The tub overflow gasket sits behind the metal overflow cover plate, providing a seal around the overflow pipe that channels excess water into the bathtub's drain system. Like other rubber gaskets, the overflow gasket can dry out over time. An old and dry gasket becomes so compressed that it can no longer maintain a watertight seal. If you are experiencing leaks when the tub water level rises up to the overflow opening, it may time to replace the tub’s overflow gasket.
Watch Now: How to Replace a Tub Overflow Gasket
Before You Start
Replacement overflow gaskets can be purchased at a hardware store or local home improvement store. You may need to buy a repair kit that includes various gaskets and washers of different sizes, including the one needed for this particular repair.
If the cover plate itself is also in poor condition, you can also buy a kit that includes a new cover plate with an included gasket.
Equipment / Tools
- Putty knife
- Utility knife
- Replacement gasket
Remove the Coverplate
Use a utility knife or putty knife to sever any dried caulk that seals the overflow cover plate to the tub wall. Remove the overflow cover plate with a screwdriver. On some styles, the cover plate may be held with a knurled nut that can be loosened by hand or with pliers.
Peel Off the Gasket
The rubber or neoprene gasket can often be easily removed with your fingers or pried off with a putty knife. As you remove the cover plate, the gasket may stick to the cover plate, to the wall of the tub—or it may break apart with pieces remaining stuck to both locations. In any case, it's an easy matter to peel or scrape off the gasket.
Clean the Surfaces
The new gasket will seal most effectively if the surfaces of both the cover plate and the tub wall are clean and smooth. Use a scrub pad to remove any remnants of the old gasket from the surfaces.
Install the New Gasket
Position the new gasket around the tub's overflow opening, then hold it in place as you position the cover plate and tighten the mounting screws. Tighten the cover plate enough so that the gasket compresses slightly, creating the proper water seal.
Do not caulk around the entire cover plate. To function properly, water must be able to enter the overflow opening at the bottom of the cover plate when should the water level in the tub get too high. Sealing around the cover plate with caulk can interfere with the proper function of the system.