The purpose of an overflow drain, such as the one in your bathtub, is to collect excess water before it overflows. The drain collects the water which prevents it from overflowing should you accidentally leave the bathroom or tub faucet on. It is very likely that you can turn on the faucet and continue with another task while the bath fills, only to forget about it later. If you have experienced an overflow in the past, you will know that it is quite disastrous as it causes a mess and damage. If the tub does not have an overflow drain, water can spill everywhere. This can damage the floor, baseboards, vanity, cupboards or anything that is in the bathroom. Even if you try to soak everything up, mold can grow in areas that still remain damp. That’s why in this article we hope to help you learn everything you need to know about bathtub overflow drains so you can be prepared.
Location of the Drain
The bathtub overflow can be found a few inches below the rim of the tub. The reason for its location is to allow water to rise to a level where most of your body can be submerged under water.
Overflow Drain Anatomy
Let us take a look at the anatomy of an overflow drain as well as how it works. The overflow drain consists of two basic parts: The overflow drain and the overflow trap. Usually the drain is situated at the bottom of the bathtub. The overflow component is located several inches under the rim of the tub. The two drains are connected by several tubes that go from the bathtub and merge into one main pipe line. The water that enters the overflow hole, goes down a pipe which is connected to the tub floor drain.
With a well-functioning overflow drain, excess water will flow out the overflow hole, through the pipe and into the drain so as not to cause any damage to your bathroom or anything under or around the tub.
Types of Overflow Drains
There are two primary types of overflow drains available: A traditional overflow and an integral overflow.
In this instance, a hole is made into the tub and fitted with a drain that installs on the inside and outside walls where it collects any excess water, and allows it to flow down the tub drain.
This style of overflow drain has the same design as a sink overflow. Along the interior of the bathtub is an opening that diverts extra water between the walls, allowing excess water to drain. This is ideal if you do not want exposed pipes, as the overflow channel is now in the tub’s inner wall and less detectable.
Preventing an Overflow
Prevention is key. The overflow drain’s design is to prevent an overflow before it happens, but it is best to not let it get that far as it is a waste of precious water. The overflow does not prevent the flow of water as it does not have a mechanism to stop it, so water will be continuously drained when it reaches that level. The overflow drain system will work most efficiently when the pipe system is de-clogged to prevent spillage onto the floor.
Can Overflow Drains Still Overflow?
Overflow drains can still overflow. They do drain directly into the tub’s main drain pipe, but if there are any clogs, it will affect the main pipe which will subsequently affect the overflow drain. Thus, do not solely rely on the overflow to drain any excess water. As mentioned, the drain may still be clogged and is a waste of water.
Adjusting an Overflow Drain
It is possible that a bathtub overflow drain is not positioned correctly, for instance, too low. In this case, you can install an overflow drain cover that has a hole on one side that allows water to exit the overflow hole in the tub and you can have more inches of water. The cover can be installed yourself and can easily rotate to set the ideal bathwater depth and prevent spillage and flooding.
A Great Asset
Overflow drains give a unique advantage your bathroom by preventing flooding. Ensure that it is kept in the correct position to drain water optimally and allow you to have a consistent water level. Let Eisen Home be your guide to a wide selection of the most beautiful bathtubs, faucets and expert advice