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Q: Repairing a shower diverter valve ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Repairing a shower diverter valve
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: morpheus74-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 02 Dec 2002 19:40 PST
Expires: 01 Jan 2003 19:40 PST
Question ID: 118168
I recently purchased a diverter stem (Danco item #9B-5D stock #
15886B) from my local Home Depot store to replace the diverter valve
in my shower . I was having problems with the water not completely
diverting from the tub faucet to the shower head when I turned on the
shower and I believed that replacing the diverter valve would fix the
problem. I have installed the new valve (an identical replacement to
the old valve I removed from my shower) and I made sure that all
connections were tight (i.e. no leaks were detected in or around the
new valve); however, I am still having a problem with the water not
completely diverting from the tub faucet to the shower head when I
turn the shower handle completely to the "ON" position.

As far as I can tell, the new diverter has been installed properly and
it does shut off the shower completely when the handle is turned to
the "OFF" position. Also, the new diverter valve appears to have all
washers and O-rings intact, including a 00 Flat Bibb washer at the end
of the diverter valve, a #7 O-ring near the end of the valve and a #40
O-ring where the threaded part of the collar meets the pipe.
Unfortunately, the new diverter valve did not come with any
instructions or diagrams and I am unable to find any information on
the manufacturer's website regarding this particular valve.

I am really at a loss as to why the new diverter valve does not seem
to be working properly and I would greatly appreciate any information
you might have regarding what I might be able to do to fix this
problem. General information on how replace a shower diverter valve is
not useful to me - what I really need is some specific information
that might help me figure out what I can do to get this diverter valve
to function properly. Thank you for your time!

Request for Question Clarification by weisstho-ga on 02 Dec 2002 20:15 PST
Hello morpheus74!

First off, thanks for a wonderfully detailed question. Good work.

Have you varied the water pressure?  Please try and alter the pressure
and see if a lower pressure makes the problem worse; conversely, the
higher pressure MAY reduce the "leaking" through the spigot.

If you can't alter the pressure at the tub effectively, perhaps
limiting the flow at the meter shut-off for purposes of this test
might work.

Looking forward to your reply.
Subject: Re: Repairing a shower diverter valve
Answered By: jackburton-ga on 03 Dec 2002 05:54 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi morpheus74,
I think you might need to replace your bibb seat stock #30112. This is
probably worn or nicked and is causing the bibb seat to not seat correctly.
Let me know if this addresses the problem.


Request for Answer Clarification by morpheus74-ga on 03 Dec 2002 06:30 PST

I probably should have mentioned this in my original question, but I
did replace the bibb seat at the same time I replaced the diverter
stem, so everything should be new. Do you have any other ideas on what
might be the problem with the shower not completely diverting? Thanks!

Clarification of Answer by jackburton-ga on 03 Dec 2002 07:50 PST
I would try looking inside the valve body for wear or a crack but
first I
would try another diverter stem and install with a good waterproof
grease on the external o-rings to see if this solves the problem.

Request for Answer Clarification by morpheus74-ga on 03 Dec 2002 08:44 PST

I will try the waterproof grease approach - since I installed a new
diverter stem there should not be any cracks or wear and all of the
washers / O-rings look to be in good shape. I'll let you know if I am
still having problems - thanks!

Clarification of Answer by jackburton-ga on 06 Dec 2002 05:43 PST
any luck yet???


Request for Answer Clarification by morpheus74-ga on 07 Dec 2002 16:48 PST
I tried the waterproof grease and even replaced the shower head (the
guy at Home Depot thought a clogged shower head might be part of the
problem). Unfortunately I am still not having any luck - I think what
I may need is something called a diverter washer which was not
included with the diverter when I bought it. The diverter washer I
need for this stem is a #18, but I have had no luck finding one either
online or in Home Depot.

As an experiment, I took a look at the other shower in my house which
had a slight problem with not completely diverting (much less so than
the shower I am trying to fix). I pulled the diverter out, examined it
and put the same diverter stem back in. When I tried using the second
shower, it now has almost the same problem with not completely
diverting as the first shower - I did not change anything on the
second shower, and yet the problem actually seemed to get worse as a
result of removing the diverter stem and putting it right back in. In
addition, I have checked thoroughly to ensure that I don't have any
clogs in the shower line and/or leaks around any of the shower valves.

I did notice, however, that both times when I removed the existing
diverter valves that there was some resistance when I tried to pull
the valve stems out of the pipe. Once I got the valve stems out the
first time, I no longer felt this resistance during subsequent
attempts to remove the stems from the pipe. I'm not sure if that means
anything, but I thought I'd mention it in case it might have some
relevance to this problem. In any event, I guess my next step is to
try to find a diverter washer for this stem and see if that makes a
difference - any ideas on where I could find a #18 Danco diverter
washer for diverter stem 9B-5D?

Clarification of Answer by jackburton-ga on 09 Dec 2002 05:22 PST
I would check the o-rings on the outside of the diverter for possible
nicks also clean the housing with some white vinegar and paper towels
to remove any mineral deposits. The diverter washer #18 is actually a
threaded trim ring in this case used on a different trim style and not
a part of the operating system of this stem. Stock #17910 is the
actual lower portion of this diverter stem but I think you may just
need a thicker o-ring possibly on the bottom of this diverter and see
if that will do the trick for you.
morpheus74-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
I added a thicker O-ring to the diverter per the researcher's
suggestion and it seemed to fix the problem. Thank you so much for
your help and patience in providing me with the information I needed
to fix my problem! I would definitely use this service again in the

Subject: Re: Repairing a shower diverter valve
From: weisstho-ga on 03 Dec 2002 17:26 PST
(i still think it may be the water pressure . . .)

Subject: Re: Repairing a shower diverter valve
From: morpheus74-ga on 04 Dec 2002 07:33 PST
I have tried varying the water pressure at the tub and it doesn't seem
to make much of a difference in the problem I am having. Usually when
I turn the shower on I have both water valves open all the way which
should represent the maximum water pressure going to the shower. I'm
also a little confused as to why the water pressure should affect
whether the water is being completely diverted from the tub faucet to
the shower when the shower is turned to the "ON" position. I have not
found a reference to this type of issue in any plumbing manuals, etc.
I have read - can you please clarify this point?
Subject: Re: Repairing a shower diverter valve
From: weisstho-ga on 05 Dec 2002 14:05 PST
Sure, be glad to. 

I had a similar problem once, where my wife would just crack the hot
and cold valves and complain that the water was still, to some extent,
coming through the spigot, and not entirely through the showerhead.

At least with that particular diverter, it seemed that the higher the
pressure on the supply side of the diverter, the better it seated.
Higher pressure - no leak, low pressure - leak.

Sorry, I can't give you any technical on this - but thought it might
be worth a try.


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