I'm checking the balancer springs of an industrial machine in one step of a flowchart where the follow-up decision question asks if the springs are "problematic" (?). I couldn't decide on a single general adjective to include every type of spring fault. I've googled "faulty", "broken", "problematic", "damaged", and "defective". I'm leaning towards "faulty" and "defective".

Which one describes and combines all possible spring problems? Are there other better adjectives to describe it?

  • 3
    A spring problem might not be a fault, and it might not be a defect, but it will be a problem: therefore use 'problematic', as your own phrasing ("describes and combines all possible spring problems") suggests.
    – JEL
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 9:38
  • Good point. I'll wait for a few extra comments/answers and then use your suggestion. I can select and vote it up if you write it as an answer.
    – Montag451
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 9:54
  • 1
    What JEL said. Problematic is used for problems of all kind.
    – NVZ
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 10:29
  • 1
    I might just use “check springs” for one flowchart box and “Problem?” for the other.
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 10:53
  • 1
    Maybe you're trying to cram too much stuff into that box.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 12:49

1 Answer 1



Posing a problem; difficult to solve
"a repair that proved more problematic than first expected."

Problematic is applicable to all kinds of problems, so it's the best option here. Other words you suggested are all specific and aren't applicable everywhere.

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