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Difference Between Diverter And Mixer: Are They The Same Thing

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difference between diverter and mixer

In the world of plumbing fixtures, two terms often cause confusion: diverter and mixer faucets. Are they interchangeable? Are they the same thing with different names? To demystify these terms and help you make informed decisions for your plumbing needs, let’s delve into the intricacies of diverter and mixer faucets.

Understanding Diverter Faucets

Diverter faucets are commonly found in shower systems and tubs with a showerhead. Their primary function is to direct water flow between different outlets. For instance, in a shower setup, a diverter faucet allows you to switch between the showerhead, handheld shower, or tub spout. This functionality is especially useful for households with diverse preferences or specific bathing requirements.

Diverter faucets typically feature a knob or lever that you can adjust to select the desired outlet. When you turn the knob, the diverter mechanism inside the faucet redirects water flow accordingly. Some diverter faucets may be built into the tub spout itself, while others are separate fixtures mounted on the wall or integrated into the shower valve.

One common type of diverter faucet is the three-way diverter, which enables you to switch between two showerheads or between a showerhead and a tub spout. There are also more complex diverter systems designed for elaborate shower setups with multiple outlets, such as rain showerheads, body jets, and hand showers.

Exploring Mixer Faucets

Mixer faucets, on the other hand, are designed to control the temperature and flow rate of water from a single outlet. Unlike diverter faucets, which redirect water between different outlets, mixer faucets blend hot and cold water to deliver a desired temperature through a single spout.

Mixer faucets come in various configurations, including single-handle and dual-handle models. Single-handle mixers feature a lever or knob that you can adjust to regulate both temperature and flow with a single motion. Dual-handle mixers, as the name suggests, have separate handles for hot and cold water, allowing for more precise temperature control.

In addition to their functionality, mixer faucets are valued for their sleek and minimalist designs, making them popular choices for modern bathrooms and kitchens. They offer convenience and efficiency by eliminating the need for separate hot and cold taps, streamlining the user experience.

Distinguishing Between Diverter and Mixer Faucets

While diverter and mixer faucets serve distinct purposes, there may be instances where their functionalities overlap. For example, some shower systems incorporate both diverter and mixer features to provide comprehensive control over water flow and temperature.

In such cases, a diverter valve directs water to different outlets, while a mixer valve regulates the temperature of the water flowing through those outlets. This integrated approach allows users to customize their shower experience by selecting the desired combination of showerheads, body sprays, and hand showers while maintaining consistent water temperature.

It’s essential to recognize that while diverter and mixer faucets have distinct functions, they often work in tandem within plumbing systems to deliver optimal performance and user convenience.

Choosing the Right Faucet for Your Needs

When selecting faucets for your home, consider your specific requirements and preferences. If you prioritize versatility and flexibility in your shower or tub setup, a diverter faucet may be the ideal choice, allowing you to switch between different outlets with ease.

On the other hand, if simplicity and temperature control are your priorities, a mixer faucet offers a streamlined solution for delivering consistent water temperature through a single spout. Additionally, factor in considerations such as style, durability, and compatibility with your existing plumbing infrastructure when making your decision.

Ultimately, whether you opt for a diverter faucet, a mixer faucet, or a combination of both depends on your unique needs and the functionality you desire in your plumbing fixtures.


In summary, diverter and mixer faucets are distinct plumbing fixtures designed to serve different purposes. Diverter faucets enable users to redirect water flow between multiple outlets, while mixer faucets regulate the temperature and flow rate of water from a single outlet.

While these terms may be used interchangeably in casual conversation, understanding their differences is crucial when selecting the right fixtures for your home. By considering factors such as functionality, design, and compatibility, you can make informed decisions that enhance both the aesthetics and functionality of your plumbing systems.

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