A couple of weeks ago, I had a large amount of water drain via the overflow drain in my master bath upstairs (the water was too cold so I was draining water not only through the tub's main drain but water was also draining via the overflow drain while I was running additional water to warm the overall temperature).

Over the weekend, I noticed an obvious water damage patch on my living room ceiling directly under the tub. Now, I'm scared to use that bathtub and I'm looking for reassurance that it was likely the "cold water warm up" fiasco that caused the damage.

Hiring a plumber is not really a financially feasible option for me right now. Thanks for any input.

  • 1
    Can you take the overflow cover off and see if there is a gasket or if it is connected properly? Do you have access to the wall behind the tubs drain/valve or a ceiling under the tub
    – Alaska Man
    Dec 29, 2020 at 0:36
  • Yes, I will take the overflow cover off and see - thank you for that. I don't have access to the wall behind the tub - it's one of those "inserts" with a vinyl/plastic wall that goes up almost to the ceiling. The tub is fairly flush to the floor, I have no idea how anyone would be able to gain access underneath the tub. I'm signing off now (leaving the office) but I'll check back tomorrow. Thanks so much.
    – SB Figel
    Dec 29, 2020 at 0:39
  • I mean the other side of the wall.
    – Alaska Man
    Dec 29, 2020 at 0:40
  • I do not know if this is the answer to your problem so it is a comment for now. Replacing a tub overflow gasket youtube.com/watch?v=spCeKSwd_No
    – Alaska Man
    Dec 29, 2020 at 0:47
  • Thanks so much for your help - Alaska Man. I did check overflow valve gasket and everything seems to be in place. The other side of the wall morphs into the townhome next to mine, if needed I guess someone could gain access through the attic. Thanks for the visuals and the video, I'll check it out.
    – SB Figel
    Dec 29, 2020 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


here's a typical tube/over flow drain set up:

enter image description here

The black ring at the top of the picture is a rubber gasket. It forms a seal between the over flow drain pipe and the wall of your tub. If the tubs' drain or stopper needed maintenance the lever would be removed. This may have caused the rubber gasket to become awry. It's tricky to keep it in place while securing the screws that hold the cover.

That is the most likely location of your leak. To repair you must remove the two plate screws and verify the gasket is not split or damaged and centered in the opening. Further the pipe behind it must also be precisely centered to the opening and gasket. Start one screw first turning it until it stays in place. Tighten the next one snugly and finish tightening the first too.

  • I agree and sometimes the gasket falls on the ground. Unless there is an access panel a new seal will be needed as long as the tub is not filled to the over flow level it will probably be ok to use.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 29, 2020 at 14:49

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