Where does Bathtub overflow water go

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After a long day of work, nothing is more satisfying than a relaxing bath in the bathtub. It is important to note that the tub is a fun and essential structure for taking a shower. However, it may come with some disappointment if it isn’t properly analyzed.

The consequences of poor drainage in your bathroom can be significant, something you don’t want to happen to you. Thus, you need a stable system that will pass your bathed water effectively without causing any damage to the bathtub. Your bathtub deserves to be kept as clean and safe as possible, which is why it needs an overflow drain. It will also illustrate how to install the Bathtub overflow drain. With this article, you will be able to find a satisfactory answer to the question, “How does a bathtub overflow drain work?”.

How Does A Bathtub Overflow Drain Work

Located behind the bathtub overflow cover plate, this easy-to-fix safety feature ensures that water is not overflowing. Overflow gaskets are an essential component of this system of contained drainage.

In the back of the tub, the rubber or neoprene washer provides a seal between its inside and the overflow drain opening. As a result, the overflow drain channelled the excess water from the bathtub back into the tub’s drain pipe when the overflow hole in the cover plate was filled with water.

What is an overflow drain?

An overflow drain collects the excess water from your bathtub or faucet. Water collects in the drain, preventing it from overflowing if it is left on accidentally. Overflow drains can also keep a minimum level of water in a bathtub. As long as the overflow drain is positioned correctly, it will drain water but maintain the current level to have a consistent level of water when the water is turned on before your bath.

Why is the overflow drain important

Leaving the faucet running increases the possibility of overflowing if you have an overflow drain installed. To avoid waiting while your bath fills, you should turn your bathtub off when it’s time to take a bath. Furthermore, it ensures that water won’t spill out into your bathroom if you leave the faucet running.

The model of an overflow

Separated into two parts by an overflow drain, the bathtub drain consists of two sections. In this case, the primary piping is located at the bottom, whereas the overflow drain sits about a foot below the rim.

Each drain is connected to a pipe underneath the bathtub, then it emerges into a single pipe. The overflow drain has no stopper, unlike the main drain with a mechanical or a plug stopper.

How it works

Overflow prevents you from having to clean the bathing area and causing extensive damage. This model prevents an overflow from happening before it occurs. Water does not stop flowing through it as it lacks a mechanism that can stop it. Therefore, water at its maximum level is continuously drained. Water should be kept at a level a few inches below the bathtub’s rim so that the pipes do not clog. In addition, it prevents the water from splashing onto the floor due to its existence.

The two types of overflow drain

Overflows of the traditional type are the first. A hole is drilled into the bathtub side to install this overflow, allowing the collected water to drain. The second one is known as an integral overflow. There is an unseen opening created within the tub to let excess water out.


As an overflow, a hole is cut into the tub to accommodate a drain installed on the inside and outside walls that collects excess water and discharges it down a tub drain to a P-trap. An older home is most likely to have this plumbing style, and it requires some flexibility in cutting and installing the pipes.


Integral overflows are designed differently from traditional overflows. An exterior drain and pipe system is used for a traditional overflow. An integral drain and pipe system are similar to a sink overflow. A hole is cut along the interior of the bathtub, and excess water is then diverted between the drain walls. Because the overflow channel is built into the tub’s wall, this style is popular among those who don’t want to deal with exposed piping.

Bathtub Overflow Drain Installation

Materials and tools

  • The screwdriver
  • Plumbing putty or caulking
  • A channel lock

The Process Required

  1. Attach the waste and overflow assemblies. Install the assembly, ensuring that the top of the overflow tube lines up with the overflow opening on the bathtub. Ensure that the drain arm is aligned with the drain opening at the bottom of the tub. You can permanently affix PVC connections with pliers and solvent glue.
  2. You need to connect the drain fitting. Placing the rubber washer over the drain end, apply the plumber’s putty around its opening. The drain fitting should be threaded into the drain arm and tightened with a drain wrench.
  3. Install the overflow cover dish. The overflow tube should be positioned between the wall of the bathtub and the mouth of the gasket. Gaskets should be installed with the thicker side down. Cover the overflow opening with the cover plate and screw it tightly.
  4. Install the software and test it. Ensure the drain fitting is completely dry after wiping off the excess putty. As you make sure, there is no water leak in the tub, turn the water on the drain.

How To Install A Tub Drain In A Concrete Floor

There is a slight price difference between concrete and other types of floors due to the weight of concrete. Tub drains may require special attention to be appropriately installed without causing any damage to your home. This is the simplest method of connecting your pipes safely:

  1. Ensure that the drain is fixed at the right height on the concrete floor to hold the bathtub.
  2. Install the new threaded drain down into the drain hole and over the male threads already sticking out. Drain the tub in a position that is directly connected to the drain piping under and behind it.
  3. Ensure that an overflow assembly is installed. The rod, linkage, and plunger should be inserted through the tube overflow hole and dropped until the overflow cover lines up with the overflow drain hole. Set the screws in place with a screwdriver and tighten them.
  4. A spout tub pipe should be inserted into the hole of the tub’s spout and into the wall-to-tub connection way. Tighten by using pliers.
  5. The tub spout should be screwed on with a screwdriver. Finally, check to see if the water is flowing smoothly.

Does a bathtub need to have an overflow drain?

Depending on its style and use, there may not always be a need for an overflow drain in a bathtub. For example, it is unnecessary to have an overflow drain if your bathtub has a shower/bath combo or a smaller model. In addition, installing an overflow drain is somewhat more complicated than installing a standard drain. However, it is essentially a safety precaution and recommended for all bathtubs to prevent overflow and flooding if you decide to fill your bathtub and walk away.

Repairing Bathtub Overflow Drain Leakage

Whenever the overflow drain leaks, it can cause damage. The drain can be damaged by anything, causing it to malfunction. Following are the steps you should take when that occurs:

  1. Discover the source of the leak and confirm that it is an overflow.
  2. If the overflow pipe assembly is loose or damaged, fix or replace the overflow gasket.
  3. Make sure the overflow plate’s opening is on the bottom before reinstalling it. If the plate has a stopper, carefully slide the stopper into the overflow pipe and slide the rode down until the plate meets the drain opening.

Where does tub overflow drain to?

You will likely find the main drain at the bottom of your bathtub. In the overflow component, several inches are located under the rim. Both drains are connected to various tubes that run from the bathtub and ultimately merge into one central pipe.

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