tub overflow cover

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Nikita, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. Nikita

    Nikita New Member

    Messages:
    18
    I have two bath+showers at home with seemingly existing identical fixtures - in master and second bedrooms. Am in the middle of replacing trim in the master and ran into a problem with installing a tub overflow cover of all things:

    Currently, there is no overflow cover in the master tub, but the hole looks like this:
    [​IMG]

    Without thinking much (a recipe for SNAFUs) I bought what I understood to be a 'standard' , however the 1/4-20 x 2" screw therein does not reach the above thread and is also nearly twice in diameter.

    For comparison purposes, I unscrewed the overflow cover in the second bathroom and the overflow looked differently: the thread is noticeably closer to the front and is larger in diameter. My replacement kit fit that second perfectly.

    So back to my master overflow (pictured above). I am unsure what kind of overflow cover thread I have and how to find a matching cover for it
    • thread it's clearly thinner than 1/4"
    • also seems like at least 2.5" screw is needed - the thread is that far back
    • the front of the thread 'face plate' feels slightly uneven - I wonder if there was more of it and the overflow cover was simply broken off at some point
    • this is a San Jose, CA townhouse, built in 1992
    I really don't want to open up the wall and replace the drain. Is there another 'typical' overflow cover screw - longer and thinner than 1/4-20 x 2"? One person suggested I drill the housing and thread it for 1/4. That could be challenging since I can feel the (plastic) drain move back if I press on the thread 'face'. Any other solution I should consider?

    Thank you,

    -nikita
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2014
  2. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered Member

    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    Georgia
    The other tub; does the stopper work when you turn the overflow trim piece?
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,118
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The plastic where the screw fit, may have broken off. They look to be the same except for that.
  4. Nikita

    Nikita New Member

    Messages:
    18
    The other bathtub (one with intact overflow cover) does not have a stopper. Used to have a push-pull one on top of the flange (that worked) but I took it out a few years ago once the stopper's rubber crumbled.

    Not sure what you mean by "turn the overflow trim piece"... I could temporarily put a stopper back on top of the flange - but what would that indicate?
  5. Nikita

    Nikita New Member

    Messages:
    18
    That sounds like the most reasonable explanation to me as well - but how do you account for the difference between thread diameters? Or are you saying the entire thread broke off and the narrow piece remaining is just the 'tail'?

    If so, do I have any options aside from cutting the wall open and replacing the entire overflow-drain pipe? (I did replace the drain flange and associated rubber gasket).
  6. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered Member

    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    Georgia
    It just reminded me of the cable operated type of w/o. You would actuate the stopper by rotating the overflow trim maybe 60 degrees. Never cared for them.
  7. Nikita

    Nikita New Member

    Messages:
    18
    update: going on the assumption that at least the overflow elbow (if not entire drain-waste-overflow assembly) will need to be replaced I cut out an access panel in drywall behind the bathtub. Below is a photo of overflow post and elbow. I noticed that the two are sealed with some sort of clear goo - perhaps ABS glue?

    I wonder if, instead of replacing the entire assembly, I can get away with just:
    1. cutting the overflow post a few inches beneath where it currently meets the overflow elbow
    2. attaching a new elbow to a replacement post section
    3. coupling the replacement post section with the remainder of existing post (that'll still be connected to the tee beneath)
    Good idea?

    Overflow post end elbow
    [​IMG]
  8. Nikita

    Nikita New Member

    Messages:
    18
    FWIW, the above worked. Thanks for all the help!
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