Exploring Three Different Shower Faucet Diverter Valves and How They Operate
Most single-handle shower faucets simply turn water on and off; a pull-up diverter valve on the spout determines whether water goes up or down. Some models, however, have a diverter built into the handle. According to the most referred Dayton plumber, depending on the style of tub faucet you purchase, you may get any of the following 3 types of shower diverter valves. All are equally effective at keeping the water directed through the shower head until you release them.
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Tip 1 Three-Valve Diverter: This type of diverter, located between the taps on a two-tap faucet, can bring water to both the shower and the tub. The hot and cold water taps are turned on to mix the water to the correct temperature. Usually, turning the diverter clockwise 180 degrees allows the properly mixed water to flow out through the shower head. Turning the diverter counter-clockwise will return the water flow to the tub.
Tip #2 Two-Valve Diverter: As in the 3-valve diverter, the bather runs water through the tub spout until it is blended to the desired temperature. The diverter, with 2 valves each in the shape of an L, pushes the water upward to the shower arm and out the shower head. This 2-valve diverter can be located in the center of a faucet that adjusts temperature with a single dial turned to the left for hot water and to the right for cold, or it can be set between the taps of a two-tap faucet.
Tip #3 Tee Diverter: The tee diverter is a single-valve diverter, located in the tub spout. The bather runs the water to the temperature he or she prefers, and then pulls up the diverter pull arm in the tub spout. The water then comes out the shower head.
Tip #4 It is always best to release the diverter and allow water to return to flow through the tub spout for a few seconds before shutting off the water. This reduces strain and wear on the diverter valves.
Tip #5 If you encounter a shower diverter and you aren’t sure how it works, make sure you start the water while standing outside the shower to ensure you don’t get scalded by hot water. If you have a shower that has water flowing from both the tub and shower, you may need to clean or replace your diverter valve.
Tip #6 You may be able to find repair parts in a kit for a specific faucet. If not, standard O-rings and washers may fit. In some cases the seal is made with brass parts and no washers; simple cleaning and light sanding may solve the problem.
Tip #7 A corroded diverter stem or one with a weak spring should be replaced. A trip to your local Dayton plumbing supply or home improvement store may result in not finding your part stocked, but a learned salesperson will know if a universal part will work. In some cases you should be able to order it.
Tip #8 While you are waiting for the part to arrive, wrap duct tape around the handle of the diverter to keep it from pushing too far in. This will allow you to use the shower while waiting for the replacement part.
PLUMBING TRADE SECRETS: When pushed in, a washer at the end of the diverter seals the opening so water cannot rise up to the showerhead. A spring inside the diverter counteracts the effect of water pressure so the diverter can be easily pushed and pulled.