bathtub overflow not connected

My home is in a development that is about 13 years old. It recently came to my attention that the overflow on the bathtubs is not connected to any drain, i.e., it simply dumps the water on the ceiling below.
My neighbor made the same discovery and I suspect that it is the case with all of the homes in the development.
It strikes me that this is in some ways worse than if there were no overflow at all, since the overflow, being lower than the top of the tub, would start dumping water before a brimming tub would and there is a chance that you might discover the running water in the meanwhile. Plus, it empties right on to the wallboard of the ceiling below, while water pouring over the top of the tub would go first onto what is probably a water-proof surface, like tile -- again, giving you more time to react.
My question is - is this mere laziness on the part of the my builder or is it common practice in the industry? Do building codes allow this? Is there some reason for not connecting it to a drain (besides being cheap) that escapes me?
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I would be surprised if building codes anywhere in North America permitted this practise. If the builder is still around, perhaps you can round up a bunch of the neighbors and threaten him/her with a Class Action Lawsuit if he/she does not make proper repairs in short order. Damned builders, you have to watch them like a hawk. I heard recently of some builders in my area that remove the wall insulation after the inspector has passed it and before they put up the drywall. They load the insulation onto a truck and take it to the next house they are building. The poor guy who buys the house can't figure out why it is always so cold in Winter.
Nasty problem! Best of luck! Des
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JB wrote:

This is how it is supposed to be done: http://www.tpub.com/content/construction/14265/css/14265_169.htm
Take a look behind the tub (access panel) to see what was omitted or not connected.
Is it possible that the gasket on the o'flow is simply not sealing?
Jim
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My tub is a whirlpool type and it has an air intake pipe in case the water inlet for the pump gets clogged. I noticed that the top of this pipe was about 2 inches below the top of the tub. Therefore, if the tub becomes filled to the brim, water will spill out of the air inlet pipe as described in the first message. The tub has an overflow drain. If the drain cover opening is on the underside of the cover the tub will never fill up too full. However, if the cover opening if facing up the tub can fill up too much. I think this is a poor design, because kids will plug the drain overflow and cause the tub to fill up and leak.
My solution was to extend the air intake pipe as close to the top of the tub as possible. It would be better to extend the pipe higher (maybe up inside a wall). I think you need to look at what is leaking and why, then demand that the problem be resolved...could be the plumber's fault, tub manufacturer or something else.
Cheers, R

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Isn't that about all it could be? If it wasn't hooked up how could the linkage/stopper work?
I just installed a whirlpool and the overflow is actually a dial with an external cable going to the bottom drain. It would be possible to not hook that overflow up but I don't think that style of drain existed back then. And to be honest I bought that style since the new whirlpool didn't match the position of the existing drain. I was able to install the bottom drain at an offset to reach the p-trap and the overflow had flex tubing at the top which allowed more than enough play to match the bottom drain T. I'd like to personally thank the person that invented that thing...due to the location it would have been a royal PITA moving the existing plumbing those few inches.
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JB wrote:

the mistake.... and did so on all the buildings... quick fix would be to get something that would block the overflow... at least you would know when the water if coming over the top of the tub....
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Sounds like it was not correctly plumbed. However, after 13 years I suspect that you are on your own.
RB
JB wrote:

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Does your tub have the stopper connected to a handle where the overflow drain is? If so, the overflow drain has to be connected, maybe it's just leaking. You could check the screws where the plunger is, if they are tight, remove them and check the gasket. If the joint is leaking, hopefully you can access it with out tearing too much apart. http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/plumbing/bathtub/drain2/replace.htm This is what MOST tub drain assemblies work like.
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My tub overflow is also the point where my hvac evaporator drain line connects. So it could easily be open if not installed right.
On 1 Jan 2004 08:09:26 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (JB) wrote:

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may i ask how you made this discovery???
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