Water Coming Out of Shower Head When Filling Bathtub-Causes and Fixes

We all understand that the plumbing lines inside our walls are somehow interconnected, but it can still be confusing when using one thing and having an impact on another. This is the situation if the shower head leaks frequently when you open the bathtub faucet.

You might be wondering, why is water coming out of the shower head when filling the bathtub? 

Water might come out from the showerhead if the shower diverter valve is faulty. Although repairing a diverter valve can be tricky, you can repair it by following some steps. High water pressure and faulty spout in the tab might also cause this problem. 

To have a more detailed insight on the causes and fixes of leaking shower heads, read this article now!

Water Coming Out of Shower Head When Filling Bathtub-Cause and Fixes

It’s a normal scenario. Once the shower is running, you enter inside and discover that the bathtub faucet is dripping while the showerhead is also spraying water. 

This can be a bothersome issue because it reduces the showerhead’s water pressure, which is necessary for a nice shower. Because of the low pressure, your showering may also take longer, wasting water as it streams out of the tub faucet.

Let us now look at the primary cause and the fix of this common problem.

Primary Cause and Fix

When you encounter such a situation the first thing that comes to your mind is Why Is Water Coming Out Of The Shower Head While Filing the Bathtub?

The diverter valve, whose primary function is to redirect flow from the tub faucet to the showerhead as well as vice versa, is probably the most frequent source of shower head leaks while filling the bathtub.

A handle that you may use to switch the water source is located on the spout of your bathtub. When you pull it, water will start to flow from your shower head. Therefore, if water escapes even if you haven’t touched the handle, your bathtub diverter valve is broken.

The valve operates on the premise of channeling water so that it streams to the showerhead rather than downwards to the bathtub faucet.

By turning the diverter within the pipe, which is done by pulling the lever on the tub’s faucet, we can stop the water from dripping out of the tubes and keep the tub from overflowing. After extended use, the valve may become worn down, which will cause water to simultaneously leak out of both sections.

You must disassemble the valve to clean it of any buildup that can prevent the diverter from operating smoothly in order to solve this issue. Here’s how you can do that:

Fixing The Shower Diverter Valve

Delta Shower Arm Diverter for Hand Shower

If you do have a faulty diverter valve then the question you should be looking to answer is, How to fix the shower diverter valve?

The water supply is switched via a shower diversion valve between the tap and the shower head once again. Drips and spills might occur as a result of continuous use wearing down the pipe or the silicone washer.

Diverter valves normally come in one of two varieties on two-handle taps. Typically found in the bathtub outflow, a control valve has a pull-down or pull-up style of handle. A spinning diverter valve, as depicted in this article, is placed between the upper part of the shower and the bathtub nozzle. The procedure to pull one out and place the new one is given.

Let us look at the step-by-step repair procedure of the divert valve.

Step 01:

The water flow to the bathtub and showerhead tap must first be shut off. Some people would think this goes without saying, but it’s simple to overlook.

A tidy repair or a messy one depends on whether the water is turned off. A common feature of house plumbing projects is the jolt of water spurting everywhere.

Step 02:

Fit a drain guard, a piece of masking tape, or duct tape over the drain to prevent excessively complicating this easy repair.

Any screws or other small bits won’t end up in the drain thanks to this. This can save you a lot of headaches, even if you believe you’re very cautious about where you put screws or try to hold them in your palm while you unscrew them.

Step 03:

Use a screwdriver to remove the decorative top of the valve handle. These caps (in some situations) have threads. The handle can then be removed by unscrewing the nut. You can remove the handle using a gear puller if it won’t move.

Step 04:

If using your deep-socket wrench is hampered by the escutcheon, it could be required to remove it. If a retaining nut is not present, escutcheons are often retained in place by being screwed on the valve heads. 

In this situation, detach the escutcheon completely. Check to see whether it is grouted to the wall if it won’t release and if it is, cut the glue. A strap wrench could assist in getting a recalcitrant one to spin.

Step 05:

You’ll need a Shower Valve Adapter Wrench Set to remove concealed valves. The super-deep wrenches required for removing tub and shower valves are included in a shower-valve set. 

In order to fix almost any domestic shower or bath valve, the wrenches, which are each double-sided, often fit the ten normal sizes of plumbing fasteners.

Step 06:

The Shower Valve Socket should be screwed onto the diverter valve head and tightened over the bonnet screw. Remove the screw by unscrewing. To reveal the seat washer as well as screw, remove the head from the wall.

Step 07: 

Check that no O-rings or screws have fallen off from the old valve and are still inside the pipe by looking inside the pipe. If you see any, pick them out and throw them away. If they remain in the pipe, they could obstruct the valve’s functionality.

Step 08:

Replace the damaged seat washer with a replacement one and treat it with heat-resistant faucet lubricant if the screw is the sole component that has degraded. Use the proper seat washer size and shape, then firmly press it into the stem’s retainer. Reassembling the shower handles and testing your faucet is now possible if the diverter valve is in decent health.

If not, totally swap out the diverter stem. To ensure that you receive a precise replacement, you must bring the old stem with you when you shop at the plumbing supply store. Similar to the old diverter valve you removed, the new one fits seamlessly into the pipes. (Don’t forget to apply the faucet grease.)

Step 09:

You can now check your shower diverter to ensure it was placed correctly. To check your new shower diverter, turn the water back on.

If water only comes through the showerhead and not the bathtub faucet, the shower diverter is functioning. If you discover that the bathtub faucet is trickling or that the water isn’t flowing very smoothly, don’t freak out.

Minor Reasons Why Water Might Leak from The Shower Head

Apart from the faulty diverter valve, there are some other reasons that may cause the water to leak from the shower head. 

High Water Pressure

The high water pressure might sound fun but it can cause you problems. For example, if the water pressure is excessively high, the waterline may encounter additional pressure. In order to drain the extra water, it naturally makes its way via the showerhead.

Faulty Spout in Tub

The bathtub’s clogged spout is another potential cause. If you don’t take care of a bathtub spout leak from the back right away, it could turn into a rather significant problem.

It could be a huge structural problem and a huge inconvenience. A leaky tub spout might initially seem like a minor problem, but it might eventually lower your water pressure.

Things to Consider While Fixing Your Shower Diverter

There are a few things to think about before you start fixing or changing your shower diverter:

  • Washing it first will assist if the shower diverter won’t remove it easily. Grease and filth are common causes of this.
  • Check if you are using the right shower diverter valve according to the directions.
  • After taking a shower, let the diverter go for a little while to prevent wear and strain.
  • Prior to making repairs, plug the drain to prevent losing any little screws or other items down the drain.
  • If you don’t have the required tools on hand, you can purchase a shower diverter replacement part online.
  • It’s easy to make sure you purchase the right shower diverter for your shower if you have to repair your diverter, so take the old one with you to the store.


How much does it cost to fix a shower diverter?

Most plumbers are competent in repairing a wide range of bathtub and shower-related issues, including slow or clogged drains, faulty fixtures, insufficient water pressure, and more. Since a broken shower can be extremely inconvenient, you probably want to have it replaced right away.

Depending on the degree of the leak, repairing a leaking or dripping faucet often costs around $150 and $500. On average, it will cost you $125 to fix a faulty diverter.

Can you replace the shower valve without removing the tile?

If you’re lucky, your shower system panel will be close to another wall, making it possible for the plumber to enter it by simply sawing through the drywall on the other side. In the absence of this choice, the plumber will be required to approach the valve from the control wall’s tiled side.

To reach the leak, it might be necessary to cut or remove some of the tile surrounding the shower valve opening. Depending on the dimensions of the opening, you might need to do some minor tile repairs, but the plumber will take extra precautions to cut or remove only the appropriate amount of tile.

Installing an extra-large escutcheon to hide the wider gap in the tiled wall will take care of the majority of this situation’s tile repairs. A wider escutcheon would not be able to cover a wider opening in the wall if there were severe access restrictions. You might anticipate a simple tile replacement or restoration in these scenarios.

How to Determine that Your Shower Diverter Is Broken?

This one is simple. If, after enabling it, water keeps flowing from the bathtub outlet instead of the showerhead, the shower diverter is not working properly.

This might indicate that the interior rubber stopper isn’t sealing properly to completely obstruct and reroute the water’s flow or it might indicate another issue. Follow the procedures listed above to analyze and resolve the issue.


Water coming out of the shower head is a common problem that you may face in the shower. Not knowing the causes and fixes to this problem can make the overall situation worse. 

But thanks to this article, water coming out of the shower head when filling the bathtub, you will be able to handle the situation in a better way. And you will be able to fully enjoy your showers.

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