View Full Version : Shower Diverter Issue

12-08-2005, 02:32 PM
I am doing some repairs to a newly and cosmetically remodeled home. This house is built approd 1965, so I know the house's plumbing dates back to then and any repairs most likely would be pre-80's.

The problem I am having, is when I turn the shower off (single handle mixer with a diverter in the tub's downspout) water flows from the shower -and- the tub both. I figured the diverter would be the cause so I bought a new tob spout with built in diverter (the style that has the gate at the front end of the spout and you pull the little knob up to divert.) This did not solve the problem. Staring at it didn't cure it either. :eek:

As I stated, the faucet style is a single handle faucet, mfg is unknown as the set is rather aged, I do not yet know if it is the original set (I don't believe they had single handle mixers dating back to the 60's?.)

The only possibility after replacing the tubd downspout with a new one that has a better seal is 1) There is not enough water pressure from the well to the tub/faucet, as when -any- water use occurs (tub, toilet, sink, spigot, ect) the punp turns on, then off and continues into a constant cycling spree for some time, or, 2) It states 4 inches of copper tubing should extend past the tile, which in this application, only about 2 inches extends out, but the pipe does extend far enough into the downspout to fit past the o-ring inside the downspout's shaft. I don't think it's the latter, for as i stated, the o-ring is making a well enough seal and there is no water leak anywhere else.

I saw another thread that spoke of a valve being installed upside down, can that be done with a single handle mixer/faucet?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Mike Swearingen
12-08-2005, 05:01 PM
If your well pump is cycling, that's your problem that's causing the low water pressure that's causing your other problems. You need to address that, and it should solve the other problems.
Pump cycling could be for any number of reasons.
First thing to check is the pressure tank.
Turn the pump off, drain the water pressure off, and check the air valve on the pressure tank with a tire gauge. It should be two psi below your pump cut-on pressure (18 for 20 psi cut-on? 28 for 30 psi?). Your pump should be 20-40, 30-50 cut-on/cut-off psi, etc.
If it's too low, air it up with a bicycle pump or portable air tank or compressor.
If it doesn't hold that pressure, the bladder is shot and you need a new pressure tank.
If THAT isn't it, come back and we'll go to Plan B.
Good luck!

12-12-2005, 06:41 PM
Went to the air/water tank, I opened the water valve at the bottom, and the plug at the side (the plug at the very top was corroded solid). When the tank nearly drained, I plugged it and then closes the valve, rehit the breaker for the punp and let it run. The water system seems to do better now with more water pressure. I think with the pump being original, and possibly the tank (it is an old galvanized tank, with -no- air valve/schraeder valve for adding air) it was just way over due to be drained and the air resupplied.

Onto the shower, I am still having the same problem as I had before. I turn the single handle mixer/handle on, and get water from the shower head and tub spout at the same time, irregardless of how much water flows through it. I wonder if it is something like the valve cartridge, that is just goobered up to the point it just needs replacing, or...? At this point, I have better water pressure, but still, I have a shower diverter problem that is just a nuicance. Any ideas or thoughts?

Mike Swearingen
12-12-2005, 10:27 PM
What brand of faucet do you have?
You probably need to replace the cartridge, if it's the cartridge type.

12-13-2005, 04:06 AM
If your water is hard I have seen where the tub spout/diverter gets somewhat cloged and the actuator on the diverter doesn't open all the way causing enough restriction to back the water up to and out the shower head. Try replacing the spout / diverter, this is inexpensive.

Yes the valve might be upside down. They had 1 handle valves back in the 50s i have worked on Speakman valves that old.

12-13-2005, 09:58 AM
You may have good water pressure, but you still need volume to divert the water.

I have always understood that you never remove the top plug in a galv. pressure tank.

You can blow out and recharge a tank with a hose connected to a compresser and to the tank's drain valve.

There were Delta's in the 40's....I've seen Speakmans and have seen Nideckens (spelling ?) with a china escutcheon before Kohler got it's name on it...

12-15-2005, 05:47 PM
I spoke to someone at Delta, they said the problem would not be in the mixer or cartridge, since the problem happens after the water leaves the cartridge, and it would likely be a build up of, something, in the pipe leading to the tub spout, I will check this out and post my findings. They also said the problem is called 'shower rise'. :)

Here is what they said..."The problem you are referring to is called shower rise. Is this a new faucet? This usually occurs in new installations. If this is something that has started over time, then you most likely have some type of debris slowing down the water to the tub spout. The cartridge would NOT be the cause of shower rise as the problem occurs after it exits the valve."


12-15-2005, 06:53 PM
If the plumbing in the tub/shower uses galvanized pipe, it could very well be your problem...as it ages, it corrodes from the inside, filling up with rust which restricts the flow significantly. Is it copper or galvanized?