Beware of Tub Overflow Drains With Rusted Screws

Nothing ends a job before it's started like a rusted screw. Tub overflow drains in older houses are especially prone to this, and if it happens to you, you may find it impossible to snake the tub or fix a malfunctioning stopper.

tub overflow screw

During your preventative maintenance rounds, make sure that you rotate these screws loose and tight again. If they turn tight, be proactive and replace them. If they don't turn at all, you're too late! We don't know of anyone successfully drilling them out and saving the overflow drain behind the tub. If you really wrench on them, you may snap the pipe they're bolted into.

Either way rusted screws are bad news, but it's better to find out during a maintenance round than when the tub is full of dirty standing water.

Have you fixed a rusted overflow drain? Share what you know about tub drains or more on our "maintenance hacks" survey:


3 Responses to Beware of Tub Overflow Drains With Rusted Screws

  1. Louis says:

    I have a half-oval shaped metal bracket (held on with two screws) under my overflow cover plate that is rusting and needs replaced. It should be an easy fix but I can’t removed the screws. I was able to get one half way out but then it stopped. The other one will not budge. They are starting to strip and will break if I try to force them any more. I have lubed them and am letting the sit. Don’t know if that will help at this point.

    • Doug Quattrochi says:

      Louis, yeah that sounds like exactly the kind of problem we’re all afraid of. Let us know if you got them out.

  2. Bill says:

    HI: i just did it you have to grind the screws flat but you must anchor the over flow drain pipe not to destroy it and then drill it out with a number 7 drill and re tap it with the proper tap 4/20 tap and then replace the drain components its a bear and takes $500.00 worth of tools to complete this bad job and it sucks but i got it good luck, small grinder very small

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