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Many people use a bathtub faucet and shower combo. You can divert water to the showerhead or tub faucet through the diverter. If your bathtub faucet leaking when the shower is on then it is not a good sign because you won’t get enough pressure to take shower.
Also, it increases the wastage of water. You get a higher water bill. Also, dripping water in the tub creates stains in the tub. But don’t worry, the solution to bathtub faucet leakage when you turn on the shower is not hard. In this guide, we are giving a simple solution to this issue.
Reason For Bathtub Faucet Leaking When Shower Is On?
The diverter is the main reason for bathtub faucet leaks when you turn on the shower. The main work of the diverter valve is to change the flow of water either towards the shower or faucet.
Over time mineral deposits are built-up on the diverter valve. These build-ups damaged the diverter body and the diverter doesn’t work properly. So, when you turn on the shower to take a relaxing bath, water also comes out from the bathtub faucet.
This issue becomes big if an equal amount of water comes out from the shower and tub faucet. To solve it, you need to repair the diverter or change it.
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How To Fix a Bathtub Faucet That Leaks Only When Shower Is On?
If the diverter is working properly, it flows water either to the shower or tub faucet, wherever you turn the diverter knob. So, you get high water pressure in the shower. But when the diverter becomes faulty, it stops working properly. Water starts leaking from the tub faucet even if you turn the diverter towards the shower. So, follow these instructions to fix it.
- First, turn off the water supply to the shower so it becomes easy to fix the issue.
- Now seal or cover the shower drain with a cloth. So, the cloth will catch anything, if you by mistake lose anything while removing part of the shower.
- The diverter valve is connected to the valve stem through a screw. Nowadays, it is possible that the screw is not visible and is hidden behind any cap.
- Remove the cap by using any sharp object. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw.
- If your diverter has a faceplate, you need to unscrew it. Use a screwdriver to remove its screws.
- Next, it’s time to remove the diverter.
- If the diverter has a rotating valve and, on its stem, it has a nut, you need to remove this nut.
- After unscrewing the nut, pull it out.
- If the diverter valve is tee-type then to remove this diverter, you need to unscrew the threaded tub spout.
- So, now you have a diverter in your hand.
- If its condition is good, remove its mineral build-up and reattach it.
- To clean mineral build-ups, you can use white vinegar.
- Submerge the diverter into vinegar for a few hours so all build-ups clean out.
- If it is not in the good condition, replace it with a new one.
- Attach a new diverter and tighten all screws.
- Attach handle and faceplate. Now turn on the water and check the leakage. You will see that water is flowing only through the shower or tub faucet without any leakage.
What Is Diverter In The Shower?
A diverter is used if you have a shower and faucet combo. If you ever wondered how water flows towards the shower head instead of the tub spout, it all happens due to a diverter.
When you turn the diverter valve, it changes the direction of the water flow. The shower diverter allows the to water divert between the showerhead and the tub faucet.
A water pipe that is connected to the tub spout is also connected to the showerhead. When you want to take shower, move the diverter valve towards the shower direction. It creates a way so water can flow towards the showerhead.
Types of Diverter
Tee Valve Diverter
The most common type of diverter. It is installed into the tub faucet. To activate the diverter, you need to pull the handle up or down. If you pull the handle to change the water flow, you have a tee diverter.
Two Valve Diverter
Two valve diverters are used with a single handle faucet. There are two different valves in this diverter. One valve controls the temperature of the water and the second valve controls the flow of the water.
Three Valve Diverter
If your faucet has separate handles for hot and cold water then you need to use three-valve diverters. First, you need to set the hot and cold-water handles at the right temperature then use the third handle to send water toward the showerhead.
What are the Benefits of a Shower Diverter Valve?
- The shower diverter valve makes operation easy. You can easily change the water flow.
- For the shower and tub faucets, you only need a single mixer tap. It makes installation easy and takes less space.
- Through the diverter, water flow and temperature control become easy.
How Do You Replace Shower Diverter Valve?
- Start by turning off the flow of water to the diverter.
- Use some tape or cloth to cover the sink drain. It will prevent small things from falling into the drain. If you lose anything in the sink drain, you need to buy it and it will increase the cost and time of the replacement.
- Find the nuts of the valve and remove them. For the gate-style model, you need to remove the bathtub spout.
- Now pull out the diverter. Either you can online order a new diverter according to shower model or buy it from a local plumbing store.
- Attach a new diverter and tighten it with the wrench. Turn the water on and take a relaxing bath.
Check also – Replace a Roman Tub Faucet Without Access Panel
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is Shower Diverter Valve?
The shower diverter valve is located at the end of the tub faucet. You need to pull it, to start water flowing towards the showerhead. When you want water in the faucet then push it back.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Shower Diverter Valve?
Costing of the replacement of the shower diverter valve depends on the type of diverter. Generally, the cost of a normal diverter is around $30-$50. If you call a plumber, he will charge extra. Costing of shower diverter valves goes high if you have a rain shower. You can try by removing mineral buildup, if the valve works properly, your money will be saved.
Where Is the O-ring In Shower Head?
O-rings prevent leaking in the showerhead. The O-ring is circular in the shape and it is placed inside the showerhead. O-ring is made of rubber so with time it is worn out. It is small in the size and extremely helpful to stop leakage.
Do You Have To Replace Valve When Replacing Shower Faucet?
Replacing the valve and replacing the shower faucet are different tasks. If you are installing a new shower faucet whose brand is the same as the old one then you don’t need to replace the valve. But every faucet and shower combo comes with a new valve so use new instead of old ones.
Now you know why the bathtub faucet is leaking when the shower is on. All you just need to change or clean is the diverter. A leaky shower or tub faucet is not good for the environment. We have tried to simplify the process so you can easily implement it. If you like the article share it with your friends.
Meet Ralph Matthews, father of 2 cute daughters and a skilled plumber with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Ralph has particular expertise in repairing any type of faucet and has helped countless homeowners and businesses solve their plumbing problems with his expert knowledge and attention to detail.