How to Change Waste and Overflow Cover On a Bathtub

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Every tub has a waste and overflow drain that helps prevent overfilling the tub. Some waste and overflow drains are covered with the lever that operates the stopper. Tubs that have lift-and-turn stoppers, or that use rubber stoppers, have a solid cover over the drain. Over time, the cover becomes rusty or otherwise unsightly and requires a new one. Changing the waste and overflow cover on a bathtub depends on the type of cover on the overflow pipe.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Plastic putty knife or scraper
  • Clean the face of the overflow cover with a rag, if there is rust or soap scum covering the face. Look for two screws securing the cover.

  • Remove the screws with a Phillips-head screwdriver. Pull the cover away from the tub.

  • Turn the cover counterclockwise with your hands, if you don't see visible screws. This type of cover screws onto the end of the overflow pipe. Continue turning counterclockwise until the cover comes off the pipe. Scrape off the remaining rubber gasket from the tub, using a plastic putty knife or scraper.

  • Take the overflow cover to a home improvement center. Match a new cover exactly to the old one.

  • Place the new rubber gasket over the perimeter of the overflow hole. This gasket helps keep water from leaking behind the tub.

  • Thread the new cover over the overflow pipe--if it's the screw-on type--until it is hand tight. Push the cover over the pipe if you have the type that uses securing screws. Align the mounting holes with the flange holes on the end of the pipe. Secure with the retaining screws.

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