How to Add an Overflow to a Bathtub

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on April 9, 2016

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Ask This Old House heating and plumbing expert Richard Trethewey removes an old bathtub spout and installs an overflow for safety. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

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Shopping List for How to Add an Overflow to a Bathtub:
– Bath waste and overflow toe-touch kit
– 1 1/2-inch PVC piping fittings to design
– 1 1/2-inch PVC pipe p-trap
– Plumber’s putty
– PVC primer and pipe cement

Tools for How to Add an Overflow to a Bathtub:
– Basin wrench
– Reciprocating saw
– Open-end wrench

Steps for How to Add an Overflow to a Bathtub:
1. Turn off water supply to bathtub.
2. Remove old spout by unscrewing it from the rear space of the bathtub with a basin wrench.
3. Remove line to old drain shoe with a reciprocating saw and unscrew the shoe by hand.
4. Add plumber’s putty to the toe-touch and place it in the empty drain hole.
5. Have a friend hold the shoe on the outside end while you screw and tighten the toe-touch into the shoe with an open-end wrench.
6. Have a friend place the back of the overflow along with a gasket through the upper hole in the bathtub.
7. Now tighten up the overflow with the nut from the overflow toe-touch kit.
8. Pop on the cover to the overflow on the bathtub side.
9. Depending on design of piping, prefit PVC pipes to your custom system.
10. When you find a design that fits, make the connections with PVC primer and pipe cement.

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