Turning on your shower should be as easy as flipping a switch. But when your shower diverter is broken, —water continues to drip from your tub faucet even after you switched off the faucet. Luckily, repairing a shower diverter is quick and fairly simple. Remember, a broken shower diverter gone unnoticed can ultimately impact your water pressure & lead to bigger leaks, which are costly to fix over time.

What is a shower diverter, anyway?
A shower diverter controls the flow of water from the bathtub spout to the showerhead. While many diverters utilize a pin knob on the tub spout that must be pulled, there are many varieties on a 2-3 handle tub/shower that use a button or an additional handle located between the hot and cold knobs.
Here are some of the most common issues that occur with shower diverters:

  • Leaks: Water leaks below your bathtub can cause water damage to the floor and walls.
  • Low water pressure from the showerhead: Water may not switch to the showerhead from the tub spout. This can cause low water flow from both faucets.
  • Difficulty switching between the tub faucet and showerhead: If it is difficult to turn on, it may need to be replaced.

Luckily, these problems are quite easy to fix by oneself. Simply follow these easy steps to replace a worn or damaged shower diverter in no time:

Repairing a handle diverter stem:

Disassemble the handles

  • Before disassembling handles, shut off the water supply completely (for most tub/shower repairs, you will need to turn off the main water valve to your home located outside near the street).
  • Remove the decorative cap of the diverter valve faucet handle with a screwdriver.
  • For threaded caps, unscrew the nut/screw to pull off the handle.
  • If your handle also has a handle flange, unscrew the flange and remove

Remove the tub and shower diverter valve stem:

  • Use a wrench or shower valve removal tool to remove the tub & shower diverter valve stem.
  • Pull the stem from the wall to expose the seat washer and screw it in.
  • Inspect the pipe to ensure no O-rings or washers are removed and remain inside the pipe. Remove & dispose of.
  • Check the bottom of the diverter valve stem. If the washer is eroded or uneven, replace it immediately. Once replaced, reassemble it.
  • Reassemble the valve by screwing the diverter stem back into the valve pipe.
  • Finish reversing the removal process by reassembling the handle flange and handle to complete the repair!

Repairing a tub spout diverter:

  • Shut off tub/shower water and remove the Tub Spout by turning it counterclockwise.
  • Inside the tub spout, widen the prongs, and pull up on the diverter knob to remove. Once the diverter knob is removed, the rest of the parts will come off easily.
  • Check the rubber washer, and if it is worn, you may need to replace it, or if the parts are worn-out and not functioning, you will need to purchase a new tub spout diverter kit.
  • Insert the washer into the new gate and press the new gate into the tub spout opening and connect the new Diverter knob to the new gate.
  • Replace your tub spout back onto the pipe stub-out nipple, slowly turn the water on and ensure there are no leaks.

Danco offers Tub Spout Adapter Kit to assist you with installing a new tub spout! This kit includes an adapter, pipe tape, and an adjustable ring that will help adapt your new tub spout to the tub/shower wall pipe (stub out nipple). This tub spout adapter kit makes the replacement process an easy & cost-effective alternative then professional assistance.

If your tub spout is worn out or damaged, Danco also offers a wide range to add a new style to your bath and replace an older tub spout that may no longer work. These are made from strong materials that offer strength and durability to your tub/shower. They are compatible with a wide range of tubs & are available in a variety of styles and finishes.

Do not let a shower diverter repair ruin your day!

Quick tip: To prolong the life of your shower diverter, be sure to release the diverter to let the water run freely from the tub to the shower before turning it off. Also regularly monitor & provide routine maintenance to avoid future issues.