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tom31415926 06-25-2011 06:01 PM

"one-hole" bathtub overflow alignment
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I am installing an overflow on a new bathtub. The overflow is very similar to the one pictured. The washer supplied is not tapered to match the slope of the tub wall, but it is very thick and spongy. But the washer is so thick that there is absolutely nothing holding the overflow elbow centered on the overflow hole (the ABS plastic "lip" on the elbow does not extend as far as the washer). That is, the one screw that holds the trim plate on will pass through the overflow hole in the tub, but not necessarily in the center.

The trim cover is metal and like the one shown here. I also wonder if the metal edge of this trim cover will bite into the acrylic tub?

1) Are my assumptions about the overflow correct - that there is nothing to center it and that I have to center it by eye as I tighten the trim screw? Any suggestions how to do this.

2) Is there a better choice for an overflow kit? I don't mind making the ABS connections myself and I have the drain "shoe elbow".

Adding one thing: We are using a drain stopper that is operated at the drain, so there is no stopper on/off mechanism to worry about.


oh'mike 06-25-2011 06:18 PM

That's an odd one---I'll see if I can find a link to the ones that I use.

Most have a crescent shaped metal plate to hold it in place before the cover goes on.--Mike---

Watts is a good brand --Home Depot carries them in slip fit and solvent weld.

oh'mike 06-25-2011 06:30 PM

No luck on the pictures---the WATTS drain sets are PVC in this area as CPVC is not allowed.


tom31415926 06-25-2011 11:31 PM

still looking - found WATCO
I found a company called WATCO that makes some good-looking overflow plates. I finally found some drawings of an overflow elbow that has a threaded part that extends through the overflow hole on the tub. That makes sense.

As for the one-screw type, apparently what you do is tighten the trim screw to hold it in place, and you have to align it by eye when you do. My overflow elbow came with a very thick washer that is not beveled to match the slope of the tub, and yet it is supposed to connect at 90 degreed (a tee) to the drain shoe elbow. And somebody said that the drain shoe elbow MUST be flat at the tub bottom. This appears to be an area where the typical practice is to bend, adjust, and generally play around until it is as close to right as possible.

I did see that WATCO makes some kits where the overflow elbow is on a flexible pipe, so it can be flush with the sloped tub side.

I did not find a website that was very clear about choices, installation, and prices.


tom31415926 07-16-2011 02:08 PM

Fernco coupling OK on overflow?
I ended up getting the WATCO 915 half-kit for my overflow.

It's nice because the overflow fits through the tub for positive alignment. Also, the overflow cap really looks nice and plain, it snaps onto the toothed nut so it shows no screws, and it does not have any industrial lettering like "CLEANOUT".

What's bad about it is that it may have to be connected after the tub is in place. It is not aligned with the sanitary tee below. I can get the angles close using a pair of 22.5-degree street elbows, but I don't know if I'm good enough to actually glue the parts and get a nice fit. (Dry fit is not too good with ABS; when glued, it inserts deeper into the fitting.)

I can get two straight ABS pipes that are roughly aligned and with a small gap between them. Can I then use a rubber coupling (e.g., Fernco 1.5-inch to 1.5-inch) to complete the install?

I will be doing a test (fill drains with water).


oh'mike 07-16-2011 02:46 PM

Yes on the rubber Fernco---

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