Let me explain what I mean. Most googling leads to tub related setups, but my setups do not include tubs.

Lately I have been seeing these diverters in many newer bathrooms(my own new one in SG, and one in India). What they have is one tap to control direction of flow (tap / Shower / Hand shower (if any) ), one to control the flow rate and temperature, and a little knob u need to pull, which I believe is the diverter. To turn on the shower, the first tap has to be appropriately turned, the flow tap has to be turned on, and THEN the diverter has to be pulled.

If the diverter is not pulled, regardless of the first tap, the water flows out of the tap. The diverter only stays in place until the flow tap is open, which means when you turn off the shower to soap up, the diverter releases, and all the water in the shower system releases down the tap.

This seems ridiculously wasteful and complicated to me (2 steps instead of 1 to turn on the shower). What is the point of this? Does it serve any advantage at all?

My guess is maybe this is 2 different setups merged into one.. Either way I have macgyvered the diverter to stay always pulled :P

I am sorry I dont have pictures, the flow tap/diverter is similar to one of https://www.pinterest.com/brockmawson/bathshower-mixer/ and the first tap is just one that turns to pick the outlet.

Update: This is more of a question to satisfy my curiosity, I am reasonably satisfied with my hack fix to hold the diverter out, and this is a rented unit, I am not looking to alter it.

  • The tap will allow more water to flow so the hot water will get to the bathroom faster, but that's the only advantage I can see. That and being able to fill buckets from the tap for some reason. I've never seen this in a US shower - they are all diverter-free.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 13:15
  • 1
    @JPhi1618 You need to get out more :-) I've seen diverters in houses and hotels all over teh USA. Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 19:37
  • @CarlWitthoft without a bath tub? I know they are all over if there's a bath tub to fill.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 19:59
  • No one is answering the real question. Why is there a diverter in the shower when there is not a bathtub to fill and presumably no reason for anything other than a shower head?
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 20:01
  • 1
    Maybe a beach house with a spout to rinse sand off of the feet? Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 0:27

4 Answers 4


What you need is a valve designed just for shower only. Not a valve assembly with a diverter, which are specifically designed for tub/shower combination:

enter image description here

No diverter here, most any manufacturer that you have seen offering the tub/shower valve sets also makes the shower only units. To answer your question, the point of the diverter valve is so you can fill the bathtub without water spraying on you out of the shower head.

  • This might be what the right thing to use, but why is a tub diverter being used in new construction with no tub?
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 20:03
  • 1
    Low budget plumber/contractor, using a valve he had on hand instead of taking the time to procure the proper unit. Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 0:25
  • Yup, I can imagine this, this is what I am used to/expecting. Hence the question. My setup seems especially redundant, since there is a mode to turn the flow into the tap but every other mode also "diverts" to the tap. But how come no one is talking about the water wastage issue?? except for Johnny
    – Karthik T
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 4:05
  • I think the assumption is that you would need to waste a nearly equal amount of water out of a "shower only" unit while you wait for the temperature to come up. Once you pull the diverter there should be no (or just a bit of) water coming from the spout. If there is significant spout flow while "diverted" you should repair/replace the seals on the diverter mechanism. Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 2:33

To turn off the shower water temporarily during the shower, you can use a showerhead valve that mounts at the end of the showerhead pipe just before the showerhead itself:

enter image description here

[Image from FaucetDirect.com]

This lets you maintain the advantages of letting water flow from the tap when you first turn it on (faster flow means less waiting for hot water, and means cold water isn't spraying on you while you wait for hot water), while letting you temporarily turn off the water at the showerhead while you lather up, shave, etc. The water in the pipe to the showerhead is still sitting there cooling off while the valve is shut off, some valves will let a trickle of water flow even when turned off to help keep the water warm.

  • Thanks, interesting option I wasnt aware of. But is this very commonly installed?
    – Karthik T
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 4:06
  • Many reviews mention that this isnt meant for on/off, rather for flow control, I believe I have run into these before, and I probably wouldnt use them for this purpose..
    – Karthik T
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 4:08
  • I don't know how common these are, but I've been using one for years to save water while showering. I don't know what model I'm using (I bought it over 5 years ago at a local hardware store), the reviews for this model on Amazon are mixed -- one person says it shuts off completely, others say it allows a small water flow for temperature regulation.
    – Johnny
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 7:00

An alternative to JimmyFIxit's answer:

Actually, I have a similar rotary handle with a an additional slide-lever diverter/flow rate controller which does NOT depend on inlet flow pressure. You can leave the diverter in any position you want, turn the water on/off with the main rotary lever, and the diverter will stay put. It's pretty common in the USA, so I'd check Amazon.com if you can't find a similar gadget locally.

  • Perhaps what you are describing is what I call my "flow direction" tap. That directs the water towards the tap/hand shower/shower based on the direction
    – Karthik T
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 8:20

We had such a thing and it got stuck sometimes in shower mode. That's when you realize what a good thing it usually is to have the tap as default, so you don't get completely wet by the shower when you turn the water on.

This is the german version, I can remember we had one even in 1990s ..


When you pull and rotate the upper part, you control flow and heat, when the pressure is high enough, you can pull the little diverter to switch to shower mode. When the pressure drops, e.g. when you stop showering, it goes back to tap mode. I assume for your own safety.

Knowing germans, there is probably even a law and a DIN norm and some guidelines that those things have to work exactly the way they do ....

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