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Can you repair the diverter on a tub spout

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  • Can you repair the diverter on a tub spout

    One of my tub spouts leaks a fair bit of water in shower mode. It is only about 2 years old but seemed to leak water from the beginning. Having said that I think all spouts I've seen seem to leak some water when in shower mode. Should there be any water at all from a new spout when showering? Also can a leaking diverter be fixed without replacing the entire spout?

  • #2
    My tub and shower valve leaks as well but I'm planning on replaceing it. I have a 3 valve layout with the middle valve control the direction of the flow. It's probably just crusty from mineral deposits but I wont know unless I take it apart. I replaced the hot and cold water valves about 3 years ago and it's pretty straightforward.

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    • PLUMBER RICK
      PLUMBER RICK commented
      Editing a comment
      sounds like it could be a Price Pfister valve. The diverter uses a plastic washer that has probably split or is now missing. it's located between the stem and the brass body of the stem when they meet. Post a photo of your valve trim and I can try to id the valve brand

      Rick.

    • Mightyservant
      Mightyservant commented
      Editing a comment
      Its Newport brass about 25 year old tub and shower set, I'm not too worried about it although. I need to renovate the bathroom and remove the tub and change the valves then

  • #3
    It can be fixed on basic models, parts are available at HD. Yes it is normal for water to trickle out, it's not made to completely shut off it's just a guillotine.

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    • #4
      It is usually easier just to replace the spout.

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      • #5
        If it's the typical $7.00 front lift spout, throw it out. the pot metal spout rots and doesn't allow the rubber cup washer to properly seal. You can try to lift the spout diverter first then turn on the water to see if that helps.

        Post a photo of the spout to verify the design.

        Rick.
        phoebe it is

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        • #6
          This spout came as part of a Kohler shower package that I bought when I remodeled this bathroom. This included the shower valve assembly and trim as well as the showerhead. All of the remodel including the plumbing, tub install and tilework you see in the attached photo was done by me.

          It has been leaking since the beginning but based on what people are saying I'm not clear if this is a normal level of leaking. To be honest I think all tub spouts that have been in showers I have used do leak probably to this level so not sure if I'm chasing a non-existent problem.

          That said why can the people who design this stuff come up with a leak free design?

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          • PLUMBER RICK
            PLUMBER RICK commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, Kohler put their name on a $7.00 tub spout. They are pot metal and the diverter relies on a rubber cup washer sealing against the rotting pot metal on the front of the spout finish. All that holds it in are the 2 plastic clips / fingers around the lift rod.

            Try lifting the pull spout prior to turning on the water. if it's better, great. If noting better, buy another cheap spout so that the stub length is identical.

            Rick.

          • blue_can
            blue_can commented
            Editing a comment
            Hey Rick - yes lifting it before starting the water appears to improve it a little - not by much - but it does seem to help. I guess I will do it that way for now until things get worse and then replace.

            Are there better models/brands that leak less and last longer or are they all the same?

        • #7
          I concur the spout is worth 13$ in CAD, looks very basic and cheap. Replace or buy the repair parts for 9$.

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          • #8
            Save water. Take a bath with a friend.
            Off to Mexico soon. This is what awaits.

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            • Pro Service
              Pro Service commented
              Editing a comment
              Your wife?

              Before you go we would require your help on PZ in the private lounge. K-3800 thread

            • fixitright
              fixitright commented
              Editing a comment
              Destination girl. One of the many things good about Mexico.

              I've told you all lots of the 3800

          • #9
            I think i have the same cheap tub spout and it always leaks water in shower mode. I think I will either repair or replace it as suggested in this thread.
            Water Damage Pro water damage restoration Preserves, Recovers and Restores property back to normal.

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            • #10
              OK so the diverter finally died today. The leak was getting substantially worse and finally the stem would not stay up.

              I purchased the generic diverter repair kit and it seemed like the OE diverter was an exact fit to the repair kit. Just took a few mins to replace. Works fine now with the little bit of water dripping as one would expect from a diverter.

              When I examined the old diverter and seal I could not see much degradation of the seal. I looked inside the spout and again could not see much mineral buildup that could have been causing the issue.

              One odd thing I noticed is that the old diverter and the new one came with a small seal on the stem. It looks like it is designed to seal from the inside when the stem is lifted. However in the original diverter the seal was installed between the stem and the spout on the outside. I could not see how that could even work since it was not sealing anything either in the up or down position.

              For the new install I have placed the seal on the inside of the spout body. I wonder if the lack of the seal was causing the excessive leakage. From what I recall I thought the leak always seemed excessive when new.

              Comment


              • #11
                That little o-ring is used to stop the metal on metal bang when lifting or dropping the diverter knob.

                Your spout has several flaws in the future. The rubber cup washer turns hard and the pot metal plated spout will Pit.

                But no worries. $7.00 later and you have a new spout for the next few years.

                Buying a higher quality diverter spout makes little sense. Not only the cost of it, but you will need to adjust the stub out. Since it only takes a minute to swap same for same, stick with the cheap spout or spend the money on a quality spout.

                Yes, these spouts are very common with track work, and diy center valves.

                Rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #12
                  Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                  That little o-ring is used to stop the metal on metal bang when lifting or dropping the diverter knob.

                  Your spout has several flaws in the future. The rubber cup washer turns hard and the pot metal plated spout will Pit.

                  But no worries. $7.00 later and you have a new spout for the next few years.

                  Buying a higher quality diverter spout makes little sense. Not only the cost of it, but you will need to adjust the stub out. Since it only takes a minute to swap same for same, stick with the cheap spout or spend the money on a quality spout.

                  Yes, these spouts are very common with track work, and diy center valves.

                  Rick.
                  Ah ok - I guess I should have left that seal on the outside. Does not seem to have affected operation. Of course nothing about what to do with it on the instructions.

                  Yes the old seal was quite hard so that was probably the reason. I guess I can look forward to replacing it in another 2 - 3 years. But your are correct - it's easy to replace the spout or the diverter if necessary.

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