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Repairing a Bathtub Spout Diverter

Category Plumbing
You turn on the shower and half of the water is coming out of the spout rather than the shower head. It is time to take a look at the diverter. This is a page about repairing a bathtub spout diverter.


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By 0 found this helpful
March 30, 2011

When I use my shower, the water is coming out of the faucet below and the shower head. It seems that the faucet part isn't completely shutting all the way for the all of the water to flow to and through the showerhead. Anyone have any household tips that I can use where I don't have to take the faucet apart to fix or replace? Can I just adjust something inside the faucet or do I need to replace a gasket in there? Please advise?

By Loleini


April 2, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Having just repaired this same problem - it's not the diverter (spout) that's the problem it's the cartridge that controls the water. If it is a single unit (i.e. hot and cold on same control) you need to pop off the center of the control knob, unscrew the rest of the knob and behind that is the cartridge. It is relatively simple to remove and replace (there's a "U" clip that holds it on to the plumbing pipe). Just pull the u-clip up and pull the cartridge off. Take that to your nearest Home Depot or Lowe's and they should be able to get the correct one for you. Most cartridges are Moen but there is a wide variety of those too. Lowe's has a book that you can look it up in. If you aren't a DYI'er the you're only other option is to call a plumber but that's pricey. Good luck with your repairs. Hope this helps.

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April 4, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

If that doesn't work. You may need to change the diverter. First, shut off the main to the faucet. Or if you are sure that it is the diverter and not the hot or cold stem, then just make sure the hot and cold are shut off. I recommend shutting off to the whole thing. Remove the handle: Some times there is a cover over the screw that attaches the handle to the diverter. Using a knife, remover the piece that usually shows the arrow, showing if the water is going to the tub or shower head. Pop this off and you will see a screw, remove this and take off the handle. Don't lose the screw. Then remove the collar, that just screws off. This is the piece that hides the hole.


Then you need a tool that removes the stem. You can buy them in a 5 pack with different sizes, (You may see how easy it is and change out other stems) or you can buy the size you need, This tool is just a hexagon shaped piece of pipe with two holes at the end. You place the pipe over the nut that you see after you remove the collar, place a screwdriver into the two holes, to make a handle and unscrew the stem. The whole thing will come out. At the very tip of the stem is a washer that is screwed in at the top. Look carefully at the washer, it is probably damaged. Take the stem and washer to a home center. Buy a pack of washers for less than $5. Unscrew the old washer, and install the new. Then reinstall the stem.

Also, at one point on the stem, there is a black washer that is like a round rubberband that fits in a groove, make sure this is in place when you reinstall it. If you see that the stem is damaged, take it to Ace. or HD or Lowe's and match it. They have various stems. HD and L have some but Ace has them all. Check to see that each part matches the new one. The stems cost under $20. Reinstall it. Turn your water back on, just a little to see if there is a leak. If you see some leaking, tighten the stem until it stops, then turn your water on all the way. Rescrew the collar on and attach the handle. Make sure, when you buy the new stem that you take your handle with you, so the little stem that you attach the handle to is the same size.


Easy stuff. All your stems are the same way. Save a lot of money if you're not afraid to do this. Also, buy a Plumbing how to book, they are very good in teaching. Or if you still have questions go to Home Depot and talk to someone in plumbing. Make sure you go during the day and get a real plumber.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 6, 2018

My diverter faucet is leaking when the water is shut off, should I replace the faucet or the on/off valve?


October 6, 20180 found this helpful

We replaced the entire faucet when ours went.

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October 6, 20180 found this helpful

I always start with the least expensive route, which is the diverter...on off valve.


That said, I don't do the work as I learned the hard way plumbing and I don't mix.

An honest plumber, which we have, will tell you the best thing...either try least expensive and hope for the best, or bite the bullet and do the whole thing.

It looks like you have a lot of corrosion so he/she may suggest the whole faucet for that reason alone.

Good luck!!

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October 10, 20180 found this helpful

I'd make sure your internal washers were good first. That's what did ours :)

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