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Recently my wife told me that the shower diverter in the guest bathroom was leaking from the bath spout when the diverter knob was pulled up. I looked at it to determine that it was a Kohler diverter, then without thinking any more I ordered a replacement.

When I got the part today I was a little confused as I couldn't see how the diverter sealed against leaking out the bath spout. But I trusted it, as it was a genuine, new part, and who am I to second guess Kohler. So I installed it, and then I saw this:

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The diverter valve leaks like a sieve when the shower is running.

Is this an expected behavior with a Kohler diverter valve? I've never paid much attention to that particular shower, so I don't know if what I am seeing now was always what happened.

While this question seems to have the same title as my situation, it doesn't appear comparable.

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  • Did you just replace the valve or did you check the seat also that the valve closes on?
    – crip659
    Mar 20, 2023 at 0:03
  • @crip659 It was a complete replacement of the entire bath spigot and diverter assembly. When I pulled it out of the packaging I played with the diverter valve and it seemed to not make a good seal.
    – Peter M
    Mar 20, 2023 at 0:11
  • @Ruskes I just checked it with the shower head in the normal shower position, and I have the same amount of leakage. And that shower head is new in the last 6 months.
    – Peter M
    Mar 20, 2023 at 0:14

3 Answers 3

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It is common for those to leak somewhat (they certainly don't have a tight seal, or an O-ring, in my experience (non-brand specific - you might want to call Kohler for their take) - a small leak even has the "feature" that if you shut off the water without pushing down the diverter, it will leak down to the point of dropping by itself in a few minutes, rather than surprising you with a burst of cold water from the showerhead the next day when you expect water to come out the tub spout.

"How much is too much" is mostly a matter of "does it interfere with the shower function," and "does it greatly impact water use during a shower." If you have something like hard water deposits built up in the tub spout that could certainly impact the limited extent to which it seals, for instance. That's not an issue you'd have with a whole new spout, though. But "no leak at all" is not normal in my experience.

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    It looks like I may have replaced a perfectly normal diverter valve. Where's the roll eyes emoji when you need it. As per my comment above, it looked like the new unit doesn't make a good seal
    – Peter M
    Mar 20, 2023 at 0:12
  • This kind of diverter does leak more than the valve stem type of diverter, but the leak rate is perfectly acceptable except perhaps in very water short parts of the US. But the rotating stem type is more elaborate and costly and is higher maintenance. I do think you replaced a perfectly good part. Mar 20, 2023 at 3:37
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    @JimStewart I live in the SW of the US, so water savings is always on my mind. But I agree that may have replaced a good part.
    – Peter M
    Mar 20, 2023 at 12:50
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    @PeterM, just hang on to the old spout. Some day, your grandchildren will thank you for having exactly the part on hand that they needed for their repair! :)
    – FreeMan
    Mar 20, 2023 at 15:06
  • Possibly wiping a small amount of silicone lubricant on the sealing surface would reduce the leakage. Is this a metal-to-metal seal or is there an elastomer seal? Mar 20, 2023 at 16:43
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As I recall those diverters require a strong pressure to hold them securely. If the pressure is too weak, they leak. Running the water stronger may help.

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You have to get the spout with the diverter knob on the front, not the top. Those are specifically designed to not leak a drop.

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