Shower Diverter Question

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Diane Lane, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    The shower diverters in this house need to be replaced, and apparently that is going to fall to me. I've looked around, and it doesn't appear to be too difficult of a process. I see there are a few different types, and mine (at least the one up here, I haven't examined the one downstairs) is the type with the set screw on the bottom, at the end up against the tile. Since I'm on a budget, I'll just get something cheap to replace it, but I was looking around and saw mention of measurements, so I wondered if there's something I'm missing. Do I need to be concerned with spout length or some other measurements?
     
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  2. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    @Diane Lane, I would think that some measurement is involved but I would see if I could find a manufacturer name and check it out online or even check out YouTube for a video. I did for our tub trip lever which wasn't working from day one. Funny how you forget to check for things like that when you're buying a house, especially an old house.

    Anyway, there is always a standard plumbing fixture available. The only thing that would concern me is if it would leave unsightly marks since the location is near the tile.
     
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  3. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Diane Lane "Diverters". New term for me. Are these what I call "shower heads"? If so, they tend to get sort of clogged, depending on the quality of the water. Most are threaded onto the curved pipe coming out of the wall. Unscrew the whole head, diverter if we're on the same station, try simply soaking it in vinegar overnight. If you want to tackle the job, most can be disassembled and cleaned. A series of pierced discs and fine screens are to be found in most modern ones. All sorts of cargo get caught up in them. If opened up, wash in running water to get rid of any debris; there may be tiny flakes of alkali, tiny stones, or tiny things unidentifiable, clinging to the screens.

    If you are in an area having high alkali content, as we are, alkali, which shows up as white, hard deposits, is dissolved by acid, as in vinegar. Soak everything in it overnight. If not sure, your supplier of water must divulge content of the stuff they're piping to you. Give them a call. They may even service things like diverters. Frank
     
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  4. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    @Frank Sanoica, the 'diverter' is the little metal pull that routes the water from going to the tub to the shower, hence the term 'diverter'. I had to google the word myself.
     
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  5. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I'll have to look and see if I can find a brand name. The house was built around 1982, and much of the hardware hasn't been replaced. I have swapped out the shower heads for better ones. I did that when I first moved in, but they aren't being used for the most part, because the diverters are crappy, so I tend to mostly take baths. I'm fine with baths most days, but occasionally, it would be nice to be able to take a shower, which is why I'm looking into replacing at least one of the diverters. When I reached up on the one up here, which would be the first one I'd work on, I couldn't find the set screw, but I did feel something like silicone that moved around. I'll have to try to see what I can find out with a flashlight, but not until my back eases up a bit. I'll have to contort to see up there, and I can't do that right now.
     
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  6. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Diane Lane \RE: your OP. If your diverters are located in a spout, as ours are, usually the spout may b e removed by unscrewing the entire thing, which will leave a short bit of threaded pipe protruding from the wall or enclosure, depending on if it is a built-in thing. The whole spout, containing the diverter, would then be taken to an appropriate plumbing supply, we use Lower's or Home Depot, to compare to their offerings, for exactness of replacement. The name of the fixture maker would help, too, most have it right where we see it everyday, but never pay any attention to it.

    Hope this helps! Frank
     
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  7. Chris Ladewig

    Chris Ladewig Well-Known Member
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    I don't think I've ever heard of just replacing the diverter. Frank is right you unscrew the whole spout and replace it.
     
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  8. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    thanks, @Frank Sanoica of course nothing in this house as far as hardware is branded. I suppose I will have to do that, wait until I will be near a hardware store, and remove the spout and take it with me. I was hoping to avoid that, and just buy one on eBay or another low cost site. It's a drive to any hardware store, and I try not to use the car much until I can get some work done, so I was hoping to find out if there was some measurement i needed to take before ordering the part online.
     
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  9. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Diane Lane All of the spouts I have seen had a 1/2-inch female, NPS (National Pipe System) thread in their back, which screws onto the 1/2-inch male threaded stub or nipple protruding from the wall or side of the tub. You might try going on Ebay to see if such fitment size info is listed for new spouts, as a way of avoiding driving anywhere. Of course, having the spout "in-hand" to compare with the plumbing dep't's offering is about the best way to ensure proper fit. Frank
     
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