If your Kohler shower diverter is malfunctioning, it can be more than an annoyance. A faulty diverter valve can result in the loss of a great deal of water and energy, which can be costly. In addition, leaking could cause flooding or structural problems if left unattended for long periods of time. Fortunately, replacing this piece of hardware is fairly straightforward in most instances.
What Is a Shower Diverter?
If you have a shower and bathtub combination, a shower diverter is a valve that sends water either to the shower or to the tub. These valves can either be a third handle in the shower's assembly, or they can exist as a separate valve above those that control the water. If your diverter valve is leaking, the water that flows out of the bathtub spout while you are showering flows directly down the drain and wastes a tremendous amount of water.
Before You Begin
Before you attempt to undertake any plumbing work, you should turn off the water supply to the pipes you will be working on. This is very important to prevent flooding or other damage. Inform others who are present what you are doing. In addition, ask that they refrain from making any changes to the plumbing or supply until you have completed your project.
Fixing Your Kohler Shower Diverter
If your Kohler shower diverter is working properly, water should come out of only either the showerhead or bathtub faucet, but not both. If you have tried tightening the diverter and the leaks have continued, you may need to take additional action.
If you have a system involving three knobs, the center knob is likely your diverter valve. You can remove the plastic circle in the middle of the center knob and access the screw on the handle in order to remove the handle. Check to see if the valve is cemented or grouted into the wall. If it is, you should obtain the help of a qualified plumber rather than continue on your own. If not, you can remove the diverter and the attached nylon washer with a socket wrench. Find a store that sells Kohler replacement parts and purchase a replacement diverter. Restore the valve assembly to its original position. If the leak has stopped, the valve was indeed to blame. If not, you may need to contact a plumber for help.
If you have a system involving a diverter valve that is on a spigot, you can begin by unscrewing the spigot from the wall. You may be able to just turn the spigot itself until it comes loose, or you may need a plumber's wrench in order to spin it. In addition, the assembly may be attached to the wall with a screw. Once the spigot is removed, inspect the supply pipe. Clean any deposits or gunk from the outside of the pipe. Put plumber's tape on the end of the pipe if it is threaded. Find a store that sells Kohler replacement parts and purchase a new spigot. Screw it on to the pipe and reassemble any other faucet parts you unscrewed. If the leak has stopped. The spigot was to blame.