Bathtub Water Overflow


Old 01-26-01, 05:52 AM
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I want to replace the water overflow mechanism on my bathtub. The tub is from 1936 and only has a drain over hole in bottom of tub. It is not a pop up. Took the old one out only to find out that the bottom part of it has broken off and is still in the pipe - maybe. Is there an easy way to fix this?

On the back of the tub is a circular piece of metal that is held in by two screws. I took that off. There is a lever on it that goes up and down. When in the up position it goes down and in the down position it goes up. Attached to the back is two pieces of metal/wire with eyelets on both ends. The first one that is attached to lever is whole the second one is broken off halfway down. Is it safe to assume that this is a basket type? If so, I went out and got a new one and put it in and attached it. It does nothing doesn't even slow the drain. Do they come in different sizes? Looked behind the tub and there is a pipe coming from the circular metal piece on the tub, down the tub and attached to drain. So, it looks like the first on but the it also looks like the top of the second one. I thought the old piece might be stuck in there but if that was true the tub wouldn't drain, correct? So I'm wondering - is the basket to small or is it a different type of system and I don't know it?

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Old 01-26-01, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Lake Murray, SC USA
Posts: 1,461
I've read your previous post and this post several times, and I may have deciphered your description. Does your overflow look like this one:


This is called a trip lever drain. The wire/metal piece you are referring to is a turnbuckle. It is used to adjust how much your drain plug goes up and down when you lift the handle on the overflow cover. When you lift the trip lever, it should drop the drain plug so you can fill your tub. When you push down on the lever, it should lift the drain plug so your tub can drain.

Based on your description, it sounds like one end is broken out of the turnbuckle, but it also sounds like you may have replaced the entire assembly. Please clarify which is true.

The turnbuckle can be replaced by itself, but it will require removing and disassembling everything in the picture above. Or, you could replace the entire assembly. Your choice.

If you have replaced the assembly, and if the drain plug is the one that came with the new assembly, then the turnbuckle just needs adjusted so the entire linkage is the right height for your tub.

Please try to carefully describe your current situation, and any questions, cause it has been difficult to understand your problem, and what you have done.

Old 01-26-01, 06:50 AM
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Yes, this is what it looks like. I took the old one out by unscrewing it and lifting it out of the vertical pipe but the bottom part was missing. I am assuming that it is still in the drain. Before I assumed it was still in the drain, I put a new one in that had a basket looking brass weight on the bottom. I flipped the lever up and the tub still drained.
Old 01-26-01, 07:43 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Lake Murray, SC USA
Posts: 1,461
IF, we are on the same channel, you need to lengthen the rod assembly to get the drain plug to drop down further.

Remove the overflow cover plate with the lever in it. Reach inside with your hand or needle nose pliers, and unscrew (counter-clockwise) the rod that connects to the turnbuckle. You ought to be able to reach inside and push the rod down, with the plug in the drain, and see how far you need to adjust it. If not, turn it about 4 full turns, and re-install the cover (make sure you get the trip lever inside the ring on top of the rod you just unscrewed). Try the plug again. If it does not seal, repeat above procedure until it does. However, if you go too far, then the tub will not drain when you push the trip lever down, so you'll have to go back and turn the rod clockwise a couple of turns.

Let us know how it turns out.
Old 01-26-01, 07:55 AM
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Please forgive my stupidity but I think I'm missing something here. Is there another part that goes from the brass basket looking thing down vertically and then into the horizontal pipe and hooks onto the drain somehow or is it supposed to just dangle in the the vertical pipe? If it is supposed to attach to something vertically - that is where I'm confused. If it is supposed to just dangle horizontally, I have tried to adjust it and it has gone all the way down. Do they come in different sizes? In the down position, it will hit the bottom or the broken off part of the old one and will not fit snugly in the pipe.
Old 01-26-01, 08:34 AM
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 5,841
Here is a breakdown of a waste and overflow assembly.

Maybe you can explain which of these parts you need to help with


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