My bath tub is over the kitchen on the second floor. It appears the bath tub overflow drain leaks a sizeable amount. At times the kids aren't paying attention and the water goes in. The water leaks into the kithcen cabinet below.

How best to access the overflow drain to fix this leak? Can I wait for the kitchen remodel and try to access it from below?

Thanks in advance for any advice suggestions!

  • 2
    Do you have access to the rear of the tub from the other side of the wall? Nov 25, 2012 at 13:28
  • There is no access as the tub. One side (foot of tub) is against an outside wall. The other side, is the bedroom. The only access would be removing the tub or trying to get it from underneath. At this point, I'm trying to avoid those options.
    – Billy
    Dec 8, 2012 at 3:41

3 Answers 3


If the leak is occuring where the overflow attaches to the tub you may be able to seal it. Remove the screws that hold the overflow cover in place. Depending on the style it may also contain the tub drain lever. With the cover removed you may be able to see the contact point between the tub and the seal. Try to fill the entire sealing surface with "Plumbers Putty". Replace the cover as it will pull the overflow pipe and the tub together. If that doesn't work try this product http://www.theplumbinginfo.com/remove-replace-repair-bath-tub-overflow/. I haven't tried it but it looks like it beats tearing walls apart. As an alternative open up the wall behind the tub and after the repair leave an access panel so ot will be easier next time.


You definitely don't want water leaking inside your walls because it will promote the growth of mold which can affect the health of your family members. It doesn't take very long for mold to grow, and once it is there, it is very hard to get rid of completely. I was recently exposed to some black mold while I was remodeling my bathroom and I ended up getting extremely ill from it.

Your best bet would be to open up the wall behind the tub and the ceiling below to gain full access to the plumbing. Without being able to inspect the plumbing, you would only be guessing where the leak was.

In this kind of situation, it would be best to replace the entire drain assembly right back to the tub trap. That is the only way that you could guarantee that the source of the leak has been fixed. This would also be a good time to inspect the rest of the plumbing inside the wall. There could possibly be more leaks there that you are unaware of.

  • So in my case it was a dried and busted overflow gasket. Before you open the wall check if the existing gasket (rubber piece between tub and drain) is flexible and intact, a gasket is a $2 fix compared to a $50 drain assembly.
    – mkral
    Feb 2, 2017 at 4:22

The culprit is likely the gasket on the overflow. You access that gasket by removing the plate covering the overflow, no need to open a wall. Check the gasket and if it looks worn or is cracked, etc., buy a new gasket. You must remove the old gasket first before placing the new gasket. Then reassemble the plate/drain control.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer: keep 'em coming! Jan 23, 2019 at 19:55

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