How to Replace a Shower Diverter Valve

How to Replace a Shower Diverter Valve

How to replace a shower diverter valve

When you turn on your shower and switch the water from the tub to the showerhead, does the water keep pouring out from the tub’s faucet? If so, you probably will need to replace the diverter valve in your shower. If your shower won’t switch from the tub’s spigot to the shower head at all, this also could mean you need to replace the diverter valve. If you’re not sure what a diverter valve is, or what it does in your shower, make sure to take a look at our earlier post about everything you need to know about shower diverter valves.

how a shower diverter valve works button

If you have a home warranty and you think that your shower diverter valve has failed, make sure to call your home warranty company and get a plumber to diagnose the problem for you for only $60. That way, if the diverter valve has failed from normal wear and tear, you can get a repair or replacement for that $60. If you don’t have a home warranty, read on to learn how to repair the diverter valve yourself.

Diverter Valve on a Three-Valve Shower

If you have a three valve shower, your diverter is less easy to get to as it is set back in the wall. Also, there are many different types of three-valve showers, so the instructions for this DIY may not match your shower perfectly. If you find any of the following instructions hard to do or different from your shower, stop attempting the repair and call a plumber. Once again, as a home warranty company, if you do have a plan with us and your diverter valve has failed, call us first. Do not attempt a repair on your own. We will send a trusted and bonded plumber out to your residence to provide a diagnosis and possible repair (depending on the reason for the failure) for only $60. This article is for people who do not have home warranty coverage on their diverter valves in their showers.

1. Pop the handle’s plastic button off with a blunt knife or ruler

Take the Phillips screw driver and  ...

2. Loosen the Screw on the Handle


3. Unscrew and Remove the Handle.

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If the diverter valve is full of cement or grout, you will have to chip the cement or grout out of the wall.

If this is something that you find once removing the handle, do not continue without a plumber. Call a plumber to help you. This particular diverter was cemented in, and so we did not continue the repair.

4. Remove the sleeve over the diverter


You may have to remove the caulking around the diverter sleeve, like this diverter.

5. Remove the diverter using a socket wrench.


Make sure the nylon washer came off with the diverter. You may also have to replace the seat of the diverter stem. If this is the case, call a plumber.

6. Replace the diverter with the new diverter (same make and model as the old diverter, if you can)

Screw it in using the socket wrench.

7. Replace the handle

Diverter Valve on a Spigot

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If your diverter valve is located on your spigot of your tub, then you’ll have a much easier time replacing your diverter valve. Remember, though, as we said before, only start on this project if you do not have a home warranty contract that covers your diverter valve failure. If you do have a home warranty, call them first, and if the diverter valve failed from normal wear and tear, you’ll have to only pay $60 to have a repair or replacement.

First, find the correct spigot to replace your old version.

1. Unscrew the Set Screw


See how the spigot it attached to the wall. If it is attached via a set screw, you’ll have to unscrew it before removing the spigot. A set screw holds onto the copper pipe here:


If there is no set screw, the spigot will have threads on the end of the faucet and it will just be a screwed onto the wall. You can remove it with a plumber’s wrench. Make sure to pay attention to see how long the copper pipe is if you need to thread the spigot onto the water supply pipe.

2. Unscrew Spigot from the Wall

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Be careful! If there is any resistance, stop the repair and call a plumber.

3. Wash Supply Pipe


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Make sure that you clean off any bits of gunk from the supply pipe. Then, put plumbers tape on the end if the pipe is threaded.

4. Replace new spout on the copper pipe

Screw the pipe onto the threads of the water supply pipe.

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Then, if it’s set with a set screw, use the Allen wrench to attach it onto the pipe.

5. Test it and make sure it works!


If getting into the plumbing system of your home seems like a hassle after reading through this post, that’s because it is! If you’re interested in paying $60 for repairs and replacements on your failed systems and appliances, look into getting a home warranty plan. You can get most repairs done for only $60 as long as the failure was caused by normal wear and tear.

download diverter graphics

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