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Thread: Adjusting Bath Drain Trip Lever

  1. #1
    DIY Member BS's Avatar
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    Default Adjusting Bath Drain Trip Lever

    I recently installed a Gerber bath drain with a trip lever in a new bathtub, but I've been unable to adjust it so that the tub holds water without leakage. The other night I left about 40 gallons in the tub and the last of it drained out about 10-11 hours later. What's the trick?

    BTW, yesterday I learned that the ABS drum trap for the tub is no longer approved so I removed it and decided to replace it with a P-trap while I had the downstairs ceiling open. Right now the bottom of the tailpiece is open and I can look up into it and at the underside of the plunger. Would having it accessible from below help in adjusting the plunger so the tub holds water?

    - Bernie

  2. #2
    DIY Member BS's Avatar
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    The trick, I discovered, was to remove the manufacturing debris from the drain! I messed with it for quite a while and one of the times I pulled the linkage and plunger out of the overflow pipe, a 3/4" long piece of plastic was stuck to the plunger. It looks like dried polyurethane and is the same reddish color that appears at one of the factory-assembled connections. After that I was able to adjust it easily.

    I learned something new today: tub drains are designed to leak at the rate of one gallon per hour.

    I hope this information helps someone else out in the future.

    - Bernie

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Well, I'm not sure they are designed to leak, but if they do, they have to do it slowly! It's just that it sounds like they don't have to be perfect.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    DIY Member BS's Avatar
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    Gerber Technical support called me back today and told me the drain is designed to leak at that rate. He quickly mentioned 2 or 3 reasons but the only one I can remember is to prevent the drain from freezing.

    - Bernie

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If your bathtub is going to freeze, you've got more problems! I can't think of a good reason for it to leak, though, and don't think (wouldn't be the first time I was wrong), that this is a general situation...seems like a line they came up with to justify they had troubles getting it to seal effectively and economically.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  6. #6
    DIY Member BS's Avatar
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    My first call two days ago was to Customer Service and they told me about the gallon per hour design leakage but gave no reason for it. Today Tech Support repeated it and explained why when I asked. Come to think of it, my old tub always leaked by a little bit. Oh, well. Nothing to lose sleep over.

    - Bernie

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member CHH's Avatar
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    If you need to use your tub as a reservoir during a disaster then a "design" leak rate is important.

    Ok, hopefully it's a once in a life time thing but it's still important...

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default leakage

    If the drain does not hold water, but most do, then the most convenient explantion from a "technical expert" is that it was supposed to do that. It is a lot easier than trying to tell the customer how to make it seal tighter, assuming the drain was machined properly so it would. Sort of like saying the hot water faucet is designed to drip water so you have instant hot water at the faucet 24 hours a day.

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