How to replace a tub waste and overflow drain assembly by yourself.
How to replace a bath tub waste and overflow trip lever, with a new Gerber brass trip lever waste and overflow assembly. There are many different scenarios that you may run in to, that may be much more difficult than the example I will be showing on this page. For example, if your tub drain waste and overflow is on a slab, or not accessible from underneath, or below the bath tub, you would need to open a wall behind the tub waste and overflow to gain access to the trip lever tub waste assembly. The following instructions will help you remove and replace your bathtub trip lever waste and overflow with a brass Gerber trip lever waste, from underneath the tub.
Note: Click on any Image to see a larger Image
Note: If you aren't experienced, it is often better and safer to find an affordable plumber to complete the job for you.
This is what I found when I started, silicone the homeowners best friend,
if it does not work, just keep packing it on.
Any way remove the 2 screws.
With the trip lever plate removed there is nothing holding the overflow assembly to the bathtub, some handyman may have used silicone to stop a leak instead of just replacing the washer.
The next step is to remove the drain plug or spud from the bottom, there is a tool made to remove the spud but I never used one, a good pair of Channel locks and a screwdriver has always worked for me.
Just put the channel locks into the spud, put the screwdriver between the handles and turn counterclockwise, or to the left if you don't know how to read a clock.
Sometimes the tub drain is so old it will not turn and will have to be cut off, this can be a real pain and you could damage the bathtub beyond repair. If you cannot get it to turn
This is a picture of the tub trap under the tub, you can see the old tub waste connected to the bottom of the tub on top, the connection of this trap to the main drain is not up to code, but it's an old house.
This is a picture of the old bath tub waste and overflow from the bottom up the inside of the wall. Remember you can click on the image to see a larger one.
In this case I was able to loosen the nuts and remove the trap U bend from under the old tub waste with no trouble, sometimes the nuts will not move or will break, sometimes it is soldered and cannot be removed, this can make the job more difficult, you may need to cut the old waste to remove it.
Once I removed the old waste I saved it whole because I will need it to set up the new one. With the old waste and overflow removed you will need to clean the port holes, do the best you can, some very old stains just cannot be removed.
In this picture you can see the stains I was not able to clean. But it is now ready for the new Gerber Waste and overflow to be installed.
I personally prefer Gerber brass tub waste and overflow with a trip lever assembly, This is it new in the box with all the parts I need. I do not like any type of plastic waste and overflow assemblies and will not use them. To save yourself allot of time and trouble, use the old tub drain assemble as a template to set up the new one. the new tub waste is adjustable and can fit a verity of tubs, some tubs are extra deep and you will need to get a Gerber Tub waste to fit a larger or deeper bathtub.
First I lay the new Gerber tee over the old tee, notice the tees are different, this is not a problem because what needs to line up are the drain shoe and the overflow stand pipe.
With the tee set with the overflow inlet sitting in alignment with the old overflow inlet put the nut and washer on the overflow, (the fitting in my hand is the overflow) then line it up with the old overflow, the tee is a slip joint and you can push the overflow tube in or out till it lines up exactly as the old one. In some cases you may need to cut the tubing at the end of the overflow to make it fit.
Once you have the over flow tube lined up with the old overflow inlet screw the nut to the tee and tighten the nut.
Make the nut snug enough, so that the tube will not slip in and out of the tee if you hold the assemble from the overflow pipe. check this again after you have added the shoe and the tail piece, we will tighten more before we slide it up under the bathtub.
Now do the same with the shoe (the fitting in my hand is the shoe) Don't forget to install the nut and the rubber washer, (no you will not need to use Teflon tape on the threads or over the rubber washer. Some pipe dope on the washer wont hurt.
Now you need to look very close make sure the center of the overflow tube lines up with the old overflow with the top of the old and new shoes even with each other, you may need to readjust the new overflow tube because of the deference in the shape of the shoes.
Now be sure the center of the shoes line
up, then tighten both nuts, make sure
they are good and tight, but don't be a
Now the tub waste is ready for the linkage assembly.
This can be done after the new Gerber tub waste is installed on the bathtub, but I do it first to save myself extra trips up and down the stairs, remember we are doing the alone. First I get a rough idea and adjust the linkage.
Then I put the linkage down the overflow tube, till it hits the bottom, you need to be sure it has hit the bottom it can get stuck and feel like it has, when it has not
That's why I do it now instead of after it is installed, look from the bottom of the tee to see that it has bottomed out in the tee. do not clean away the grease that is on the stopper. With the stopper all the way on the bottom note how much linkage is still hanging out of the overflow tube. It the trip lever plate lines up with the overflow inlet, your good.
But that never happens loosen the nuts above and below the plastic fitting holding the stopper, then screw it up or down as needed to have the stopper sitting all the way down at the bottom of the tee and the trip lever plate lined up with the overflow inlet, WITH THE LEVER UP!!!. if the lever is in the down position it will the tub will not drain.
Now that you have the trip lever assemble adjusted correctly it's time to install the tail piece, the kit comes with a 4" long threaded tail piece in some cases you will need a longer one that you will need to buy separately just ask for an 1 1/2" by 12" threaded tail piece. Dope it up (I prefer a dope compound over Teflon tape)
Screw the tail piece in to the bottom of the tee, the threads are fine so be sure to catch them strait. you can also use a tail piece with out a thread (not recommended) but you will need another nut and washer, for extra safety you can use a nut and washer with the threaded in tail piece.
Now it's ready note the washers on the overflow and the top of the shoe. the washers on the shoe go as follows, the hard one touches the shoe the rubber one goes on top of the hard washer and will touch the bottom of the bathtub. I dope up the rubber washer on both sides.
Now I install the two screws, they will work as a hanger, as I said before make sure the nuts are tight, Just screw the screws in so that the heads stick out about an inch fast the rubber washer
Now from under the tub push the whole assemble up into the wall till the overflow inlet lines up with the out let hole in the bathtub, let the two screws go in to the hole and then let the whole assemble hang from the screws this will hold the waste assemble in place till you get upstairs to connect it to the bathtub.
Now you will install the spud into the shoe. make sure the washers are in as I described before and that the washer is coated with pipe dope. Put plumbers putty around the rim of the spud make sure it is even and not so thick that you will not be able to catch the thread.
You may find that the assemble wants to move and you cannot keep it still. With one hand put your fingers into the overflow and use that to pull up or push over as needed to hold the shoe in place. Once you catch the spud snug it up good with either the Channel locks and a screwdriver or 2 screwdrivers
Now you can remove the 2 screws from the overflow tube and install the linkage and trip lever plate then reinstall the screws, make the screws snug, go back down below the tub and reinstall the trap. (you may find the waste assemble off center and to one side, just pull it back to line it up with the trap, install the trap and tighten all the nuts for the trap.
Now go back upstairs and tighten the spud real good and tighten the screws on the overflow lever plate to make a good seal with the rubber washer. test the trip lever to make sure it goes all the way up and down, fill the bathtub up check for leaks, drain tub and check for leaks as the tub is draining. your done.
The trip lever plate: If you have a tub drain with the lever that will not stay down or you have to hold it down to get the tub to drain, the problem is the spring or the posts on the trip lever plate are worn out, simple replace the trip lever plate.
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