Tub overflow seal "....not designed for constant exposure to water" ?????

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by itbedave, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. itbedave

    itbedave New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I'm posting this on behalf of a friend who discovered water pouring into her kitchen from above where her son was taking a bath last weekend. They'd had a toilet leak in that bath before that caused drywall damage in the kitchen. The plumber at the time (2010) had to access that area through the kitchen ceiling as well to check the tub area for leaks. At that time, they replaced the tub fixtures, including the drain and overflow.

    So she's had the same plumbing company come out today to look at the new leak. He said it was coming from the top of the overflow. When she told them they had done the work to replace the overflow, he decided he needed to call his manager. The work on the invoice, mind you, was only warrantied for 2 years. :-\

    The manager told her they were willing to give her 50% off their work today, and that "...those seals are not designed for constant exposure to water." So she believes her 3 kids are to blame for filling the tub too high and causing that seal to fail. I obviously have a very different opinion.

    I've got two kids in a 14 year old home with entry level contractor pack plumbing fixtures and my overflow hasn't failed once, in spite of their best efforts! Am I right to be suspect of this plumbing company and their statement that work they did 4 years ago could fail that easily.

    They'd already put thousands into repairing the bath and kitchen from the last problem. Now there's concern about how long it's been leaking, If there's mold, not to mention the costs of again fixing the kitchen ceiling where water came through the cabinets this time. :-(

    Would appreciate honest feedback and advice. Thanks in advance.
  2. SHR

    SHR Member

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Her plumbing company manager is full of B.S. and trying to avoid correcting the problem his sub-standard work caused. The repair is relatively inexpensive and a very easy fix. It is taking longer for this "manager" to discuss the issue than it would take to repair the overflow. Get a new plumber/plumbing company. If it was my work I would be embarrassed, apologize and take care of the issue at no charge.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  3. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,071
    Location:
    IL
    Is that half off of $200 or half off of $700?

    It a story. Sounds like a salesman. However half off 4 years after a 2 year warranty was given is not that bad if you don't dwell on the story.
  4. itbedave

    itbedave New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Sure, they offered half off fixing (again) their own work which now may have cost thousands in drywall, cabinetry, and electrical work in their kitchen.

    I don't feel like that's a "good deal" in any way.
  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,244
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    While i agree that the problem should have never happened, I would not expect anything for free after the initial written warranty had expired.
    Such damage in a home is what insurance is for.
  6. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,942
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    I look at this post a go....

    "Exactly" why we test the overflow connection.

    "Exactly" why we used silicone and the rubber gasket on the last tub install.

    "Exactly" why our local inspectors require these tubs to be installed and filled and left overnight...

    When you read all these horror stories online you have to wonder what group of hack jobs are building our bathrooms.

    This leak should never have happened had the plumber done his job right the first time.
  7. itbedave

    itbedave New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Kentucky
    The damage was caused by either an improper installation or a faulty part, both of which were the responsibility of this plumber. This plumber then lied about the cause after she gave them an opportunity to make it right, still charged her $82, and she still has drywall and cabinet damage in her kitchen. Why should she feel any better that this won't happen again based on this company's record and lack of ethics?
  8. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,942
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Why not check the local plumbing code on tub installs. See if your state requires these test I speak off. I just read up some on the MA plumbing code and was surprised to see reference to a pressure test on the potable water lines.

    Pretty sure our local cheerleader never mentions this in his helpful comments....
  9. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,244
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Not many trades/businesses are going to come back to a job 2 years after it was originally done and do anything for free, regardless of why the problem might have happened.

    Obviously this is not what you want to hear, but it does not change that it is a fact.
  10. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,942
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    I agree with that comment - but when they call their insurance company they can say that they found out that the work was never done right the first time. Then they might get a claim pushed through....
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,487
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; those seals are not designed for constant exposure to water."

    Actually, since they WILL dry out and crack over time, I believe they will last longer if they are occasionally "exposed to water". They were trying to "dazzle you with their brilliance" or "baffle you with their B.S." Moe than likely the gasket was not oriented properly when the drain was installed, otherwise it would have leaked at the bottom of the overflow. I would also question whether EVERYTHING had to be replaced because of the original leak. Is this "plumber" a national franchise with big TV ads, etc.? In this area, residential work MUST have a "2 year warranty".
  12. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,942
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    HJ are you finding like me that the tubs are so rough these past couple years on the underside.

    I think the spray quality has gone way done on most tubs....

    I like the double down approach of silicone with the gasket on this critical joint.


    I bet every person here has left the tub running to long before. Gotten busy with their wife in the tub. Or have kids that like to fill the tub to the rim.... This overflow needs t work and work well....
  13. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,487
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; This overflow needs t work and work well...

    Unfortunately, there has never been a tub overflow that would keep up with a faucet running a full flow, and that includes the old ones with multiple "spokes" in their face. The new ones with, or without, a trip lever are much worse.
  14. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

    Messages:
    3,942
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    ODD. HJ.

    I would disagree with you on this point. I find most if not all overflows keep up with the flow rate.

    Otherwise they are not doing there job.

    Maybe you have more pressure in your homes down South.

    It's been about 8 years since I have seen a tub overflow fail this test....
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