Need help trying to remove a shower diverter

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Old 04-04-17, 12:16 PM
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Need help trying to remove a shower diverter

I'm trying to repair my elderly parent's shower. It's a traditional 3-knob design from the 50-60's era. The diverter is shot: if you turn the knob halfway water comes pouring out of the handle and if you turn it all the way (to 'shower' mode) it basically cuts the water off completely (nothing comes out of anywhere except a light dribble from the shower head).

I took out the set screw to remove the handle but can't for the life of me figure out what to do from there. The interior is threaded and there's some kind of nut thing in there, but nothing moves when I apply pressure or torque, all I can do it turn the valve stem that's poking out.

Can anyone help? Be forewarned that the house was originally built on the cheap and many things were NOT done to code, and my father is one of those "Mr.FixIt" types who solves every problem with spackle and duct tape, so there are no guarantees that the current setup makes any sense.


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Old 04-04-17, 12:30 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

The outer trim escutcheons will unscrew. You will have to cut through the old caulking sealing them to the wall and then they should unscrew from the outside of the valve and diverter. They are probably going to be stuck pretty well and giving them a few sprays with white vinegar allowed to soak awhile should help dissolve the deposits. A spray of PBblaster on the inside threads may help as well.

Once you have the trims off, you should be able to get enough torque on the nuts holding the stems in place to remove them. Turn the water off and be prepared (at least mentally) to have to replace the whole shower valve and diverter assembly if something breaks or you can't get replacement parts.

Good luck with your project!
 
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Old 04-04-17, 01:29 PM
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OK thanks, I was wondering about the caulking.

"Turning the water off" is something of an issue though: the main cutoff to the house has not been touched in many decades and is in poor shape. My father has a vague memory of it almost breaking the last time anyone messed with it. Can you think of any way around this? I was hoping that just keeping the hot/cold knobs off would let me mess with the diverter safely.
 
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Old 04-04-17, 03:26 PM
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If you are only going to fuss with the diverter, then you should be ok to just turn the hot and cold valves off. There shouldn't be any water flowing to the diverter in that case.

If you decide to work on the hot and/or cold valves, that would be a different story.
 
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