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Shower Diverter Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It!

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shower diverter not working

A shower diverter is an essential component in any bathroom, allowing you to switch between your showerhead and bathtub faucet. However, like any mechanical device, it can sometimes experience issues that prevent it from functioning correctly. If you’re facing the frustrating problem of a shower diverter not working, don’t worry! In this post, we will explore the common causes behind a malfunctioning shower diverter and provide you with step-by-step instructions to fix it. By following these simple troubleshooting steps, you can restore the functionality of your shower diverter and enjoy a refreshing shower once again.

Why shower diverter not working

Before diving into the solutions, it’s crucial to identify the exact problem with your shower diverter. There are a few common issues that could be causing the malfunction:

  1. Stuck Diverter: If the diverter handle is difficult to move or doesn’t stay in place, it may be stuck due to mineral deposits or wear and tear.
  2. Diverter Valve Leakage: If you notice water leaking from the diverter valve even when it’s closed, there could be a faulty washer or seal causing the issue.
  3. No Water Diversion: When you engage the diverter, but no water flows from the showerhead or the bathtub faucet, there may be a blockage or clog in the diverter valve or plumbing lines.

Now that you have an idea of what might be causing the problem let’s explore the solutions to fix your malfunctioning shower diverter.

How to Fix A Shower Diverter

  1. Cleaning the Diverter: Start by turning off the water supply to your shower. Remove the diverter handle and faceplate, which are usually held in place by screws. Use a toothbrush or a small wire brush to clean any mineral deposits or debris that may have accumulated around the diverter. Rinse the diverter with water to remove any loosened particles. Reassemble the handle and faceplate, turn on the water supply, and check if the diverter is functioning properly.
  2. Replacing Washers or Seals: If you have identified a leakage issue, you may need to replace the washers or seals in the diverter valve. Turn off the water supply and disassemble the diverter valve according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Inspect the washers and seals for any signs of damage or wear. Replace them with new ones of the same size and type. Reassemble the diverter valve, turn on the water supply, and check for any leaks.
  3. Clearing Blockages: When there is no water diversion, a blockage might be the culprit. Start by turning off the water supply and removing the diverter handle and faceplate. Use a screwdriver or a similar tool to remove the diverter valve. Inspect it for any debris or mineral buildup and clean it thoroughly. Check the plumbing lines for any clogs or obstructions and remove them if possible. Reinstall the diverter valve, handle, and faceplate, turn on the water supply, and test the diverter.
  4. Consider Replacing the Diverter: If none of the above solutions work or if your diverter is severely damaged, you might need to replace it entirely. Purchase a new diverter valve that matches your existing setup. Turn off the water supply and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to remove the old diverter and install the new one. Ensure everything is tightly connected and turn on the water supply to test the new diverter.


A malfunctioning shower diverter can be a frustrating problem, but fortunately, many issues can be resolved without professional assistance. By following the steps outlined above, you can troubleshoot and fix common problems with your shower diverter. Remember to turn off the water supply before starting any repair work and consult the manufacturer’s instructions whenever possible. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with DIY repairs, it’s always a good idea to seek professional help. With a functional shower diverter, you can once again enjoy the convenience of effortlessly switching between your showerhead and bathtub faucet.

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