Bathtub waste and overflow

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Chris, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. Chris

    Chris New Member

    Messages:
    16
    I recently replaced the trap for my bathtub and after looking at the waste and overflow decided that it needed to be replaced also. I have a couple of (potentially stupid) questions.

    1. Which way does the beveled washer on the overflow go? Does the fat side go up or down or does it vary based on the slope of the front of the tub?

    2. Somewhere along the line, I got the idea that when putting in strainers, popups and the like with plumber's putty, one was supposed to hold the top flange in position and turn the nut on the bottom, to avoid smearing the plumber's putty out too thin to seal. However, with a bathtub, this requires turning the waste shoe, which seems like it could be difficult to impossible, especially since I'm using a sch.40 glued w&o. Any advice?

    Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide.
  2. LonnythePlumber

    LonnythePlumber Plumber, Contractor, Attorney

    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
    Overflow Washer

    1. The washer is beveled to allow for the slope of the tub so that the drain can come down straight. Just as you suspected. Usually that means the fat end is on the bottom but not always.
    2. Tighten the strainer into the shoe. This is not true for a lavatory pop=up or a kitchen sink strainer. Putty is fine on a cast iron or steel but use silicone if you have fiberglass.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,062
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    w&o

    The thick side goes wherever it has to in order for the overflow tube to be vertical. In some cases that means the wide part may be at the side and the overflow fitting turned a little bit to match up. You turn the strainer into the drain shoe.
  4. Chris

    Chris New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Bathtub waste & overflow

    First of all, thank you, Lonny, for taking the time to answer my question. You've provided exactly the information I needed.

    Ah, Kemo-Sabi, that's what I thought. Looking at it again, I think I've figured out the problem. As luck would have it, the slope of the tub and the slope of the overflow adapter are almost a perfect match. Thus which ever way I put in the washer, the bevel pushes the overflow tube off of plumb, one way or the other.

    You answered the critical question, though, which is that the overflow tube is supposed to run straight down, which I also suspected. Is there any such thing as a non-beveled overflow washer? That would solve the problem nicely.

    The tub is fiberglas or acrilyc or some other such godforsaken plastic substance, so I'm really glad you pointed this out, because I was about to use putty. Thinking about it, I can see where the flexing of the plastic would cause the plumber's putty to crack, whereas the silicone should maintain a better seal. Of course, it's always easier to see the "obvious" after someone else points it out. :p
  5. Chris

    Chris New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Bathtub waste & overflow

    Thanks, hcj, for taking the time to answer my question. Your message posted while I was writing my previous reply to Lonny, hence this separate message. As I said in the previous post, it looks like what I really need is a non-beveled washer, assuming I can find such a thing. Lacking that, I'll just put the washer in whichever way pushes the overflow tube less out of plumb.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,062
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    gasket

    As I indicated, if you put the bevel to the side it will not change the angle of the overflow pipe relative to the tub, and you can just twist the overflow fitting sideways to compensate for the angle.
  7. LonnythePlumber

    LonnythePlumber Plumber, Contractor, Attorney

    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
    Putty Eats

    The putty keeps the seal okay but it's oils eats on the finish leaving crack marks. It's real obvious on some man made lavatory counter tops.
  8. Chris

    Chris New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Waste & overflow

    Arrgh...okay, now I get it. I read what you wrote last night, but I think it was too late at night for my brain to be working. I went and looked at it again this morning and all of a sudden what you said makes perfect sense. Thanks for the help.

    Lonny, thanks for the headsup on the putty.
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