Is your shower diverter not working properly and are looking to fix it?
Your shower diverter is the device that directs water from your bathtub faucet up to the showerhead. However, showering becomes difficult when this device breaks and water keeps running from the tub’s faucet and showerhead even after turning on the diverter.
Luckily, this issue can be solved by repairing it, which is a quick and easy task. If the problem didn’t fix by repairing, it should be replaced.
Table of Contents
What is a Shower Diverter?
This device is installed in the shower valve and is responsible for rerouteing water from your tub faucet to your showerhead and vice versa.
It is common in tubs with showerheads in commercial or residential bathrooms. There are different shower diverters, like a pin knob, a button, or a third faucet handle between the hot and cold knob of the tub.
Finding Out if the Diverter is Broken
It’s easy to determine that the diverter is broken. After turning it on, if the water flows from the tub faucet and showerhead simultaneously, this means the shower diverter is not working properly.
It may be due to the improper performance of the rubber stopper inside it. It might not be creating a proper seal to block and reroute the water flow. The incorrect function can be due to any reason.
What Type of Diverter Do you Have?
Before we move on to fix a shower diverter, it is important to understand its types. The shower diverter valve comes in three main types:
This diverter is used for 2-tap faucet showers.
It is used for single-dial temperature adjusters showers.
Tee or Single-Valve Diverter
It is pulled up to reroute water from the faucet to the showerhead. Tee diverters are the most commonly used diverters.
Tools and Materials Required
Here are some necessary tools that you must have in order to fix your shower diverter:
Method for Fixing the Shower Diverter
Here is an easy method to fix a shower diverter. Follow these steps and you will be on your way to solve this bathroom-related issue at home:
1. Cleaning the Spout
When water does not run from the diverter gate by turning it on or pulling it up and making strange sounds, its reason is the grease, dirt, and limescale buildup. When you pull it up, it gets stuck and does not push down.
This issue can be fixed by using vinegar. Unlike cleaners with harsh chemicals, it is non-toxic and organic, so it is good for the environment and is the best cleaner.
Cleaning the spout with it is a cost-effective way to repair it because it saves us a lot of money.
- Mix vinegar with water to make a solution.
- Pour this solution into a plastic bag.
- Submerge the spout into it so that it is completely covered.
- Close it tightly with a rubber band.
- Leave it for 3 – 4 days. You can check it after a day; if required, wrap it again.
- When the spout is completely clean and shiny, take it out and wash it with water.
- Now, check the diverter gate; it should be working.
2. Use Cooking Spray to Loosen the Diverter
Vinegar will clean the dirt buildup, but if your spout has become hardened, you can loosen it using cooking spray. This is the most easily available solution that you can find in your kitchen.
Some people use wax or hair spray, but it is not recommended because these ingredients can damage the plastic and metal parts of the shower by making corrosion. Always use cooking spray for this purpose.
- Try to loosen the diverter knob by pulling it up and down.
- Lubricate the knob and spout by applying the cooking spray thoroughly.
- Use a paper towel to wipe out the excess drips.
- Now pull it up and down to check it’s fixed.
- If it is still hard, repeat this process a few more times.
- Now wash it with water and wipe it with a paper towel.
3. Saturate the Whole Shower Spout Diverter
Vinegar is effective for cleaning the visible parts of the spout. But, if your handheld shower diverter has a leakage issue, you can fix it by opening its inner components and cleaning it.
Following the tips below, you will get your shower spout like a brand new one.
- To prevent flooding, close the water supply from the main valve.
- Look carefully and see how the spout is connected to the wall. There are three common ways:
- Spout with a single screw under it.
- Screwed to the wall by a threaded pipe.
- A pop-in pipe slides onto the wall to lock it in place.
- According to the type of spout, remove it.
- Examine the inner part of the spout; if there is any visible dirt, use sandpaper to clean it. If you don’t want to use it, make a paste of vinegar and baking soda and apply it to these parts. Leave it for half an hour, then rinse it.
- Take a metal bowl and pour water and vinegar into it. Soak the whole spout along with its base into this solution.
- Leave it for 3 – 4 days so that it is completely cleaned. Use a toothbrush to scrub it a little and check it once daily to see if it is cleaned.
- Wipe it with a cloth.
- Use a Teflon tap to its tip and keep it back into the copper pipe.
- Open the water supply and turn on the water to examine if the leak is repaired.
If still, it doesn’t work, now it has become useless. You can buy a new one by throwing it away.
4. Shower Diverter Valve Replacement
After putting in your efforts, if still, the problem didn’t fix, now it’s time to replace it. You can replace the valve by using cheap products, and you can also replace a gate only. This option is perfect for you if you don’t want to spend more money.
When most people try this without much knowledge, they usually don’t fix the leakage. You can call a plumber in case of any difficulty.
- Close the water supply of your bathroom.
- Use duct tape to cover the drain so the screws or other small parts don’t fall into it. Otherwise, you will lose its important components, and the drain will get clogged also.
- Unscrew the spout from the wall and take it to the store to buy the new replacement gate valve that fits your current model.
- Read its guidelines carefully and follow them.
- Screw it back on the wall. By doing this, its repairing will be easy.
- Turn the direction of the spout upside but make sure you don’t remove it from the wall.
- Use a plier to separate the plastic parts and pull out the white bits.
- From the upper side of the spout, pick out the metal knob.
- In place of the old knob, put the new one.
- Do these steps carefully so that you lose nothing. Place the inner part of the diverter valve. Put the spring and black washer.
- Keep back the white plastic fastener and hold everything together.
- Now, re-attach the water and check the diverter.
5. Tub Spout Diverter Replacement
This is the most effective solution to your problem. This is not so costly and is easily available for only $20. You can replace it with an identical product or select a universal spout.
- Close the supply of water.
- Remove the spout from the wall.
- Take it to the store to buy a new spout for replacement.
- Have a look at the instruction written on its label.
- First, clean the copper pipe with vinegar and brush to eliminate all the debris and dirt. This will prevent any future leakage.
- Use a cloth to dry it off and apply Teflon tape on it to prevent potential friction. This will also prevent leakage.
- Fasten the spout onto the wall by following the instructions according to its type.
- Now turn on the supply of water and check for any leakage.
Repairing Two or 3-Valve Shower Diverter
You must determine the type of your two or 3-valve shower diverter to repair it. It is usually located behind the face plate. Close the water supply and cover the drain with a cloth before following these instructions:
- Using a screwdriver, take out the handle; you will find a round, metal faceplate. Unscrew it also.
- Take out the old diverter by unscrewing the whole nut.
- Take the diverter to the store to bring the same size. It’s not costly, and its installation is easy and more comfortable than replacing the parts.
- It will take only two or three minutes to place it back. Remember, do not over-tighten any pipe.
- Switch on the water supply and connect the diverter. Ensure the spout’s water flow should divert straight to the showerhead, and it should not flow from both routes.
Wear and Tear Prevention of Shower Diverter
Always activate the diverter to run water from your tub’s faucet for a few minutes before turning the water off. This will reduce wear and tear, and you will get rid of repairing it every time.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
How to Repair a Diverter in a Shower?
If the knob has become hardened and you feel difficulty pushing it up and down, you can clean the whole spout in the vinegar solution.
Pour vinegar into a plastic bag and submerge the spout into it. Using a rubber band, hold it in place. After 2 – 3 days, take it out and rinse it.
Why is the Shower Diverter Not Working?
When water comes out from the shower and the faucet, dirt buildup might have clogged the diverter. If it is fine, some inside parts may have broken, and you may have to replace them.
How to Repair a Bathtub Diverter?
If the bathtub diverter is broken, repair it as soon as possible because a broken diverter provides less water and wastes a lot of water. You can clean the inner parts of it to work it properly. If cleaning doesn’t work, you can fix it by replacing the valve or the whole spout.
How to Repair a Stuck Valve of a Shower Diverter?
To fix this issue, place a towel around the knob. Hold it with a plier and repeatedly turn it to the left and right sides. While turning it, make sure you are pulling it up. Finally, you will find that it has loosened up.
How to Determine that My Shower Diverter is Damaged?
If the water flow is irregular or water is coming from both the tub faucet and the showerhead at the same time, the diverter is damaged. Sometimes, it does not provide proper hot water and sometimes delivers lukewarm or extra hot water.
That is all we have to say on how anyone can fix a shower diverter. A damaged shower diverter wastes your water by running it from the faucet and showerhead simultaneously.
It provides lower water flow while you are showering. To get rid of these issues, you must fix them. You can fix it by cleaning the dirt, limescale buildup, or the diverter’s inner parts.
If the problem still exists, you can replace it. Its replacements are not so costly, and you can easily DIY them. If you have difficulty, contact a professional to fix this issue.