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My partner and I moved into a new place a few months ago, and we pretty quickly got the impression that the previous tenants weren't big on regular maintenance. One of the issues we found was that the diverter in the bath faucet leaked. That is, water still sprayed out of the faucet when it was set to shower mode. Probably a build up around the rubber gasket, I thought, nothing soaking it in CLR won't fix. Now four or five rounds (including one overnight) of CLR later, and the diverter is still leaking.

Some tutorials I've seen online suggest removing the faucet from the wall, disassembling it, and soaking or scrubbing it. I would try that, but the faucet will not budge. There is no tension screw, and neither pulling or twisting is working.

We had the thought of cutting out the diverter, so we can scrub the inside of the faucet without it in the way. We would then install a new diverter. That said, I am concerned that the faucet is damaged (perhaps from the CLR) in such a way that it will continue to leak even with a new diverter.

Does the faucet look damaged? Is there any easier way of removing the diverter or the faucet that does not involve cutting or breaking anything?

Faucet in question

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    What's the scale of this leak? Most of those dribble a bit, it's normal. See diy.stackexchange.com/a/269215/18078
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Nov 10, 2023 at 23:16
  • @Ecnerwal It's fairly significant. It's a jet of water (like putting your thumb over the end of a hose), and we've been able to fill a ten gallon bucket during the course of a ~5 minute shower Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 12:59

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If you're 100% sure it's not a slip on, you need to use a bigger wrench (and some padding if you're trying to protect the finish.) They either screw on and off or they have some sort of retainer for a slip on, and you've stated that you can't find a retaining screw, so counterclockwise twisting will be what it needs.

Pipe threads that have sat for several decades often call for a wrench with a 2 foot long handle, and sometimes an extension slid over the handle. Of course, if the pipe in the wall isn't well secured, this can be problematic and/or lead to needing to access the inside of the wall to make further repairs, so be quite certain you really need to take that off before proceeding, aware of the potential risks.

Sensible application of heat may also help. Overdoing that may do the opposite of helping. There are obviously plastic parts inside there, be limited.

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  • Do you think there is a way to do the repair without needing to remove the faucet? We would like to avoid the risk of damaging the internal pipes. Does the faucet look like it needs to be replaced? Commented Nov 11, 2023 at 13:09

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