Tub Overflow Cover With No Screws: Fixes and Solutions

Home improvement and home ownership can be challenging, especially in the bathroom. And in this room, one of the most difficult parts is to check out the tub overflow cover.

A tub overflow cover may need maintenance, replacement, or fixing. And this can be tough when you have a tub overflow with no screws. Sometimes a tub overflow cover or plate can be twisted off or has hidden screws under where you can’t see.

Read on to learn more about tub overflow covers, replacing overflow plates, and how you can keep your tub overflow plate looking clean.

How Do I Remove a Bathtub Overflow Cover Without Screws?

Some time ago I needed to remove the cover of my tub overflow, but the screws were nowhere to be found. I looked and looked and nothing. How do I remove this!? After some investigation, I found the solution.

 The trick is…twist it! If your bathtub overflow cover doesn’t have screws, it likely will come off with a simple twist. Gently try to twist the overflow cover, but be careful not to break anything. If twisting the plate doesn’t work, you may want to investigate below the plate to see if there are any hidden screws on the bottom.

What Is a Tub Overflow Cover?

A tub overflow cover is a simple plate usually made of metal that hides the bathtub overflow drain. Problems related to the tub overflow are not common. But every now and then you might need to remove the cover to check inside it. 

Is a Tub Overflow Cover Required?

Not all tubs have an overflow, but even when they do, a cover is not mandatory. However, a cover will make the overflow drain look more uniform and will prevent debris and hair from getting stuck in that drain.

How To Replace a Tub Overflow Plate

Replacing your tub overflow plate may not take much time or effort. Look around your plate to see how it looks and is set up and what you can do to remove it.

Read on to learn the most common ways that tub overflow plates are removed.

Twist

If your tub overflow cover doesn’t have screws, it will likely come off with a quick twist. However, this can be nerve-wracking for those worried about breaking their tub overflow cover. Start by gently attempting to turn your overflow cover to see if it will turn.

Your replacement will need to be a similar twistable style.

Unscrew

Most tub overflow plates will have screws. The easiest way to replace these is to unscrew the previous plate and ensure you have a similar one with the same number of screws. When you have a replacement, simply screw the new plate into place.

Plenty of tub overflow plates come as a set with drain plugs and knobs, so your bathtub will have a uniform look.

Pull

Although uncommon, some tub overflow plates come off with a simple pull. These models are not as common because they aren’t secure and may fall off easily. Carefully try to pull the overflow cover away from the wall if it won’t move with a twist.

Pulling may be hard on your fingertips, so you may need to use a unique pair of pliers or other tools.

Can I Seal the Tub Overflow?

Sealing your tub overflow is never a good idea. Unless there is significant damage or the drain is broken, you should leave your tub overflow open to drain water from the tub. You may be able to temporarily seal the tub overflow if you are working on the tub or tiles and don’t want debris to get into the pipe.

Always ensure that your temporary seal doesn’t get stuck or cause a more significant issue.

Why Is the Tub Overflow Leaking?

Your tub overflow may be leaking if there is something wrong with your drain piping or if something is clogged or stuck in the pipes. A tub overflow usually only goes one way, so being clogged may make the drain back up and cause a leaking look.

Remove the overflow plate and use a flashlight to see if anything is stuck in the pipe.

Cleaning a Tub Overflow Plate

Routinely cleaning your tub overflow plate is essential to ensuring that your tub is clean and doesn’t harbor nasty germs. Consider using cleaning chemicals, sprays, and gentle tools to keep the area clean.

Use Chemicals

Chemicals are the easiest way to clean the overflow plate. Spray your overflow plate with a bathroom-safe cleanser that will help keep your drain clean and your plate looking shiny. Use a cleanser with bleach to ensure all gross germs are eliminated.

Spray with Water and Vinegar

Simple solutions of water and vinegar can help purge the overflow plate of any germs and ensure that the area is clean. Vinegar is deadly to some germs and will help keep the area in your bathtub and near your overflow drain clean.

Clean With Pipe Cleaners

Use pipe cleaners to clean around and inside your tub overflow drain. Make sure you don’t drop your pipe cleaner inside of it, however. These small tools can be perfect for cleaning gunk, oils, and germs off the drain walls and ensuring that the drain is clean.

Final Thoughts

A tub overflow plate without screws can be challenging to remove. But with time, patience, and care, you can make sure that your bathtub comes out looking clean and new. In some cases, you may need to go looking for a new bathtub overflow plate, but some tub overflow covers can be cleaned without being removed.

Run your tub to see if your tub overflow plate leaks since this might be an indicator of a larger issue with your plumbing. It is integral that you never seal your tub overflow lines. This can cause a bigger problem later down the line. Instead, consider investigating your bathtub overflow plate to see if there are hidden screws, leaks, or if it needs cleaning.

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