recently done a bathroom renovation, chances are you haven’t seen your bathtub plumbing in years, if you’ve ever seen it at all.

Unfortunately, metal corrodes over time, especially after taking on a daily barrage of chemicals and minerals traveling through our pipes and down our drains. It really isn’t a matter of IF you will have an issue with your bathtub plumbing; it is a matter of WHEN.

For the most part, I like to be very pre-emptive when it comes to my house. I read owner’s manuals and look on-line for tips on how to do routine maintenance to try and extend the life of the more critical components in my house like the water heater, furnace, washer and dryer and refrigerator.

Plumbing is a whole other issue. In my townhouse, if I wanted to get a look at the plumbing for my bathtub, I would need to tear down the tile and the drywall. The only reason that wall is coming down is if I’m remodeling, and that’s not in the plans anytime soon.

So what do I do to make sure that there isn’t a unknown small problem hidden behind the wall? The best solution for me is to go downstairs, below the bathtub, and look for signs of leaks or rotting wood.

Thankfully for me, the room below my bathroom is an unfinished furnace room so I can see a lot of the plumbing and the floorboards below my tub. So far everything looks good, but regular checks are critical.

If you notice any discoloration on the ceiling below your bathroom, call a plumber immediately. That discoloration is the first sign of trouble. Act fast and you will not regret it later.