How to Stop Jacuzzi Tub Drain Leak

Drain Pipe Fittings are Often the Source of Tub Leaks

By Mark J. Donovan

We had just moved into our new home and the first thing my daughter wanted to do was try out the large Jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom. It was just by happenstance that I was down in the basement (crawl space) when she began to drain the tub. As she drained the tub I heard the sound of dripping water on the concrete floor. I ran over to the forming puddle and looked up. Where the Jacuzzi tub drain pipe connected to the overflow pipe and the J-trap, water was dripping profusely.

Upon closer inspection I observed that the water was specifically dripping out from around the large brass nut that connected the drain pipe to the overflow pipe.

After the Jacuzzi tub had fully drained I discovered that the brass nut connecting the drain pipe to the overflow pipe was only hand tight. In addition, the drain pipe was barely connected into the overflow pipe.

To stop the Jacuzzi tub drain leak I first unloosened the large brass nut to confirm that there was a compression washer behind it and that it was in good shape.

It’s important that the compression washer not be flattened, twisted or gouged in such a way that it cannot form a perfect seal around the drain pipe.

I also observed that there was significant play in the overflow pipe so that I could effectively slide the drain pipe further into the opening in the overflow pipe.

How to Stop Jacuzzi Tub Drain Leak

Using a couple of pieces of wood as shims I permanently adjusted the position of the overflow pipe so that the drain pipe would sit further into it.

Next I slid the compression washer up against the Jacuzzi tub drain pipe fitting and then very carefully hand tightened the large brass nut onto the fitting, making sure not to cross-thread it in the process. I then used a large adjustable wrench to further tighten the brass nut another half a turn.

Finally, I tested my work to confirm that I had indeed stopped the Jacuzzi tub drain leak. I closed the tub drain and filled the tub with several inches of water. I then opened the drain and very closely inspected the drain pipe fitting for any leaks. Fortunately none were observed and our Jacuzzi tub was back in business.

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