Shower diverters are used to switch the water supply from the bathtub to an over-bath shower. A more complex type of diverter is used in luxury bathrooms to switch the water supply to sidejets.
What is a Shower Diverter?
A basic bathtub shower diverter is a complex bathtub faucet that has two water outlets. It is more complex, so it costs slightly more than a regular new bathroom faucet would.
Where Would You Use a Shower Diverter?
You would install one if you wanted to replace a faulty shower diverter you already had. Perhaps the diverter leaks when you switch the water supply over, or perhaps the supply does not switch over completely, so the bath faucet runs and all you get coming out of the shower is a trickle.
If you are installing a new bathroom then a shower diverter faucet on the bathtub is a low cost way of providing a shower facility.
If you are planning a wet room or a shower with optional body jets you will need a shower diverter to switch the water supply from overhead shower head to shower side-jets. These luxury shower diverters will have four or five positions, allowing different combinations of water jets to suit the individual. They are usually fitted inside the wall cavity, so repair is not easy.
When Would You Use a Bathtub Shower Diverter?
A shower diverter supplies the same water mixture as would come out of the bathtub faucet. The temperature of the water is varied by adjusting the hot and cold water controls on the bathtub faucet. You might prefer to adjust the water temperature like this, and it does give a more steady temperature than a separate electrical shower unit because the thermostat in the shower heater unit goes on and off as the water output gets hot enough.
Do Bathtub Shower Diverters Have Disadvantages?
The water supply to your bathtub fluctuates as other people in the house switch on taps and flush toilets. This does not matter with a bath faucet, but if you are standing underneath a shower when this happens it can be very uncomfortable, as either the hot supply or the cold supply flow is suddenly limited and the shower flow becomes too hot or too cold very suddenly.
How Would You Install a Luxury Shower Side-Jet Diverter?
This is a big job and really needs to be done by a plumber, before you tile your new shower or wet room. The diverter itself is hidden behind the shower controls, often in the wall cavity if it is a hollow plasterboard wall. Pipes run to the side jet positions and these will need to be fitted before any tiling is started because your plumber will need to chase out a solid wall or cut holes in your plasterboard wall to do the job.
How Would You Install a Bathtub Shower Diverter?
If you are replacing your bathtub, you will be replacing the bathtub faucet at the same time. Fitting a shower diverter at this time requires no extra plumbing. The complexity is inside the faucet shower diverter unit, the plumbing requirements are the same.
Fitting any faucet requires special tools that most handymen do not possess. These are needed because of the limited space available to work in.