It’s a common problem. You turn on the shower, step in and notice that the tub faucet is leaking water while the shower head is also running water. This can be an annoying problem because it takes away from the water pressure in the showerhead, which is essential to a good shower. Your shower may also take longer due to the low pressure, wasting water in the process as it pours out the tub faucet.
Your first thought may have been to just give up showering completely (kidding). More realistically, having a tub spout that leaks during your shower is an ongoing annoyance that even adds a little stress to your day as you wonder “how much is this going to cost to fix?” and “do I really have to hire a plumber?”
Rest assured, this problem shouldn’t be happening and it can be fixed. Depending on your adventurousness you could do a DIY fix. You can also call an Expert plumber to do the job for you. But first, let’s understand the problem.
Why Your Faucet is Leaking when the Shower is On:
The reason your faucet leaks when all of the water is supposed to be going up to the showerhead is a faulty diverter valve. This is the part that diverts the water from the tub spout up to the showerhead. As we said before, these can be fixed!
If you Decide to DIY Your Diverter Repair
If you’re handy around the house and want to give this a try yourself, check out these instructions from a Q&A over at This Old House:
When I take a shower, I pull up on the little knob on the bathtub spout to make the water go to the showerhead. But nearly half the water still comes out the spout, and the shower spray is pretty weak. Can anything be done to stop the spout from leaking?
—B.H. Bell, Monroe, LA.
Plumbing & Heating Expert Richard Trethewey replies: Sure; you just need a new spout and knob, called a diverter. Replacing a spout isn't difficult, and you don't even have to turn off the main water supply.
The first step is to figure out how the spout is attached. If you see a small hole or a set screw on the underside of the spout near where it meets the wall, cover the drain with a washcloth and use an Allen wrench—also called a hex key—to remove the screw. The washcloth will catch the screw before it dives down the drain. Now twist the spout as you pull it straight out and off the copper supply pipe.
Read the rest of the instructions from This Old House Here.
An Expert Plumber Can Fix Your Shower Diverter Valve
If you don’t have the time or simply just don’t feel confident performing this repair yourself (which is probably most of us), you can always call a plumber to take care of it for you. At Experts In Your Home, we have Expert licensed plumbers available 24/7 who will get your shower working properly again in no time.