How to Repair a Leaky Shower Diverter Valve

  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
New Set of Nuts
What You'll Need
New Set of Nuts

A shower diverter valve gives you the ability to have a shower head and a handheld shower coming out from the same pipe. You may also have two shower heads that can be used from the diverter valve. The valve is responsible for divering the location of the water from either the shower head or the handheld shower, based on which way you move and locate the lever. You can switch the water back and forth between the two parts. In addition, some units give you the ability to share the water between the shower head and the handheld unit. Sometimes the diverter valve leaks and needs to be fixed. Here is how you go about this fix.

Step 1 - Remove the Knob and Face Plate

When you look straight at your diverter, you will see that it is covered with a face plate and a knob. Remove both the face plate and the knob. Use a screwdriver and a wrench to remove both of these pieces. You now should see the diverter. It is positioned directly behind the knob or the lever.

Step 2 - Remove the Nuts

Looking at the stem of the diverter you should see two nuts. The nuts are usually brass in color. The nuts are also different sizes, because they need to accommodate the different sized diverters. Remove the nuts and set them aside for safe keeping.

Step 3 - Open the Valve

The diverter will have a valve. Open it. Water will slowly come out and moisten the area around the diverter once you have done this.

Step 4 - Add New Nuts or Re-Attach Old Nuts

You have two options here. You can either reattach the original nuts or replace them. If there is no signs of corrosion, you should be just fine with using the old nuts. Tighten the existing nuts completely on the stem until the water stops leaking from the valve and stem area. Tighten all of the nuts until the leaking has stopped.

If the existing nuts don't correct the problem when tightened, you will need to replace them at this time.

Step 5 - Replace the Face Plate and Knob

Once you've stopped the leaking, put the face plate and knob back in place over the diverter.

Step 6 - Test Repairs

Test your repairs thoroughly to check for any additional signs of leaking.

Step 7 - Changing the Spout

When all else fails and you see that there are still leaks in the shower diverter, you will need to change the spout and replace it with a new one. Generally the spout will be threaded onto the supply pipe. Using a pipe wrench, take the spout off by turning counterclockwise.

Take the old spout to the local home improvement center and purchase a new unit. Replace the old spout with the new one and test your leaky shower problem. Between both repairs, the leaks should stop completely.