Shower diverter leaking behind wall is one of the main reasons for damaging the drywall. People often ask “can a shower diverter cause a leak behind the wall?” Well, this could easily happen to your bathroom when you have purchased an old property. Even if you have bought a new house a few years ago, the shower could leak behind the wall because of poor quality.
This article is going to share how to repair a leaking shower diverter and how to do it yourself. However, in some cases, you won’t be able to do it yourself, and that will require some expert help.
What is Shower Diverter?
Before you understand why shower diverter leaking behind wall, you should know what a diverter is. A shower diverter is a kind of valve. Like any water valve, this also controls the water flow. Usually, the diverter valve will have two parts to divert the main water source in two distinct directions. With the diversion, it is easy to get water flow in the showerhead and tub without installing a new water line.
How Does a Shower Diverter Work?
In a simple sentence, shower diverter works to divert the water flow. Just check the water setting in your bathroom. Do you have a showerhead and a tub in the bathroom? Then there must be a diverter valve installed behind the wall. When you are using the shower faucet rather than the tub, you can activate the diverter with a handle to divert the water flow. It is the mechanism to keep both the tub and the showerhead in the same place with the main water line.
In some cases, however, the shower diverter works to supply warm water in winter. The diverter mixes up the cold water from one line and hot water from another line. As a result, you will have warm water to take a shower.
Why Is My Shower Diverter Leaking?
Are you wondering why does diverter in shower leak? Well, there are several possible reasons. But the major cause is a damaged valve. The diverter valve used to come in metal construction. Now, after a certain time, the connection of the valve with pipes may become loose which results in leaking water. You will notice the tub diverter leaks when shower is going. The valve also can get a crack after a long time of usage. It happens because of the high pressure of water or the poor quality construction of the valve.
Shower Diverter Leaking Behind Wall – How to Identify?
If you don’t identify the leak at the right time, that could result in damaged drywall. But earlier identification can reduce the loss, and you will have to fix only the diverter.
To identify that shower diverter leaking behind wall, the first thing you need to do is check for dripping water from the shower line. Even it could be a few drops. If this is happening, go to your basement and locate the position of the bathroom. Check the ceiling, and you will see that there is a water stain. Usually, it will be under the tub or the shower line. It never happens from the tub drain, so possibly the shower diverter is leaking.
In the next step, you should check the valve behind the wall for confirmation. There are two ways to do it. Remove the screws behind the handle to check if there is enough room to identify water leakage, or you need to cut drywall. Cutting an inspection wall is better, as you will eventually do it further to fix it. Cut the drywall and check where the leakage is happening. You may find a small hole in the diverter. Check the fixing part of this article to get rid of the issue.
How Do You Fix a Leaking Shower Diverter?
There are two possible solutions to fix the diverter when shower diverter leaking behind wall. The first one is just simply replacing the cartridge, and the second one is replacing the whole diverter.
To identify which method to follow, you need to check the type of leakage. If you find that the leaking of water is caused only from the diverter stem, you can simply replace the cartridge. Find out the right cartridge for shower diverter from the store and replace it. You could do it yourself by following the proper guideline.
But, if the diverter is cracked itself, you need to replace the whole diverter from the shower line. For this, check the next step.
How to Replace a Shower Diverter?
To replace the shower diverter, follow the following steps-
Step 1 – Turn the water supply off from the main water supply line for the faucet.
Step 2 – Remove the small cap on the shower handle to get access to the screw. The cap could be in a threaded style which you can open by moving it anticlockwise.
Step 3- Remove the screws with a well-built screwdriver.
Step 4 – Use a deep socket wrench to remove the diverter.
Step 5 – Replace a new diverter in the place and tighten up with the wrench.
Step 6 – If you are sure the diverter is in the proper place, place the shower handle on the place and tighten up the screws.
Step 7 – Finally, turn on the waterline and there won’t be any leakage behind the wall from the shower diverter.
When to Call a Plumber?
If you find that the replaced shower diverter still leaking, you need to call a professional plumber. This time you shouldn’t take the risk of fixing it yourself. Taking more risks means you may have to lose more money.
So, you got your answer of can a shower diverter cause a leak behind the wall. Remember that shower diverter leaking behind wall is a common household problem, and you should be able to fix it yourself. Just follow the method we have described in this article. For any critical issue, never take the risk of doing it yourself. Instead, consult a plumber and ask for a little help to fix everything accurately.