Why Won't My Shower Diverter Work?

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A shower diverter is the mechanism that raises and lowers a small gate to allow water to flow to the shower from the tub spout. When the gate is closed, water is forced up to the showerhead. If water is dripping or leaking from the tub spout while you take a shower, it means the diverter is corroded, worn, blocked or stuck. Replace the spout if the diverter leaks or does not work.

Things You'll Need

  • Pipe wrench
  • Cloth
  • Hex key
  • Replacement spout
  • Caulk

Inspect the shower spout to see how it is attached to the supply pipe. Look on the bottom of the spout near the wall to determine if it is secured with a set screw.

Use a pipe wrench to grasp the spout and turn it counterclockwise to remove it if it is not secured with a set screw. Cover the tub drain with a cloth or stopper to prevent the screw from falling down the drain once it is removed, if the spout is secured with a set screw. Turn the set screw counterclockwise with a hex key to remove it. Twist the spout and pull it away from the wall.

Purchase a spout that is attached to the supply pipe in the same manner as the spout removed from the tub.

Screw the new spout into the supply pipe. If the spout is secured with a set screw, insert the set screw underneath the spout and turn it clockwise to tighten it.

Apply a thin bead of caulk around the base of the spout.

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