How to Fix a Leaking Tub Overflow Drain

What You'll Need
Welding Iron

The overflow part of a tub drain can be the bane of a homeowner's life, if the overflow pipe has developed a leak or a loose connection. The overflow pipe in a tub is specifically designed not to allow water to flood the bath, eventually leaking through the boards and onto the ceiling of the room below, but if this essential pipe has a flaw of its own, then you may find the water running out of the pipe, and soaking your ceiling anyway. This can lead to plaster damage, a flood in the lower room, and even having to destroy carpets and electrical items in the room below. Repairing the pipe is not a difficult job, and getting this job done doesn’t need the assistance of a professional if you have some basic home improvement skills. All you have to do is follow a few simple guidelines to get the job done quickly and easily.

Step 1 – Turn Off the Water

The first step is to make sure that all of the water in the house is turned off completely. Do this by turning the main water valve in the house, which should be located just outside the home, or in the garage. Turn this to off, and perhaps stick it in place to prevent it being turned on by others. You Should check that the water is off by running the cold tap for a minute or so.

Step 2 – Remove the Pipe

Next you will have to remove the overflow pipe from its position. Do this by unscrewing it from the connection at the back of the tub. There should be a small sphere with three or four bolts attached to it. These should be unscrewed, and then the screwdriver inserted between the tub and the pipe, and the hole widened using leverage (this is to break through any caulk that has been placed in the join). Undo the bottom of the pipe using the wrench, and pull it out of the connecting pipe. You may need to wiggle your overflow pipe a little, as there can be caulk around this join, too.

Step 3 – Repair the Overflow Pipe

Once that is completed, you will have to assess the amount of damage on the overflow pipe. If there is a lot of damage, you will have to discard it, and replace with a new pipe. Small cracks can be fixed by simply using a welding iron to heat the pieces until they melt together. You may wish to add a strip of tape over this weld until it is completely solid again.

Step 4 – Finishing

Before you finish the project you will have to return the pipe to the tub. Another cause of leaks is a poor fit here, so make sure that you screw the overflow pipe back onto the tub connection tightly. Insert the pipe into the drainage connection below, and then screw against the tub. You can add some caulking over the top of the joins. Remember to turn the water back on when you have finished.