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Thread: Shower Diverter not diverting fully

  1. #1
    DIY Member thebigsee's Avatar
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    Default Shower Diverter not diverting fully

    I recently bought a house that has a tub/shower with the 3-stem configuration (hot, cold, diverter). All three stems leaked from the stems, plus when the diverter was switched to shower mode a stream of water would still run out the tub spout (about 10% of the flow) so I replaced the hot and cold stems and rebuilt the diverter (couldn't find an exact replacement). I also replaced all three seats.

    The rebuilt diverter no longer leaked but still allowed water to come out the tub spout while in shower mode. After about a month, it's letting more through. I'm beginning to wonder if the previous owner put in the incorrect diverter valve, but I have no way of knowing what diverter valve would be the correct one!

    Any insight is appreciated -- thanks.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    On some three handle diverters, like the Pric Phister pictured below, the center diverter has a loose washer, and it's the loose washer that makes the seal.

    http://www.terrylove.com/pp_3.htm


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    DIY Member thebigsee's Avatar
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    I think you're right! I don't remember seeing a loose washer on the diverter, and it is a Price Pfister.

    Are the washers nylon I guess?

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    It could be nylon.
    Without the washer, it doesn't really divert.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Yes on pp the diverter washer is usually white nylon. Any hardware store probably has it. It is probably in a "kit". There will be one kit for the hot/cold stems, and a different kit for the diverter. It has the diverter washer, plus the cap gasket is a different size than h/c. The washer itself is probably a 30 cent item, but only a plumbing supplier will carry it as a stand alone item. Around here, most of the hardware stores, especially blue and orange, have long ago ceased carrying much in the way of individual repair parts. Mostly you find "kits"

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    DIY Member thebigsee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Yes on pp the diverter washer is usually white nylon. Any hardware store probably has it. It is probably in a "kit". There will be one kit for the hot/cold stems, and a different kit for the diverter. It has the diverter washer, plus the cap gasket is a different size than h/c. The washer itself is probably a 30 cent item, but only a plumbing supplier will carry it as a stand alone item. Around here, most of the hardware stores, especially blue and orange, have long ago ceased carrying much in the way of individual repair parts. Mostly you find "kits"
    Actually, I found one sold individually at "blue". I put it on, but found that when I screwed the stem back into the wall, I could barely turn the diverter handle anymore (maybe 1/16th of a turn). With the washer off, the handle does almost a half turn.

    So, I figure either the washer needs to be much thinner, or somehow I have the entirely wrong diverter stem installed. It's a pain in the neck, I'm thinking of just living with it until I can afford to have it all removed and replaced with a modern 1-handle valve setup. But any insight is appreciated!

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Make sure when you put the diverter stem back in that you first turn the stem almost fully CCW, in other words backseating the nose against the nylon washer. If you don't do this, the rubber stem washer will bottom out, and it won't go together right.

  8. #8

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    Hi to thebigsee,

    We're sorry to hear about the problem you’re experiencing with our shower diverter. We want to address this issue quickly, but our Consumer Service Team needs some additional information to proceed.

    Please provide:

    * The model number of the product. If you do not know this, please follow these directions: http://www.pfisterfaucets.com/do_it_...lf/how_to.aspx
    * Any other specifics on the issue you’re experiencing
    * A method to contact you (ex. email, phone, etc.)
    * Best time for contact (ex. mornings, evenings, etc.)
    Please send this information to us at pfistersocial@bdhhi.com.

    We apologize for your inconvenience and look forward to resolving this matter as soon as possible.

    Sincerely,

    The Pfister Team

    Pfister is a part of the Stanley Black & Decker Hardware and Home Improvement (BDHHI) Group.

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    DIY Member thebigsee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Make sure when you put the diverter stem back in that you first turn the stem almost fully CCW, in other words backseating the nose against the nylon washer. If you don't do this, the rubber stem washer will bottom out, and it won't go together right.
    Wow, I post a question and Price Pfister itself wants to help. Next, President Obama will be weighing in.

    I tried installing the nylon washer again and backseating the nose against it. I could get it to turn about 1/12 of a turn this time -- got flow to the tub spout, but zero to the shower head. I once again think I have the wrong diverter.

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    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    The nylon washer is loose on the stem. It has a large hole and slides back on forth on the stem. You still use the rubber washer on the end that presses against the little brass thingy that is removed and reinstalled using a seat wrench. That's it, it's a seat. But the loosey goosey washer doesn't come anywhere near that. It is supposed to slide up and down the shaft of the stem.
    Last edited by Terry; 03-25-2011 at 06:34 PM.

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    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsee View Post
    Wow, I post a question and Price Pfister itself wants to help

    once again think I have the wrong diverter.

    Well big brother is indeed watching!

    But yes, we have showed you sketches, and talked about the PP...because it is an extremely common valve. And most of the comments thus far could apply to any of several similar....But how about posting a pic of your handles, and the hot and cold stems..so we can see what brand you actually have.

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