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How To Replace A Bathtub Spout Shower Diverter

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

Most people probably look at all of these words and they are quite confused about what they actually are.

However, they are things that function in our everyday lives that also make our lives much easier!

When it comes to parts like these, we only tend to actually realize what it is when it is either having problems or just completely breaks and needs replacing. 

We need these types of things to function in our home, so when one is no longer working, this needs to be sorted out immediately to avoid any further damage to anything in your home or any of the surrounding products.

You will find a great step by step on how to replace these parts in this guide which will be great for anyone to follow! 

What Is Actually Wrong?

If you are wanting to take a shower but only the bath faucet has running water, then you know there is a problem with the functions of the parts.

But there is really good news that even though there could be multiple problems that could be happening, they are all really easy to fix, regardless of whether you are a professional plumber or have never touched a pipe before. 

If the switch between the bath head and the show head are not working as it usually would then you will need to replace the bathtub spout shower diverter. 

What Is The Part? – Bathtub Spout Shower Diverter

It is a simple part of your bath and shower where it will divert your water flow from the bath faucet to the shower head.

This allows you to move your water flow from one to the other depending on what you need it for.

This also allows it to be multi-functional in the sense of using the water flow at the same time.

Therefore, you are able to use the shower head and the running water through the bath at the same time. 

This device is used and turned on usually using a handle which is between the hot and cold handles for water flow. 

What you need to know is when the shower diverter remains open, this means there can be a water flow through the tub faucet.

When you want a shower, the valve will close and will create pressure to push the water upwards and out of the shower head. 

What Are The Different types?

There are three different types of common shower diverters: 

  • Three Valve Diverter – This is a part which you need to turn half a turn to be able to get it started and will need to reverse this to stop the shower. 
  • Two Valve Diverter – This can be found in different places: either middle of temp control or between two taps. 
  • Tee Diverter – found in the faucet and to activate you need to pull the lever in the faucet. 

What Are The Indicators Of Needing A Repair?

It is definitely not hard to notice when it needs a replacement or is damaged because it simply will just not work.

How to Replace a Bathtub Spout Shower Diverter?

There are several things that you will also notice that are more subtle such as water will be slightly leaking but some leaking is ok and some is not.

The recommended amount that it should leak is 0.1 gallons per minute, if it is anymore than that then it becomes a problem.

This can start to increase when you have had the product for a very long time and it is coming to the end of its usage. 

If you are having problems with it not being able to switch and also having a few leaks then it may be broken and it is definitely time to replace it. 

Issues With Diverter

There aren’t too many problems that you can come across when it comes to this product but these are a handful to look out for: 

  • Issue With The Seal – this can become a small problem because if it is not functioning properly as a good seal then the water cannot be directed to the correct place. 
  • Needs A Clean – If there is a buildup of grease and dirt then this can be a good indicator that it needs a good scrub.
  • Gate Not In The Right Place – When this happens it can act as an obstruction and can block the pipe. This causes the water to just drip out of the head at all times.

Step By Step Guide On How To Fix A Diverter

Your diverter is more important than you think and you really shouldn’t leave this task until it finally damages or causes more problems.

This should be fixed as soon as you find that it is the issue. Here are a few steps you can follow to fix this: 

  1. Water Off – you will always need to turn the water supply off for any type of job you’re doing that requires plumbing. 
  2. Obstruct The Drain – You do not want anything falling in. 
  3. You Need To Tighten The Screws For The Diverter – This could be your overall problem fixed but if it isn’t then continue with the steps. 
  4. Take The Diverter Apart – this means removing the whole valve. 
  5. This is where you can have a look to see if there is a build up of limescale which could be causing your problems that can be fixed with a thorough clean. Soaking the product in vinegar is the best way to get it all off.
  6. If this is not successful then you will need to lube it up. This is where you can try something like oil to remove it and get the parts moving again. 
  7. Then you will need to wash it over and make sure everything is off the product, including everything you added. 

Overall, these are really easy steps that everyone will be able to follow and hopefully gets everything sorted for you.

You always need to remember that cleaning these parts might really benefit you in the future if the build-up gets maximized. 

Frequently Asked Question 

Do I Need To Turn The Water Off To Change A Shower Diverter?

If you’re only working on the diverter, you don’t need to turn off the water supply to the faucet.

While working, place a cloth over the tub drain to prevent any dropped screws from going down the drain.

Some showers use a diverter built into the tub spout activated by lifting a button on the spout.

How Do You Fix A Stuck Shower Diverter Valve?

Spray penetrating lubricant into the spout opening so it hits the diverter piece.

Spray the penetrating lubricant around the post on the top of the water spout and wait five minutes or more before trying the diverter again. If this does not work, replace the spout.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Shower Diverter?

How to Replace a Bathtub Spout Shower Diverter?

Replacing a shower diverter valve costs $225 to $575, including materials and labor.

A shower diverter valve switches the flow of water between the bathtub spout or shower head and is typically controlled by a small handle located on the center trim plate or near the tub spout.

Do You Have To Replace The Valve When Replacing Shower Faucet?

The first issue to look for is if there are any leaks in the valve when you turn on the water.

If there are drips, that’s a good indication that you should think about replacing the valve.

Because, not only are you wasting water, but water that leaks behind the wall can cause rot as well as mold and mildew growth.


Overall, these are tasks which nobody probably wants to carry out in their home, but it is essential that you do.

If you can do it yourself then why get a plumber to come and do it and lose money.

If you are having serious problems trying to do it yourself then instead of damaging the products then call someone who could do it for you. 

It is important to look out for the indicators that there is an issue with this particular part because not all of them are so obvious but will definitely start to become that after leaving it.

If this issue is left for long enough it can cause damage, it could cost you a lot to replace and fix and it can just be an overall nightmare if you want to shower and you want both options to be available to you. 

Hopefully this guide has been a help for you when it comes to knowing what it is you need to replace, knowing the problem and then fixing it.

Obviously, if you need professional help with this then don’t hesitate to call a supporting plumber if you feel like you need to, but most people should be able to do this themselves if they have the time and tools.

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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