Your shower diverter is the mechanism that directs water from your bathtub faucet up to the showerhead. When your diverter works properly, it cuts off water to either the faucet or the showerhead. If it isn’t working properly, then water will flow out of both your faucet and your showerhead whenever you use either.
Diverters naturally wear out and break down over time, and eventually need repairing or replacing. Luckily, they’re reasonably easy to fix. All you have to do is follow the instructions below.
What Type of Shower Diverter Do You Have?
There are three main variations of the shower diverter valve:
- Three-valve diverter – for showers with two-tap faucets.
- Two-valve diverter – for showers with a single-dial temperature adjuster.
- Single valve or Tee-diverter – pull up to send water from the faucet to the showerhead.
Tee-diverters are the most common shower diverter valve type. We’ll discuss how to repair these first.
Repairing Your Tee Valve Shower Diverter
- Turn off the water. It’s a lot easier to fix something when you aren’t worried about seeping water. You should have an access panel on the wall behind your shower.
- Seal off the drain. Use duct tape or something similar that can catch any small screws that might fall down the drain.
- Loosen the waterspout’s set screw. Not all spouts will have one. This is a tiny screw usually on the underside of the spout near the base.
- Remove waterspout. Your bathtub faucet will either slide off or unscrew depending on the type.
- Remove diverter. This is the small piece of plastic that slides up and down when you pull the diverter knob. If the diverter is faulty or needs a new washer, replace it using a diverter replacement kit from your local hardware store.
- Replace waterspout and test. Your water should be all directed to your shower head. If not, may be due to mineral build up inside the spout.
- Install new waterspout. If your spout is old and corroded, replace it with a new one from your hardware store.
Repair Your Two or Three Valve Shower Diverter
To repair your two or three valve diverter, you’ll need to determine which type you have. Your valve is most likely behind a face plate. Turn off your water, cover your drain and follow the steps below:
- Unscrew handle and faceplate (frequently round, metal) in your tub and take it off to look.
- Remove your old shower diverter. If it has a rotating valve, unscrew the nut at the stem and then pull the whole thing out. If your diverter is recessed behind the wall, you’ll need a socket or shower faucet wrench to cover the nut and loosen it.
- Replace your diverter valve. Take the diverter you just removed to the store to ensure you get the proper replacement. It won’t cost a lot, and replacing the entire device is easier and more effective than replacing individual parts.
- Install your replacement. It should only take a few minutes and a little finagling to screw back in place. Make sure not to overtighten anything.
- Test your new valve. Turn on your water and engage the diverter. The water flowing from the spout should go straight to the showerhead. Water should only flow out of either the faucet or the shower heat, never both.
Don’t put off getting your diverter fixed as soon as you notice problems. A broken shower diverter leads to a subpar shower, and it wastes water. That means increased water bills and potential water damage inside your walls.
Your Dallas Plumbing Repair Pros
If your shower diverter’s not working, or your shower faucet is leaking, we can help. For all your home’s shower repairs, never hesitate to call the team at Ben Franklin. We’ll make sure your water ends up where it’s supposed to.