What is a Bath Waste and Overflow?

What is a Bath Waste and Overflow?

bath and overflow

So What is One?

Usually when we are looking at bath tubs, we do not notice the waste or overflow. To be exact, the waste would be the drain in the bottom of the bath where water is dispersed from. The bathtub overflow is a hole on the side of the bath where any excess water can be drained from rather than overflowing the tub itself.


Both of these are found usually just below the taps on the bath, which tends to be the steeper side. In single ended baths this would be on one end. For double ended baths, as both sides have a slope, waste and overflow would usually be found in the centre of the longest side.

Different Types

Bath wastes and overflows generally fall into three main categories

Plug n chain overflow

Plug & Chain

This is the most economic option, usually cost around £5 - £10 and what most of us are familiar with. The bath overflow is a round perorated disc screwed to the side of the bath to which a plug would be attached with a chain. To fill the bath the plug would be inserted into the draine, and to empty the bath the plug would simply be pulled out of it.

Combined Waste and Overflow

Combined Waste and Overflow

This type is becoming the most popular now. The drained and overflow part are linked by a flexible pipe hidden behind the bath. To open and close the drain, you simply turn the dial. Looks much neater and more contemporary than the plug and chain waste. Prices start from around £25 so are not too expensive.

Combined Waste and Overflow with Click Clack

Combined Waste and Overflow with Click Clack

This is the same as number 2 above though this time the bath is drained by pushing onto the chrome top of the waste at the bottom of the bath. A second press would close the waste. The name ‘click-clack’ comes from the sound that can sometimes be heard when this sprung mechanism is opened or closed. Prices are similar to the standard waste and overflow bath scene at round £25.


Wastes and overflows are usually available in chrome though are also available in white and special finishes such as gold.