You’re probably asking yourself, “What is a shower diverter valve anyway and does mine need to be replaced?” This article will explain exactly what a diverter valve does and list the different types of valves available. It will then show you how to replace a shower diverter valve.
What is a Shower Diverter?
Generally, when you turn on the water in the shower, it comes out of the tub spout and you have to pull a little handle to make the water come out of the shower head. The part inside the spout that does that is a shower diverter valve. This is the most common type of diverter valve and is commonly called a 3-valve diverter or tub diverter valve. These types of valves can also be a 2-valve or tee diverter (the difference will be explained later). Another type of shower diverter is located on the shower head itself and is usually seen in showers with detachable, hand-held shower heads or in showers with multiple shower heads.
What Does a Shower Diverter Valve Do?
Simply put, a shower diverter valve directs the water flow from the tub spout up into the shower head and eliminates the need for a separate shower stall. Next, we’ll briefly explain the different types of valves.
Types of Shower Diverter Valves
There are many types of shower diverter valves. Here are some of the most common.
3- Valve Shower Diverter:
This type of valve is located between the hot and cold taps on the faucet and turning the handle allows water to be diverted to the shower head after the hot and cold water has mixed to the desired temperature.
2- Valve Shower Diverter:
This type has two L-shaped valves and like the 3-valve diverter, it directs the water flow to the shower head once the desired temperature is set. This type of valve can have either a single dial for adjusting the water temperature or can be installed between the taps on a 2-tap faucet.
Tee Shower Diverter:
This type of valve has only a single valve and is located inside the tub spout itself. Once the water temperature is set, you pull a handle on top of the spout to direct the water flow to the shower head. It is probably the most common type of shower diverter valve and is the easiest to replace because the valve is not integrated with the plumbing pipes inside the walls like the previous types of valves.
Shower head Diverter Valve:
This type of diverter valve is usually only seen in installations with multiple shower heads or with shower heads that feature a detachable handheld shower head. Rather than directing water from the spout to the shower head, these valves direct water between two or more shower heads.