How to Replace a Bathtub Spout Shower Diverter

How to Replace a Bathtub Spout Shower Diverter | Easy 6 Steps

If you wish to save the time of filling your bathtub up and instead just use the shower instead or if you just generally prefer showers over bathing in bathtubs, a shower diverter is just the device for you.

But what can you do if said diverter doesn’t function in a satisfactory manner? Why is it not functioning properly? How will you get to the root of the problem? How to replace a bathtub spout shower diverter?

If you are seeking the answers to the above questions, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will be answering all the questions above and more.

What is a Shower Diverter

What is a Shower Diverter?

Before we move any further into the article, let us first discuss what a shower diverter is and what its functions are. As the name suggests, the job of a shower diverter is to divert water. It is also called a diverter valve as it is basically a valve that diverts the flow of water as soon as it is engaged.

How does a Shower Diverter Work?

Firstly, you have to pull the pin on top of the bathtub spout. In many faucets, it looks more like a button that you have to push.

In some cases, they look more like a valve that needs to be turned in a clockwise direction. Regardless of how it looks, the basic function is the same for all shower diverters.

How does a Shower Diverter Work

After the pin is pulled or the button is pushed, a rubber valve on the inside of the pipe is engaged. Because of the engagement of the mentioned rubber valve, the path of water is changed and diverted in a different direction i.e., towards the shower head.

At the same time, the bathtub spout is sealed off properly. Because of this, the water cannot flow through the bathtub spout, and this pathway of water is completely sealed off.

This is how water is diverted to the shower head instead of the bathtub spout like usual.

Types of Shower Diverter

There are a total of three types of shower diverters, and they all achieve a separate function of their own. These three types of shower diverters are:-

Three valve Shower Diverter

You can find these diverter valves in systems where both hot and cold water faucets exist. These shower diverter valves are generally placed in between two different faucets. One of these faucets is intended for the flow of cold water, whereas the other is intended for the flow of hot water.

The ratio of hot to cold water is determined based on how much you rotate the faucet, but the shower diverter valve has no say in that. It is a valve that exists between the two, and by rotating it, you determine the path of the water i.e., whether it will come out through the bathtub spout or the shower head.

Three valve Shower Diverter

If you rotate the diverter valve in a clockwise direction, then the rubber valve in the pipes is engaged, and the flow of water is diverted towards the shower head.

But if the valve is rotated in an anti-clockwise direction, then the rubber valve disengages, and the water naturally flows through the bathtub spout.

Two valve Shower Diverter

This diverter valve is meant for a more traditional setting compared to the three-valve diverter valve. In this case, there generally aren’t two different faucets for balancing hot and cold water. To engage the flow of water there is only one valve in this type of setting.

But the name says “two valve shower diverter” because the other valve in question is the shower diverter itself. The function is the same as the previously mentioned three-valve diverter. You have to turn the valve to influence the rubber valve in the pipes and thus influence the flow of water.

Like the previous type of shower diverters, the rubber valve is engaged, and the water flow is directed towards the shower head when the valve is rotated in a clockwise direction.

Again, once you rotate it in an anti-clockwise direction, the rubber valve will disengage, and the water will flow naturally through the bathtub spout.

Single Valve Shower Diverter

This diverter is unlike the two diverters we have already discussed so far. For the other two, there was a valve on the outside completely separate to the faucet that engages the water flow or the bathtub spout. They were connected via pipes, but externally they were completely separate.

For single valve diverters that is not the case. Here the diverter is located on top of the bathtub spout. So they are connected both externally and internally. These diverters are different from the previous two, even in shape. While the other two looked like valves, this one looks like a pin.

If you pull the pin, then the rubber valve engages, and the flow of water is diverted to the shower head. The opposite happens if the pin is pushed.

What is a Bathtub Spout Shower Diverter

What is a Bathtub Spout Shower Diverter?

Among the three diverter valves we have learned about, it is obvious that the single valve shower diverter is the bathtub spout shower diverter in question. It looks like a pin and is generally located on top of the bathtub spout and thus earns its name.

How do I know if my Diverter Valve is Faulty?

Before we talk about replacing the diverter, you need to know exactly when there is a flaw with the diverter.
You can take the help of torque wrench for that. You can visit TorqueWrenchCenter to find out more about the process.

Now, when a shower diverter is broken or not working, then it simply will not perform its function properly.
We know that the function of a diverter valve is to divert the flow of water to the showerhead.

How do I know if my Diverter Valve is Faulty

If the diverter cannot perform that function properly, then you will know that it is faulty. In this case, water will come out through both the shower head and the bathtub spout.

This generally happens when the seal in the bathtub spout that was meant to keep out the water from the bathtub spout is broken, and thus waters have a free path through the spout.

How to Replace a Bathtub Spout?

You have to know that you cannot exactly repair a shower diverter once it’s broken. You can, if you call a plumber or any other professional. But that only adds to your hassle. The best solution is to buy a separate bathtub faucet with a functioning seal and diverter pin and replace it.

We will now walk you through the process of replacing the bathtub spout shower diverter.

How to Replace a Bathtub Spout

Step-1: There should be an Allen wrench screw in the bottom end of the bathtub spout. At first, you have to loosen it up with the help of a screwdriver.

Step-2: Then, the bathtub spout will be loosely fitted with the copper tubing in the wall. Using a little force, you can pull it off easily. Sometimes they don’t want to come off easily. You will have to exert more force in situations like these.

Step-3: Now, you have to get the new and improved bathtub spout. Make sure that the spout is of good quality and that it has a functioning seal that can stop the flow of water through the bathtub spout.

How to Replace a Bathtub Spout Shower Diverter
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Step-4: Attach the new and functioning bathtub spout with shower diverter on to the copper tubing. Like the second step, you may need to exert some force here, depending on the area and volume of the rubber spout.

Step-5: Screw the Allen wrench screw back at the bottom of the bathtub spout with the help of a screwdriver to properly tighten it up.

Step-6: Turn on the shower diverter and test and verify whether the shower diverter is working as expected or not.


How much does it cost to replace a shower diverter?

Generally, it costs around 120-150 US Dollars to replace a broken bathtub spout shower diverter with a new and improved one.

Why should I use a shower diverter?

There is no specific reason to use one really. But if you are someone who prefers showering over bathing in the bathtub or if you are in a hurry and couldn’t be bothered to wait for the bathtub to be filled, then a shower diverter can be a real blessing for you.

Why does my shower diverter squeal?

If you can hear a squealing sound every time you turn on the shower diverter, it is most likely because of some broken screws or valves inside the bathtub faucet.


Normally, a shower diverter doesn’t break easily as it really isn’t a high maintenance device. But when it does break, it brings a lot of hassle with it. That is why it is wise to get the diverter fixed as soon as possible.

Get a functioning bathtub spout shower diverter, follow the step-by-step guide that we have provided and get the shower diverter fixed to reap its benefits.

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