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Thread: 3 Handle Shower diverter no longer working correctly

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Delsin's Avatar
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    Default 3 Handle Shower diverter no longer working correctly

    Hi,

    I came across this forum through Google but I was unable to find a thread pertaining to my specific issue and I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

    I have a three handle shower set up in my bathroom that's about 3 years old now. I had the whole thing set up by a plumber brand new when I bought this house. It always worked great until just recently. When you turn the middle handle half way, that used to stop the water completely. Up is shower and down is bath faucet, obviously.

    As of late, when I run the shower I get a stream of water from the faucet and when I run the faucet, low pressure water comes out of the shower head. I'm assuming there's something wrong with the diverter in the middle handle.

    Obviously, I'm not a plumber and I'm just picking this stuff up as I go here. I'm a first time home owner and I plan to fix this issue myself unless it's something I can't. Any idea what the issue could be? I don't know if it's possible, but could the trap in the tub itself be a part of this problem? In the tub itself there is a lever to plug the drain. If you flip it up the water is stopped, if you flip it down the water is drained freely. A few weeks ago water was draining very slowly and my kid told me he was flipping that lever up and down a bunch while taking a bath. So I unscrewed the two screws holding the lever and then tightened them again and the water drained freely. This is right around when I started having problems with the diverter. Could the issues be related?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    IF your kid was also flipping the diverter back and forth, he may have worn one of the seals, so yes, they could be related. Other than that, the parts are unrelated. If this is what I think it is, done 3-years ago, it would never have passed code. This assumes (but may not be correct) that the other two knobs are for hot and cold. It would be a rare installation of this type that was actually fed through a federally mandated anti-scald valve. This requirement has been in effect for many years now. They may still sell them, but that doesn't actually mean they are legal to install! Regardless, you may need to take the stem of the diverter out, and get a replacement. If you post a picture of the whole thing, then another with it removed, someone may be able to help you with the part you need.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Delsin's Avatar
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    Hi jadnashua,

    Thank you for your reply. I'm not sure what you mean by the shower not being code, it was just a kit I bought at Home Depot. I believe it was the Glacier Bay lower end three handle kit. Here's a photo of the shower set up.

    Attachment 20657

    As you can see, the drain stop switch is that the bottom and that's the one my kid was flipping. Other than that, it's just the middle handle I'm assuming is the culprit here. Do you think a stem replacement would likely fix the issue?

    Thank you.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Your link does not work...all replacement or new construction shower valves must provide anti-scald technology to pass code. If I understand what you have correctly, you have one handle for cold water, one for hot, and a third for a diverter. If this is the case, it does NOT meet code unless something else was added behind the wall to provide the anti-scald requirement. A store can sell stuff that is illegal to install! It doesn't make sense, or seem right, but it is true.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    it was just a kit I bought at Home Depot. I believe it was the Glacier Bay lower end three handle kit.
    It drives the plumbing inspectors nuts that Home Depot sells product that doesn't meet plumbing codes.
    You may need to contact Glacier Bay for parts, but it never should have been installed either. Your plumber would have known better. The code changed over twenty years ago.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    The drain has nothing to do with the diverter. Changing the diverter stem should solve the problem, although once you have pulled out the diverter the problem may be obvious.

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