Fix a Tub Diverter Valve

What You'll Need
Wrench or pliers

If you are experiencing leaking around your bathtub without any idea where it comes from, then the answer might be to look at your tub diverter valve. While this is a handy little device that saves you the problem of having to choose between a bath and a shower, the diverter tube can often begin to leak after a period of use. As they have one outlet for the bath, and another for a shower or sink, it is clear that pressure during diversion will build up over time and displace the valve in the pipe. However, fixing a diverter valve is a simple task that even a home improvement beginner can manage. Follow a few simple steps to get the job done in around an hour.

Step 1 - Removing the Diverter

Before removing the diverter valve, make sure that the water is turned off at the main. Remove all of the hardware which surrounds the diverter, including the switch for the valve itself, and any plates which are covering or supporting the diverter valve. You should use the screwdriver to dig out and loosen all of the parts. Once the knob which controls the outlets has been removed, you can reach in and undo the screws which hold the diverter valve in place. These will usually look like brass nuts on spikes. If you open the valve on the diverter, whatever water is in the system should run into the valve, and around the nuts.

Step 2 - Tighten the Nuts

With the water around the nuts, you should be able to see which of the stems is leaking. Tighten the nut until water stops flowing. If the valve persists in leaking, then you should tighten every nut you can see until the leak stops. If this does not work, then you will need to replace the nuts on stems with some new ones, and possibly replace the washers underneath as well. Once these nuts are tightened or replaced, you should find that the water will run through to the shower or tub without leaking. You should also take the opportunity to check that the valve is tightly fitted against the pipe, as there can sometimes be a gap which causes water to leak from that point, rather than from the valve itself.

Step 3 - Replacing the Hardware

Once you have stopped the leaking, then you should replace the hardware which you removed earlier back onto the valve. The knob should be fitted last of all, so that you can control where the water goes. Once these things have all been replaced, you should test the water to make sure that there is no leakage, and that you can have either a bath or a shower without water running from the valve. It is important to test both options, as sometimes the diverter valve can be pushed out of place during the use of one item, but not the other. Once you are satisfied, then you can continue using the valve as usual.