TUB FOBIA! ? A Disconcerting Experience! QUESTION; What’s Your Take On It?

I just had a disconcerting experience. I had a new client asking me the usual questions about the inspection she wanted done next week.

When she asked me about the whirlpool bathtub, I had to tell her it would not be part of my inspection.

I explained the the motor would be damaged if it was run without water in the tub. Filling the tub would take too long to be done in the course of the inspection.  So this is not done.

Some water is run to test the faucets, shower head, etc..  Access to the motor and system piping is checked and inspected for leaks and general condition.

She was satisfied with that answer but wanted to know what she could do to go further.

As an inspector is a generalist, the answer is to engage a specialist. In this case a specialist for a whirlpool tub is a plumber, so I suggested she talk to a plumber. That was ok, but she wanted to know if it was ok for a plumber to be there during the inspection.  For me it was fine but I suggested she let her agent know about it  and have owed and cleared with th sellers.

And that’s where the call ended.


THEN I got the call from the agent ” WHAT THE ____ DID YOU TELL MY CLIENT??  SHE’S GONNA NIX THE DEAL!

She, the agent, went on to tell me that the plumber was an alarmist who went on a rant, first about that brand, said it could not be replaced now. He then went on to tell her horror stories about diseases transmitted by these tubs and worked “flesh eating disease” into the rant.

Turns out this buyer is very nervous and phobic in general and this alarmist rant really set her off. I was able to explain to the agent what my involvement had been and I was able to give her the names of several plumbers to get a broader opinion on this ” issue”, if in fact there is one.

The agent wants to salvage the deal, naturally and wants a plumbers price to seal off the “whirlpool” jets, effectively converting it to a normal tub. And will pay for it if is affordable and will close the deal.


I’ve since spoken to a plumber about this. He says there are lots of stories going around but few facts. The cleaning maintenance is very easy to do. Basically you run the tub through a full program cycle using only hot water and baking soda. You’d do this every few months depending on frequency off use.

That doesn’t sound too complicated or difficult door anyone to do. So I wouldn’t recommend the ‘sealing of the jets’ option, but that’s not my call or decision.


My question to you is:

Have you heard of disease problems associated with these tubs?

1 – Have you heard of disease problems associated with these tubs?


2 – What would your response be in this situation as an inspector?…an an agent? … Or as a buyer / seller?

Your thought?


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post