Home>Discussions>BATHROOMS>Water is coming out of bath faucet instead of shower
11 posts / 0 new
Last post
A. Spruce
Re: Water is coming out of bath faucet instead of shower

It sounds like the seal in the diverter valve is bad. Can you post a picture of your unit so that we may describe a repair procedure?

Re: Water is coming out of bath faucet instead of shower

Thanks for your quick reply. I will post a picture when I get home today.

A. Spruce
Re: Water is coming out of bath faucet instead of shower

You're welcome.

If possible, include age and brand with the image, sometimes that can be a factor in the repair process. :)

Re: Water is coming out of bath faucet instead of shower

I am also having somewhat of the same problem. I searched for answers through the web site, and I have replaced the spout/ diverter. I still have no water coming through the shower head. What should I do next?

Re: Water is coming out of bath faucet instead of shower

I also have this problem. Two things to consider: Hard water build up or low water pressure. My bathroom is only 2 years old and I bought top of the line fixtures so I wouldn't have to do it again. I really think that my problem is low water pressure from a water logged water tank.
I also filled a glass with CLR and gave it a little soak just in case there was a calcium build up like everywhere else.
Just some suggestions.

Re: Water is coming out of bath faucet instead of shower


Another thought - If this is a new or newer house...or the shower valves/controls and plumbing to those have recently been replaced.......and PEX tubing was used to supply the showerhead....this *may* be the culprit.

Reason being that PEX requires a specific type of fitting which effectively chokes down the internal diameter for a short distance....and consequently the flow rate. If the flow rate is too choked down, the diverter may not fully "kick in" and this will result in what you decribe. The cure would then be to replace the supply pipe from the bath/shower valve to the shower head with copper tubing/pipe or similar which doesn't require this "choked down" type of coupling.

Re: Water is coming out of bath faucet instead of shower

I am having this problem as well. I have an 1980's era "delta-style" faucet that has one knob that controls both temp and pressure. The button for the diverter is under that knob. I know that the diverter is not making a good seal over the hole when the button is pushed in but not sure why. If I take the diverter off and put my finger over the hole while the water is on it will divert 100% of the water from the tub. I put duct tape around the plastic diverter piece just to see what would happen and it worked perfectly until the suction pulled the duct tape out through the tub spout.

any thoughts? i can post a picture of the diverter area if it would be helpful. I am pretty desperate to get this fixed because we are wasting so much water with every shower, not to mention the loss of pressure coming out of the shower head.

Re: Water is coming out of bath faucet instead of shower

I'm having the same sort of diverter issues. Putting a new faucet/shower in an old clawfoot tub. When the diverter is pulled for the shower, I get water out of the holes in the wall of the tub. Did not realize that water, when diverted, went into the body of the faucet, not just up the shower riser. Also low pressure seems to be causing issues. Updating a 1913 home. Any thoughts? Thank you......

Re: Water is coming out of bath faucet instead of shower

Some what similar, when I turn on the shower, most of the hot water comes out between the hot water faucet stem. Can some one guide on what needs to be replaced; I am kind of a novice with home improvement.

Thanks in advance

One Answer

Hi, so I just had this problem and went through the TOH forums and couldn't find an answer. I figured it out, but my answer won't work for everyone because not everyone has my type of bath faucet.

My bathtub fixture is 3 pieces, a hot valve, a cold valve, and a "diverter" or water faucet between the two. The diverter has a stem on top of it that, when you pull up on it, diverts the water from the bath to the shower head. Any time I pulled up on the stem, about half the water would come out of the bathtub spout and half would go to the shower head. Here's what I did:

1. Removed the "diverter". For my kind the whole thing unscrewed, others may find a small set screw or allen head usually on the underside of the faucet near the wall that needs to be removed. Also, there was silicone caulking around the seam between the tile and the fixture that I had to remove.

2. After I had the diverter off, I looked at the back and noticed there was a white, plastic insert that actually had the threading that attached to pipe that came out of the wall. I proceeded to yank this insert out of the metal casing using a channel lock. It did some damage to the insert because I had to pull pretty hard to get it out, and I was using a metal channel lock.

3. When I got the plastic insert out, I inspected the stem that pulls up to divert the water, and found that it was pulling a small valve that had a rubber washer which was broken. So rather than having a tight seal, the water was rushing through the break in the rubber washer. Off to the hardware store...

4. When I got to the hardware store, I couldn't find a replacement washer, but found I could buy a whole new diverter for about $20, and that at a local True Value so you know it's going to be cheaper at Home Depot. Then I took it home and screwed the new on, and re-caulked around the base using silicone caulk.

I'm sure if I had hunted hard enough I could have found a replacement rubber washer, but for me just buying a new fixture made more sense. I've attached a photo of what my fixture looks like, if you'd like more detailed photos of the parts inside just let me know! Hope this helps.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.