Minnesota code for bathtub overflow drains

Discussion in 'Plumbing Code Questions' started by ExeutiveRanch, May 3, 2012.

  1. ExeutiveRanch

    ExeutiveRanch New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Hi, I have a question about plumbing codes in Minnesota as they relate to bathtub overflow drains.

    We are renting a house built in 1960, and helping the owner, who lives out of town, make necessary repairs. It has a large sunken bathtub which was custom-built from 4" sand-pink tiles and the bottom is matching 1" mosaic tiles. (Quite the thing in 1960 I am sure.) It is actually kind of cool, and I don't want to mess with it unless I have to.

    When our local inspector came to do our rental inspection, he said we needed to install an overflow drain. It has to be done by a licensed plumber, so I called one and sent him photos. He was a bit stumped about how to do it, and clearly a little nervous about drilling into the tile and whatever is behind it to get this drain installed.

    Then I looked online and saw that there's some controversy about whether overflow drains actually work anyway, and apparently some codes only require them if they happen to come with the tub (which makes sense.)

    So here are my questions:

    1. Have any of you ever retrofit an overflow into a tub like this? How did/would you do it?
    2. What's your take on the necessity of this type of drain? (As a practical matter, the thing is so big and deep that it takes a pretty long time to fill it, let alone forget to turn the water off!)
    3. Do you pro plumbers think there's any chance of getting this thing grandfathered in?

    I will send photos in my next post.
  2. ExeutiveRanch

    ExeutiveRanch New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Here are the photos tubfront.jpg tubback.jpg
  3. ExeutiveRanch

    ExeutiveRanch New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Minnesota
    As you've probably figured out by now, they are sideways.
  4. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    329
    Location:
    USA
    why are you doing this? you are a renter. leave it for the landlord or you are just asking for trouble... if anything goes wrong, it's on you...
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,004
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    It would be extremely hard to add an overflow to that. I would suggest ignoring his suggestion.
    What you have is basically a shower with a high step over.

    It would be easier to add a floor drain then it would be to add the overflow.

    The tub was installed in the 60's when the home was built and inspected by inspectors. And now fifty years later they want it changed?
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
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