You are taking a shower and then you notice that water is barely coming out from the shower head. If ever you experience something like this, I am telling you, there is something wrong with your shower diverter. You may ask, "What should I do? I barely know anything about plumbing!" Well, here is good news. When you notice that something isn't normal in your shower, checking it immediately will be a wise move to do and as a matter of fact, you can fix it yourself!
Setting the problem aside may just aggravate the condition of the diverter. The problem that should have been simple may complicate and even get you to spend so much. Chances are, your shower diverter stuck.
Why stress when you can have a working shower diverter ?
Shower diverter is a valve which controls water flow to a particular outlet. For example, when your bathtub faucet is combined with your shower, a shower converter is attached. When you intend to use the shower, you can have water coming out because it blocks the tub faucet.
Why do we have to deal with stuck problem?
There are several reasons why shower diverter stuck occurs. Obviously, when you are not getting enough water flowing from your shower head, there could really be a problem. It doesn’t take a genius to realize this. A simple test would be, opening the bathtub faucet to check if there is a normal flow of water.
Replacement may come into your mind right away. However, it would be preferable to conduct an inspection to determine if it really needs replacement. Although buying a shower diverter isn’t that expensive and replacement will only take you half an hour the most.
There are two main reasons why shower diverter gets stuck.
Practical and guaranteed solutions on how to fix your shower diverter dilemma
If you are the kind of person who doesn’t mind getting your hands dirty, then you can replace your shower faucet diverter with these easy to follow steps.
1. Gather the tools that you need:
- Faucet repair sockets
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Large adjustable wrench
- Phillips screwdriver
- Plumber’s faucet lube
- Replacement washers
- Seat wrench
2. Find the screw in the diverter handle
- You can find a screw at the center of the diverter handle. Open this using the flat-head screwdriver. All you need to do is to turn the screw counterclockwise. Once the screw is fully detached, take the diverter handle off.
- In case, you have difficulty in taking it off because it seems to be stuck, get hold of the entire thing and pull it with controlled force. Twist the handle gradually until it is completely pulled off. If and when it still doesn't work, you can secure a faucet handle puller. This is not difficult to find in any hardware store.
3. Check for the hollow tube and escutcheon
Inspect the handle that you have just taken out. In the handle you will find two things at the back:
- Hollow tube
You will need to remove these two items by simply spinning them. If the escutcheon is screwed, you will need to take it off.
4. Take out the diverter system
You will need to make use of the faucet sockets to reach the shoulders a little inside the wall so you could position your wrench. Detach the diverter stem from the shower valve. This should be easy by maneuvering the faucet socket in a counterclockwise direction.
There are two assemblies you will encounter here and these are the diverter assembly and the packing nut. Find the larger assembly because that would be the diverter assembly.
Here is a video which shows how to replace a shower diverter.
Note: Now that the diverter system is taken out, you can replace the old with a new one. For shower diverter repair, continue with steps 5-6 below.
5. Replace the washer and screw
If you choose to repair the old one, what you need to do is to replace the washer and screw. Be sure to lube the threads.
6. Inspect the hole left by the diverter stem that was taken out
With the help of a flashlight, you can see a circular seat. The hole is where the washer closes against. Make sure it is smooth. In case it is pitted, take it out with a seat wrench. Get the wrench into the whole so you can unscrew it properly and with ease. Replace it with a washer seat.
7. Put the diverter system back
In addition to the above guidelines, you must take note of some important reminders so that any further damage can be avoided.
- You must turn the main water supply off while you are in the process of fixing your shower diverter. You will avoid potential flooding as well as it allows you to identify which part of the valve is actually leaking.
- Another reminder would be to seal the drain. You will be dealing with screws and other tiny components, plugging the drain up ensures that all components are intact.
Whenever you notice that taking a shower becomes annoying because you are not getting enough water from the shower head, do not ignore the problem. Take time to troubleshoot or have it inspected by a plumber in your area. But with the helpful guide presented to you, doing the troubleshooting by yourself is made easy and practical.
Now you certainly have a complete walk through on how to go about a shower diverter stuck. It’s time to get your shower diverter fixed right away while the problem is still manageable.