DIY: How to Repair a Tub Overflow Drain Leak

The overflow drain is usually located beneath the faucet.
The overflow drain is usually located beneath the faucet. (Image: Tim Klein/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

If you've taken a close look at your sink and bathtub, you've probably noticed secondary draining devices near the edges. These are overflow drains — backup drains that help prevent your sink or tub from overflowing when you leave the water running too long. A tub's overflow drain is attached to a rear pipe that, like any other pipe, can leak from time to time. When it does leak, you'll likely end up with water all over your floor. How you handle the situation depends on the type of leak your dealing with.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry towel
  • Electrical tape
  • Wrench

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How to Repair Small Leaks

Locate the leak in the overflow drain pipe. The pipe is located directly behind the drain. You may have to fill the tub up to pinpoint the crack or hole if it is too small to see with the naked eye.

Turn off the water to your home when you have located the leak.

Dry the pipe with a clean towel. Also make sure the pipe is free of dirt and debris.

Apply at least three layers of electrical tape over the small leak. Cover the leak at least two inches on both sides.

Turn the water back on.

Repair Leaks Caused by Loose Fittings

Inspect the fittings on the overflow drain pipes to see if one or all are leaking.

Turn off the water to the home.

Tighten the fittings with your wrench. You will be turning them to the right or clockwise. Stop when the fittings no longer turn.

Turn the water back on. The fittings should no longer leak.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sometimes overflow drain pipes collect condensation and can drip. You can fix this problem by wrapping the pipes in insulation.
  • An overflow drain pipe with severe damage will need to be replaced.


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