Leaking tub overflow - repair or replace

Users who are viewing this thread

Djarchow

Member
Messages
69
Reaction score
6
Points
8
Location
Iowa
My daughter filled their tub up past the overflow tonight and I noticed water dripping in the basement; which I am finishing Fortunately the sheetrock isn't up yet so no damage.

The tub/shower is a standard fiberglass style. The drain/overflow assembly is a Watco 500 series made from tubular plastic and ties into the ABS trap with a slip joint. The overflow drain has two sets of screw holes, one for the cover plate and one for retainer plate. The plumbers didn't use the retainer plate and either just screwed the actual retainer screws in without the plate or just screwed a couple construction screws in those holes. Either way the overflow is leaking around the retainer screws.

What is the best way to fix this? I can order the retaining clip and the right screws and hope they don't leak. I can order a new 500 drain kit and replace the overflow ell. Or since having a slip joint buried above a drywall ceiling might not be a good idea even if I do leave an access panel, I could re-plumb it with all glue joints. The only problem with that is ABS is very hard to come by here now.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Kind regards,

Dennis
 

Dj2

In the Trades
Messages
2,611
Reaction score
258
Points
83
Location
California
A picture will help.
Generally, there is a sponge gasket between the outside wall of the tub and the pipe fitting, and when you tighten the two screws, this gasket makes a water tight bond. You could have loose screws or worn out gasket.
Check it out, you may be able to solve it quickly.
 

Terry

The Plumbing Wizard
Staff member
Messages
29,942
Reaction score
3,459
Points
113
Location
Bothell, Washington
Website
terrylove.com
Plumbers are required to use solvent weld tub waste and overflows. Which seems weird because with some tubs we wind up using the Gerberit brand which uses slip joint fittings.
I would say that really we are installing 99% glue up drains though. There is a lot less that can go wrong.
For you, if you can get the overflow to seal with a new washer, then maybe okay, but if not, it's easy enough to pick up and install a new tub waste and overflow that glues together.
 

Djarchow

Member
Messages
69
Reaction score
6
Points
8
Location
Iowa
Kids_drain.jpg

Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it.

DJ2, the overflow is not leaking at the gasket, the water is coming out of the screw hole for the retaining plate. I am attaching a pic and the water is coming out at the smaller gold construction looking screw with the arrow pointing at it.

Terry, not sure if the UPC was different back in 2004 when we built our house, but the plumbers were the ones who put in the tub and slip joint drain fittings. The plumbers seemed to think that the code was a suggestion, not a rule, including two drains pitched the wrong way, and using regular, non expansion, pex on Wirsbo fittings in a couple spots. Luckily I found all those screw-ups doing the plumbing for the basement and fixed them. So this may be one more thing I have to fix. If I have to replace the drain with glued fittings, I will call my plumbing inspector and ask him if I can just add that to my existing basement permit. Then I just have to find somewhere to order the ABS fittings since they are scarce around here these days.


Thanks again for everyone's help.

Kind regards,

Dennis
 
Last edited:

Djarchow

Member
Messages
69
Reaction score
6
Points
8
Location
Iowa
I think I would pull the screws out one at a time and reinstall with some Silicone on them.

Terry,

Thanks. I can try that. However since this will be buried under sheetrock, should I replace the drain and overflow with glued ABS and get rid of the three slip joints that make this up today? If so any suggestions on a replacement in ABS? Today it is a Watco 500 tubular plastic with a chrome push pull drain and overflow.
 

Jeff H Young

In the Trades
Messages
8,882
Reaction score
2,212
Points
113
Location
92346
I think I would pull the screws out one at a time and reinstall with some Silicone on them.
good idea silicone. Unfinished basement provides access also not really a problem with a drip or more. whether it was installed leagal or not 16 years ago not really the issue. its what you have now that matters. First off I know not to fill a tub that high, right or wrong I expect that to hapen because Ive seen it dozens of times. Smartest thing to do if you decide to drywall lid is install a all glue overflw ass. . the dumbest thing to do would be to bury a known leak and leave this known violation. putting silicone and then burying not a proper option but if not closing up walls no problem
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,849
Reaction score
4,427
Points
113
Location
IL
However since this will be buried under sheetrock, should I replace the drain and overflow with glued ABS and get rid of the three slip joints that make this up today?
I am not saying that you should replace the non-leaking piping. Terry's idea seems worth a try.

If you do put in glued pipe, use PVC or ABS according to the other existing drain pipes. If this is not a factor, I would look in the local stores, and see if they carry more PVC or ABS; then use that. In other words, it is usually better to pick the one that is popular in your area. I would have thought that would be PVC in Iowa, but I have no real basis for that. I am not a plumber.
 

Jeff H Young

In the Trades
Messages
8,882
Reaction score
2,212
Points
113
Location
92346
Perfect slution Terry! BTW dosent need to be abs can be pvc as well op mentioned no abs available some places use abs some use pvc for DWV systems been doing this 30 years but cant tell you why my whole carrear has been abs and other parts of country you never see it
 

Jeff H Young

In the Trades
Messages
8,882
Reaction score
2,212
Points
113
Location
92346
btw whether it leaks or not ,issue is a code violation not to have access to your existing plumbing.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
38,849
Reaction score
4,427
Points
113
Location
IL
btw whether it leaks or not ,issue is a code violation not to have access to your existing plumbing.
It may have been in accordance with code when it was installed, and as such, it could stay just fine.
 

Djarchow

Member
Messages
69
Reaction score
6
Points
8
Location
Iowa
Thanks to everyone for all the replies and for this great site. I am going to start measuring to be sure all glued fittings will actually fit and line up with the existing drain line. Unless I want to use a Fernco I am locked into ABS as that is what the rest of the piping is is and my local AHJ said not to use the ABS to PVC glue.

Again, thanks!

Dennis
 

Terry

The Plumbing Wizard
Staff member
Messages
29,942
Reaction score
3,459
Points
113
Location
Bothell, Washington
Website
terrylove.com
I assemble the two parts on the tub first, and the glue the two pieces with the santee last. If the shoe is a little crooked, it leaks.
 

Djarchow

Member
Messages
69
Reaction score
6
Points
8
Location
Iowa
I assemble the two parts on the tub first, and the glue the two pieces with the santee last. If the shoe is a little crooked, it leaks.
Terry, thanks for the tip. Hope you got mine in the tip jar :)

So to be clear, first you attach the overflow ell and the drain ell to the tub, then you glue the pipes connecting the drain and overflow to the santee? Mine will be somewhat complicated in that the drain line connected to the trap comes through a hole in a TJI about 6" from the trap. So I wont have much room to flex the drain line to get the trap and the santee above all line up and glued. I wonder if I should glue up the ells and the santee, then unhook them from the tub to allow me some flexibility to glue the pipe from the trap to the santee?

Thanks again!

Dennis
 

Terry

The Plumbing Wizard
Staff member
Messages
29,942
Reaction score
3,459
Points
113
Location
Bothell, Washington
Website
terrylove.com
Terry, thanks for the tip. Hope you got mine in the tip jar :)
Dennis

Got it! Thanks Dennis.

You only need the depth of the fitting, 3/4" of an inch. Typically if the tub were in place, the short piece to the drain gets glued to the shoe, the long piece to the santee. Then that long piece with santee gets glued to the top, and then swings toward the drain. That's if the p-trap goes in last.
And yes there are several ways that can work. The main worry is making drain square with the tub.
 

Djarchow

Member
Messages
69
Reaction score
6
Points
8
Location
Iowa
Terry,

Thanks again. I appreciate it. New drain should be here on Saturday.

Dennis
 

Djarchow

Member
Messages
69
Reaction score
6
Points
8
Location
Iowa
Quick question, since the new drain shoe/ell will be ABS should i use silicone instead of plumbers putty between the strainer flange and the tub. I bought Oatey stain free plumbers putty since we have a fiberglass tub but just saw the warning on the container about not for use with ABS.

Thanks!
 

Terry

The Plumbing Wizard
Staff member
Messages
29,942
Reaction score
3,459
Points
113
Location
Bothell, Washington
Website
terrylove.com
If you're worried you can use Silicone there. I do think that if yo go light on the stainless you should be okay though. The seal is with the rubber washer pressed tight between the shoe and the fiberglass. You could assemble without putty and it would still seal.

I don't have anything on the threads.
 

Djarchow

Member
Messages
69
Reaction score
6
Points
8
Location
Iowa
Thanks to Terry and all the others that chimed in. Since the basement ceiling will be sheetrocked soon I decided to remove all the old slip joints and leaking overflow and replace it all with new glued fittings and a new drain. No one in town had a 2" abs trap and 1 1/2" reducer on hand so I kept the old trap. This made it a lot harder to get everything lined up but it is done and leak free. I texted my inspector about the change and he said given the work I had done on the rest of the basement he had already inspected, he didn't need to come out and see the new work.

Thanks again for all the help I have been given here on Terry's site as I completed the rough plumbing for my basement finish. I forgot to take pics before the spray foam was done so not much to show. I am sure I will have more questions once I get to the finish plumbing.

This site is a tremendous resource and the willingness of professionals here to help others here is pretty unique. I read a lot on other contractor forums such as HVAC, Electrical, drywall, etc. While there is a huge amount of knowledge there, many of the contributors there are downright hostile to anyone who isn't a professional and wants to do something even as simple as change out a light switch. That is why this place is special.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks