Skip to Content

What To Do When Bathtub Overflow Cover Screws Rusted

You’re trying to replace the bathroom overflow cover with a new one. You’ll need to release the screws to do that. But the screws are rusted and they’re not coming off. 

What to do if you have bathtub overflow cover screws rusted? 

Rusted screws in bathtub overflow covers are a very common problem. It suffices to say that you should get rid of them. In this case, lubricate the screws and remove them with screwdrivers and hacksaw blades. 

You’ll be relieved to learn that it’s a simple procedure. We’ve written it in detail for you.

Let’s get started!

How to Remove Rusted Overflow Drain Screws? 5 Simple Steps

In bathtubs and sinks, overflow drains are a must-have feature. They prevent flooding by draining the excess water in the tub. The overflow drain screws can corrode over time, resulting in rust deposits in the sink or tub. 

First, you have to examine the screw heads and match them to the appropriate screwdriver. It can be either a deck screw or a wood screw. To make access easier, choose one with a long handle.

Luckily, changing is an effortless process. For your convenience, we’ve broken down the entire procedure into four simple steps.Read along to replace the screws.

Necessary Equipment 

Before we begin the process, make sure you have all the equipment you need for this. Here are the things you’ll need-

  • Screw
  • Cloth
  • Penetrating lubricant
  • Rubber band

Got all the tools in hand? Let’s get started!

Step 1 of 4: Apply Lubricant 

Clean out any mildew or mold that has collected on the drain’s surface with the rag and thoroughly dry it. Spray some oil and allow five to ten minutes for the oil to soak into the screws.

Step 2 of 4: Remove The Screw

Use the screwdriver to insert the first screw. With one hand, apply pressure while rotating the screwdriver counterclockwise with the other. 

Between the screwdriver and the screw head, use a rubber band or other thin strip of rubber. When the screw head begins to strip, this indicates that the slots have deteriorated.

The screw cannot be moved after it has been loosened. If this does not loosen the screws anymore, you will need to replace them. That way, think of alternative options.

In case you need the right screwdriver, here are some of our recommended ones-

Product 1
Product 2

These are good quality ones and you’ll be satisfied with the performance.

Step 3 of 4: Take The Screw Out 

You can start by inserting a hacksaw blade into the drain aperture. Now press it against the rear of the drain cap’s screws. 

To prevent scratching the tub, cut gently and carefully.

Alternately, try chiseling and chipping away at the wood surrounding the screw head. With a set of locking pliers, you may be able to grip the screw head after this is done. After that, you should be able to turn the screw.

Step 4 of 4: Drilling The Screw Out

A drill is more effective than a screwdriver in this case. To safeguard your eyes, wear safety glasses.  Use the correct drill bit and screw extractor, both of which should come with your drill set.

Drill through the center of the corroded screw using the bit attached to the drill. After that, insert the extractor screws and drill counterclockwise for a second or two. 

And that’s it, your screws are replaced.

How to Prevent Rust on Bathtub Screws?

There are some ways you can prevent rust fastening. Rust is a chemical reaction happening over time between oxygen and moisture contacting iron. 

Find measures to shield your drain screws from moisture. You might be able to keep them from rusting after that.

Sealants and protective coatings, such as Rust-Oleum, can help achieve this. You may also replace the corroded screws with rust-resistant screws. Stainless steel is considered to be more rust-resistant than other metals. 

It is also advised that the overflow drain screws be checked and sealed on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to clean them on a continuous basis. 

It’s better to prevent rust on bathtub screws than to take action. Sometimes when the screws are stripped it becomes hard to replace them with new ones. 

That’s all you need to know regarding rusted screws on the bathtub. Make sure to follow our instructions to replace your shoes.


Question: Why is my tub overflow leaking? 

Answer: If you see water leaking from the drain fitting or the drain trap beneath the tub, it’s quite probable that the joints in the drain fitting or the drain trap are loose. Water can get behind the shower wall if the caulk surrounding these parts is cracked or absent. If the shower test reveals no leaks, the overflow tube is most likely to blame.

Question: How do I stop my bathtub overflow DIY?

Answer: You can make a bathtub stopper out of an empty coffee pod. To stop the drain, use a 15 ml cup and fill it halfway with water. All you need to do now is secure the cup in the drain hole and begin filling the tub with water. Wrap a rope or a couple of rubber bands around the cup if it’s too tiny.

Question: How do you remove a screw that won’t budge? 

Answer: Hold the impact driver’s body to keep it from rotating. Then slam the door shut with a powerful blow. If the screw still won’t budge and the surrounding surfaces are warm enough, put a lighter flame directly onto the screw head. After that, dunk it in cold water and try it again.


Now you know what to do when your bathtub overflow cover screws rusted. While it can be bothersome, there’s always a way to deal with this.

Don’t try to remove the screws by yourself if they’re stripped or you think it’s hard. In that case, do contact maintenance service. 

Good luck with your home improvement and take care!