What You Should Know About Shower Diverters

Leaky ShowerheadFew things in life are as relaxing as a nice, hot shower. But have you ever wondered how the water makes it way up to showerhead? It’s thanks to a plumbing part called a shower diverter. Knowing how it works isn’t just fun trivia – it can help you identify an issue in your bathroom before it impacts the hot showers you know and love.

What is a shower diverter?

If you have a combo bathtub and shower, your faucet handle has a way of changing the flow of water from the tub spout up to the showerhead, and the other way around. When you use this handle, you are activating the shower diverter, which if the valve behind the wall that directs the water.

There are three different types of shower diverters:

  • Three-valve diverter – These are usually found when there are separate knobs for hot and cold water. After you find the right combination of hot and cold water, you turn the third handle clockwise to send the water to the showerhead. When you’re done showering, turn the handle counter-clockwise to redirect the water to the tub.
  • Two-valve diverter – This type of diverter is usually found with a single-handle faucet. The larger handle on the assembly will control the temperature while the smaller handle or level will control the direction of the water.
  • Single-valve or T diverter – This is the most common type of diverter. If you have a handle that pulls straight up from the tub faucet, you likely have a T diverter. When you push the handle down, it opens the flow of water to the tub spout.

Noticing problems with a shower diverter

Over time, it’s not uncommon for the shower diverter to wear out, especially rubber parts like washers. When this happens, you may notice leaks or changes in your shower. Here are some of the most common signs that it’s time to replace your shower diverter.

  • Leaks from below the bathtub
  • Showerhead with decreased water pressure
  • Trouble switching the water from tub to showerhead

These issues aren’t just annoying, they can lead to water damage, which is why you should have the shower diverter replaced right away. The part isn’t very expensive but there can be significant labor to access behind the shower faucet or wall.

Local plumbing experts

If you’re experiencing issues with your shower, don’t ignore it and hope it will go away on its own. Instead, call the plumbing pros at Rick’s Plumbing. We proudly serve New Haven and Fairfield Counties in Connecticut. You can reach us at (203) 874-6629.