Understanding Shower Diverters to Troubleshoot Your Tub/Shower Faucet

Have you ever wondered what the lever is called that magically transfers water from the tub faucet to the showerhead? It’s called a shower diverter, and while it might seem like magic, there are actually a lot of working parts at play to make it function properly. Let’s dive into what exactly a shower diverter is, and how they work.

Understanding Shower Diverters to Troubleshoot Your Tub:Shower Faucet

How shower diverters work

To understand how a shower diverter works, you first need to understand the water pipes that exist behind the shower wall. There is a main water pipe that connects your tub faucet and extends vertically to the showerhead. When your shower diverter valve is open (or down, in most cases), water is able to move freely through the faucet and into the tub. 

When you lift the knob or handle (shower diverter), the diverter valve closes, causing pressure to build and directing the water upward and out of the showerhead. Based on the faucet and showerhead setup you have in your bathroom, you have one of three types of shower diverter valves:

  • Tee diverter – which has a single valve, usually a knob on top of the tub faucet that you pull up to start the shower
  • Two-valve diverter – can be used with a central faucet (where you have one handle that controls both hot and cold water temperatures) or is placed between two separate hot/cold faucets
  • Three-valve diverter – most commonly found with two-tap shower faucets. The diverter is opened by turning the middle lever 180 degrees. 

Troubleshooting your shower diverter

The most common issue with a shower diverter is when water comes out of both the tub faucet and the showerhead. Check to be sure there is no residue clogging the shower diverter lever from fully lifting or lowering. If everything looks clear, the problem could be worn-out parts in the shower diverter valve. Unfortunately, this is usually a complicated job since the pipes are concealed behind the wall and the shower diverter will need to be replaced.

Shower diverter replacement in Amarillo

Replacing a fault shower diverter is generally not a DIY project. If you want the job done right without causing a major disruption in your home, bring in the professional team at Pratt Plumbing. We provide quality, fast plumbing services at affordable prices. To schedule an appointment, call us (806) 373-7866.

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