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How to Seal Off Bathtub Overflow

A bathtub overflow is a drain that connects the bathtub to the shower or other plumbing. This drain can be used as a way to dispose of excess water. However, it can become clogged, which can cause flooding and damage. If you have a clogged bathtub overflow, you should know how to fix it.

You don’t have to search for “how to seal off bathtub overflow,” though if you have no idea where to start. This article will help you. The best part is that there are several ways to do it, and we are going to cover them.

Ways to Seal off Bathtub Overflow

There are two ways to go about this. The first one is using an overflow cover plate. The second one is by setting up a permanent cover plate.

Using an Overflow Cover Plate

Overflow covers are designed to protect the tub from overflow and can be attached directly to the tub. They often come with suction cups that ensure your bathtub is filled with the required amount of water. If you want to seal off your bathtub overflow and keep water out of your home, this is an easy and fast way to do it.

  1. Set the Plate – The first step to sealing off a bathtub overflow is to set the plate. To do this, you want to put it in the drain opening of the overflow and press it. This will seal the opening and prevent water from seeping through the drain. Once that is done, you can go ahead and fill your tub.
  2. Peel the Cover Off – Once you are done with the tub, you need to peel the cover since it is reusable. That also means you can keep it and use it another time. However, after peeling, your bathtub will go back to its original mode and drain water.

Another thing you want to keep in mind is that reusable cover plates are often made from rubber. That means that they will wear off after several uses. As such, they do not offer a permanent solution.

Use a Permanent Cover Plate

With a permanent cover plate, you can seal off the overflow with ease. This is a great option if you’re looking to make sure your bathroom is as watertight as possible and for a long time too.

  1. Detach the Existing Gasket – As you can imagine, it will not be possible to seal off your overflow with the existing gasket in place. As such, you need to detach it. A screwdriver will come in handy here as you will use it to unscrew the overflow’s drain opening.
  2. Fix the New Plate – Next, you want to place your new cover plate on the now empty opening and put back the screws to fix it in place. The new fixture comes with two plates. One plate is open and allows water to go through the drain line. The other plate closes and opens when you twist the drain’s door.

Once you have attached the new cover, you can stop the water flow and leave it open to allow water through the pipeline.

Elastic and Hair Bands

For this method, you need a couple of rubber bands at hand. Use them to cover your overflow plate and ensure that it is tight. This will make it stay in place.

After that, you want to place the cover so that it seals the hole in your drain opening. Nevertheless, you want to keep in mind that this is a temporary seal and will only hold the water for a maximum of 30 minutes.

This method is not professional either, but it can work in case of an emergency.

Duct Tape

Regular duct tape can also work as an overflow stopper, albeit as a temporary solution. For this method, you do not need a cover plate. The tape is enough to close the hole.

Just layer the tape to get a thick covering that you will use to seal the hole evenly. With this method, you can hold the water for about 15 minutes.

With Putty

This is also a DIY method, and it’s easy because you can easily get your hands on plumber’s putty. It could be in your repair kit box, or you can simply access it at your local hardware.

To prevent water from passing through, get enough of the putty and form it with your hands to make an obstruction that will cover the overflow opening. Of course, you can form more pieces of the putty if you feel like one is not enough to cover your opening.

Once you have made it put it over the opening of your overflow, you will realize that it sticks and stays put before peeling off. You can do this after showering to restore your overflow drain to its previous state. 

While it may appear like a plumber’s putty will not hold water while it is soaked, it does act as a temporary solution because it is, after all, used in plumbing.

Is it Possible to Remove the Bathtub Overflow Drain?

Yes, it is possible. The overflow drain can be removed without removing any of the other components of the tub.

You want to carefully disconnect all electrical connections to the tub, though. After that, detach it by removing the screws from each side of the overflow drain, and ensure that all debris has been removed from the tub, especially in areas where debris could interfere with the proper functioning of the new overflow in case you replace it.

Why Does My Bathtub Overflow Leak?

The reason your bathtub overflow leak is not working properly is because of a clog in the drain. The clog can be caused by hair, soap scum, or even a buildup of minerals from the water.

For most homeowners, the solution to this problem is easy: just remove the drain cover and use a pipe cleaner to clear out the clog. However, if your tub’s overflow is leaking at an angle or if you want to make sure that no debris enters your plumbing system, it may be necessary to replace your bathtub’s overflow valve.

Can the Overflow on your Tub be capped?

No, this is not advisable. If you do it, it could interfere with other connected water lines. Moreover, it may trap airflow, which will then cause issues with the entire draining process.