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Dropped Screw in Tub Overflow Pipe

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sanjuanwolf

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Hello, I have a question concerning bathtub overflow pipes in a two story home. Here is my scenario: Water was draining slowly in my tub and backing up so I removed the normal drain cover and the overflow's trip lever plate + linkage. I removed the clog easily and moved on to replace the drain plates.

The overflow plate was where I had an issue. The plate is as old as the house I think, about 30-40 years. I was having trouble getting one of the two screws to mate with the hole in the pipe so I was fiddling with it. I finally thought I had it and I pressed too hard and the screw went right through the brittle chrome and fell down the overflow pipe.

I took a tiny camera I have and could see where the screw fell in the pipe. I couldnt reach it with any tools I had on hand so I ordered a flexible grabber tool, but by the time the tool got to me the screw fell even deeper to where I can no longer see it.

Finally, my question: how much of a problem is it that a screw fell down my bathtub's overflow pipe on the second floor? Can I ignore it or should I be trying to open a pipe somehwere and find it?

And let's say I did want to do that, should I be looking in the pipes in the ceiling directly underneath the tub? Not saying I want to go cutting my cieling open, I just want and idea of where the screw would be. Thank you.
 

jeffmattero76

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Is there a hatch in the wall behind the tub? If so, you may be able to take the trap apart since that is where I would guess the screw is located.

If not, you might want to try a toilet auger to see if you can snag it.
 

sanjuanwolf

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Good morning Jeff,

No unfortunately no hatches or wall panels. I have an auger I can try but it seems it would be difficult to pick up the screw with the shape of the auger head and then the screw not being magnetic (if I were to attach a magnet to the auger).

What I would like to know is, can I just leave that screw down there, whereever it fell? If I'm careful to make sure nothing goes down the drain like hair or anything else, will I be okay?

Thanks,
 

jeffmattero76

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I am not an expert. My plumbing experience is because I do plumbing at my rental properties.

That being said, if the screw got past your trap, I would think it would be fine since it would be in 4 inch pipe. If it is not past your trap, and if hair and soap scum, etc get caught on it, that might make it easier to get with an auger.

I would suggest doing nothing, and see what happens.
 

Diehard

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The screw is likely brass and not magnetic. But you must have the other screw to verify that.

I'd say don't worry about.
 
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