There are plenty of issues you’ve to face and solve while maintaining a house. Leaking is one of them. Among different household appliances, faucets, pipelines, and water tanks are likely to be leaking.
It is not surprising if any leaking occurs inside the bathroom. Shower diverter leaking behind wall is one of the most concerning issues of the washroom.
Like other shower parts, diverters are also likely to detroit. If there are too many sediments and continuous decay of several parts inside the shower, then it may stop the diverter from functioning.
That is to say, a shower diverter leaking behind the wall will cause lasting damage to your walls and a costly water bill.
Fortunately, the shower diverter leaking is quite easy to fix. But the real hazard happens when the leakage is not visible. Sometimes, you don’t even realize there is leakage till you notice it.
To help you out of this problem we are going to describe the major cause and easy fixing steps of shower diverter leaking.
Stay with us to fix the leakage yourself and prevent more damage from happening.
What Is a Shower Diverter & How Does It Work?
At first, you have to know what a shower diverter is. A shower diverter is a sort of valve. Like other water valves, it also regulates the water flow.
You can find them in the connections of the fixtures for the bathtub faucet and the shower. The main purpose of the diverter is to divert the water flow in the right direction.
Usually, the diverter valve contains two parts to redirect the main water source in two distinct directions. Using a diverter we can easily get water flow in the showerhead and tub without installing a new water line.
Types Of Shower Diverters:
There are two types of shower diverters frequently used in bathrooms:
- Diverter Valves:
Diverter valves use valves to control the water in the right way. They are connected either together with the three-handle shower collection or separately on top of other valves that manage water flow. It operates utilizing water pressure. When the shower is turned on, the diverter valve closes and prevents the water from exiting via the faucet. The water pressure within the pipeline will push the water up so it can go into the showerhead. If you turn on the bathtub faucet, the diverter valve opens up and lets the water drain through the faucet.
- Plate Diverters:
The other type of shower diverter is a plate diverter. Plate diverters have the same purpose as diverter valves, but they do things differently. Instead of using valves, it uses a plate to control the water flow. If the shower is turned on, the plate blocks the water from coming out through the tub spout. Blocking the route with the plate, the increasing pressure makes the water drain through the showerhead. Plate diverters are usually placed on the shower valve/tub spout. To work correctly, these diverters also depend on springs or water pressure.
Why Is the Shower Diverter Leaking Behind Wall?
Several possible reasons cause shower diverter leaking. Here we’ve noted down the possible reasons you should watch out for.
- The Valve is Damaged:
A damaged valve is one of the most major causes of diverter leaking. The diverter valve is usually built-in metal. After long use, the conjunctions of the valve and pipelines become loose which causes water leakage. You can find the tub diverter leaking when the shower is turned on. The valve also can be broken after a certain time. It occurs due to the powerful force of water or the low-quality manufacture of the valve.
- Wear and Tear at any spot:
Shower diverters are one the most active things inside your house. They work several times a day non-stop. It’s just a matter of time for them to yield to age. Continuous exposure to water into the mix causes lasting degeneration. Unfortunately, this problem is unavoidable, though it shouldn’t arise after many years since the first installation of the shower.
- Sediments for Poor Water Quality:
If hard water flows through your pipes, the diverter will capture little sediments and minerals. Early, it doesn’t create an issue. After a certain time, the sediment buildup can start plugging up the shower diverter. As a result, the water loses its clear route to the showerhead. When the shower is on, you may only get a limited flow of water while the faucet is leaking concurrently.
- Stuck Tub Spout:
Sometimes, your shower diverter may have nothing to do with destroying itself. But the tub spout can be a reason for this problem. The tub spout is prone to get stuck near the water pipeline. Once it gets stuck there, the diverter won’t function properly and will leak all over the place.
How to Identify a Shower Diverter Leakage?
If you can identify the leakage at an accurate time, you can prevent your wall from being damaged by drywall. But earlier noticing can minimize the damage, and you will only have to repair the diverter.
To detect a shower diverter leakage you only have to turn on your shower. If there is water still dropping through the bathtub faucet even though it’s shut, the diverter is leaking. That’s the most obvious indication of a problem with the shower diverter.
Next, To confirm you should inspect the valve back the wall. It can be done in two ways. The first one is, removing the bolts behind the handle and verifying if there is an adequate place. And the second one is cutting the drywall. Cutting an inspection wall is more useful since you have to do it later to repair it. Cut the drywall and find out the leakage. There might be a small hole in the diverter.
Additionally, there are other signs you have to be careful of such as a weak or irregular stream from the shower. The abnormal stream of hot water could also be a symptom of the problem.
Take a look at the fixing steps below to get rid of the issue.
How to Fix a Shower Diverter Leaking Behind the Wall?
There are two possible ways to fix a shower diverter leaking behind the wall. The first way is to replace the cartridge. And the second way is replacing the entire diverter.
To decide which way to follow, you have to check what type of leakage you are having. If the water leakage is generated only by the diverter stem, you can directly replace the cartridge. Buy the perfect cartridge for the shower diverter from the market and place it. Following the correct guideline, you could do it yourself.
How to Replace a Cartridge?
To replace the cartridge, follow the following steps-
- Before starting, turn off the waterline and remove the handle using a hex wrench.
- Remove the screws securing the escutcheon (the plane plate around the handle) and slide out the escutcheon.
- With a small screwdriver remove the retaining clip that keeps the cartridge in place.
- Remove cartridge using piler or Cartridge-pulling wrench. Remind the cartridge’s orientation while removing it so that you can put it back in the same style.
- If you find any mineral deposits on the cartridge, clean it by soaking it in vinegar. Replace the O-rings and any other old pieces. Before replacing, rub the O-rings with a thin coat of Silicone grease.
- Enter the new or fixed cartridge into the faucet. Slip in the retaining clip and set the handle and escutcheon.
But, if the diverter is broken, you have to replace the complete diverter from the shower line. For this, take a look at these steps.
How to Replace a Shower Diverter?
To replace the shower diverter, follow the following steps-
- Shut the water supply from the central water supply line for the faucet.
- Take out the little cap on the shower handle to reach the screw. You can find the cap in a threaded form that can be opened by twisting anticlockwise.
- Separate the screws with a durable screwdriver.
- With a long Socket wrench, bring out the diverter.
- Place a new diverter there and tighten up using the wrench.
- Ensure the diverter in the right place, set the shower handle on the place, and bind up the screws.
- Lastly, Open the waterline and there won’t be any shower diverter leakage behind the wall.
If you own a house, you have some responsibility to maintain it properly. As your home gets older, these responsibilities are elevated. You may not have even realized just how much work you need to do when you purchase/build it.
Shower diverter leaking behind the wall is a very familiar household issue, and with the right tools, you can fix it yourself. Simply follow the steps we have described above. But if you face any difficulties, we recommend you not to take the risk of doing it yourself and call in a plumber to fix everything correctly.