weather icon Clear

Shower diverter problem can be quickly fixed – VIDEO

Q: I have a bathtub/shower combination, and when I pull the knob on top of the spout to start the shower, only a little water comes out of the shower head while most of it comes out of the tub spout. Do I have a clog in the pipe or is this a water pressure problem?

A: Neither. You have a shower diverter problem. We’ve all been there; it’s like trying to wash your hair with an eyedropper while your feet get saturated.

The tub spout you have with the knob on the end of it is a shower diverter. The knob diverts water away from the tub spout and up to the shower head. In your case, the diverter needs to be replaced.

This repair is easy and inexpensive. If all goes well, there will be plenty of water coming out of the shower head in about 30 minutes.

Since the diverter is built into the tub spout, you must replace the entire spout. There are a variety of colors and finishes available at the home center starting at about $15.

First, you need to remove the old spout, which fits on a copper pipe coming out of the wall. This copper pipe is usually one-half inch or three-quarters of an inch, and may or may not have threads on the end of it. Most newer homes do not have threads on the end of this pipe.

To remove the spout, look underneath it and see if there is a setscrew. If there is, use an Allen wrench and loosen the screw. You’ll then be able to pull off the spout. If there is no setscrew, twist the spout counterclockwise (it will be attached by the threads on the copper pipe) and unscrew it like a lid off a jar.

Once you have a replacement, either screw it onto the threaded pipe, or push it back on the unthreaded pipe and lock it in place by tightening the setscrew. Check the instructions to make sure that the pipe is within the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding length. If the pipe is too long, cut it to size with a pipe cutter and remove the burrs with the reaming tool on the pipe cutter.

Now turn on the water, pull up the diverter knob and relish the feeling of showering under a fire hose.

Mike Klimek is a licensed contractor and president of Pro Handyman Corp. Questions may be sent by email to: questions@pro-handyman.com. Or, mail to: P.O. Box 96761, Las Vegas, NV 89193. His Web address is: www.pro-handyman.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Childproof decor can be sophisticated, fun

A family home with young children doesn’t need to look overly kid-ish, they say. It can still look great while meeting the needs of everyone in the household.

Local drop sites take Christmas trees for recycling

Trees recycled at any of 30 drop sites across Southern Nevada are chipped into mulch and used in gardens and parks throughout the valley. Residents can drop off their trees for free at Springs Preserve or any of the drop sites through Jan. 15.

Yes, you can live large in a small space

Living in small spaces certainly doesn’t mean you can’t live large. Choosing appropriate furniture and space planning can make any small space work.

Verticillium wilt cause death of single branch

Verticillium wilt disease plugs the internal tubes that carry water from a tree’s roots to the leaves. It commonly infects a single branch, causing it to die and appear like it is not getting enough water.

Colors of the year for 2020

Pantone chooses Classic Blue as its 2020 color of the year. Paint manufacturers announce their choices.

Broken three-way light switch is quick fix

Three-way switches are common at staircases, hallways or large rooms with multiple doorways. Most of the problems with these switches result from a miswired switch.