How to Fix a Shower Faucet Diverter

Shower faucet diverters are essential components that allow you to switch the water flow between the showerhead and the bathtub faucet. Over time, these diverters can wear out or develop issues, causing water to leak or flow incorrectly. If you’re facing this problem, don’t worry – fixing a shower faucet diverter is a manageable DIY task. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to get your shower working perfectly again.

What You’ll Need

Before you begin, gather the following tools and materials:

  • Screwdriver (Phillips or flathead)
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Replacement diverter valve (if needed)
  • Pipe thread tape
  • Towels or rags
  • Plumber’s putty (optional)

Step 1: Turn Off the Water Supply

Safety first! Locate the main water shut-off valve for your home and turn off the water supply to your shower. This step is crucial to prevent any unexpected water leakage while you work on the diverter.

Step 2: Remove the Faucet Handle

  • Use a screwdriver to remove the screw holding the faucet handle in place.
  • Gently pull off the handle to expose the faucet cartridge.

Step 3: Access the Diverter

Depending on your shower setup, you might need to remove additional parts to access the diverter. Common types include:

a) Diverter at the Faucet Spout

  • Remove the faucet spout by turning it counterclockwise.
  • Unscrew and remove any retaining nuts or sleeves.

b) Diverter in the Wall

  • Remove the showerhead and shower arm to access the diverter inside the wall.

Step 4: Inspect and Clean

Examine the diverter for any signs of damage, corrosion, or mineral buildup. If it’s dirty or corroded, clean it thoroughly. You can use a toothbrush or a small wire brush to remove debris.

Step 5: Replace the Diverter (if necessary)

If your diverter is damaged and beyond repair, it’s time to replace it. Follow these steps:

  • Use an adjustable wrench to remove the old diverter valve by turning it counterclockwise.
  • Apply pipe thread tape to the threads of the new diverter valve to create a watertight seal.
  • Screw the new diverter valve into place by turning it clockwise.

Step 6: Reassemble

Reassemble the shower components in the reverse order of how you disassembled them. Make sure everything is snug but not overly tight to avoid damaging the parts.

Step 7: Test the Shower

Turn the water supply back on and test your shower. Check for leaks and ensure that the water flows correctly between the showerhead and the bathtub faucet. If you detect any issues, double-check your connections and make adjustments as needed.

Optional Step: Apply Plumber’s Putty

If you removed any spouts or fixtures, consider applying a small amount of plumber’s putty to create a watertight seal when reattaching them.

By following these steps, you can successfully fix a shower faucet diverter on your own, saving you time and money on professional plumbing services. Remember to turn off the water supply before starting, inspect the diverter for damage, and replace it if necessary. With a little effort, your shower will be working like new again!