RSS Feed
the Handyman
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved
how to replace shower diverter for delta push scald guard

How to repair,replace push button diverter on Delta tub/shower faucet with "Scald Guard"

So, you were gonna take a shower. You push the button on your shower faucet, it breaks and water starts coming out of this little hole! And it's aimed where you don't want it. Makes you so mad, you almost tore up your tickets to Hawaii.       

Not to worry citizen. You can replace one of these Delta shower faucet diverters for single handles (not separate hot and cold) and i even took pictures for you. Sorry didn't make a video. No i'm not. Why should i be? I ain't gettin rich you know. Anyhow, hope these instructions help you out, so you don't have to call that plumber from the movie "Money Pit". That would be just plain horrible.

Alright, these are the tools needed to

"replace Delta push button shower diverter"

for single handle faucets.

Part number RP5649 for delta push button diverter assembly for single handle tub/shower faucet or you can also use the diverter made by danco(part number 80971 note: some have reported problems using the Danco. Gary says "Thanks for all the tips on replacing the diverter in my Delta shower control.  I tried the Danco 80971 ($10 Lowes) and it didn't work. The pin holding the plastic/teflon diverter flap in place was just a bit too long and it rubbed on the inside of the valve assembly. I ordered the Delta ($26) and it's fine. Just sharing in case it helps someone. The Danco part was made in Taiwan)
Hopefully, you have ONE of these tools to remove the nut-
-7/8 inch wrench or socket. Guy name of Reid said he used the "closed" end of a wrench. Steve also wrote and said a delta rep, Eric, says it is a 7/8" nut. Thanks guys. You deserve a supreme pizza.
- or an Adjustable wrench (crescent wrench). This may not work well if the plumbing is set back into the wall.
- or a 21 mm deep well socket and ratchet (Steve Olis from Alabama said he used them). Couple of people said a 22 mm worked instead
- or Vice grips (gal named Ceejay said she used these)
Penetrating oil or WD-40 (may not be needed).
Screwdriver for slotted screws
Phillips screwdriver
5 in 1 tool or pry bar or stiff putty knife
Utility knife
Teflon tape or teflon paste
Cup of ice water. Just in case things don't go well and flames shoot outa your mouth.
fix delta single handle shower faucet push button scald guard
Delta single handle tub shower faucet push button diverter with scald guard
Note: Since you will not be removing the center stem, you do NOT have to turn the water supply off

1. Remove center cap that covers a screw (use a small screwdriver or utility knife).

2. Remove phillips screw, pull off the knob. If the shower knob does not come off, you can buy a knob puller from the home improvement store for about $10.00 (tip from Clayton)

3. Remove the two trim ring screws.

If there is caulk around the ring, cut it with your
utility knife
diverter part number RP5649 for single handle shower faucet delta
This is the new part you will need to buy. I got mine at one of the big box stores that start with an "L". The part number is RP5649. Strangely enough, could not find this part on L*wes website. It is listed on H*me Dep*t's website.

If the big orange store is close to you, you could call them and ask for SKU # 828761(delta brand) or SKU # 878732 (danco brand) Might save yourself a trip if they are out of stock.....

As of February 2015, the price was $15.27 for the delta and $ 9.83 for the danco.
package for diverter part number RP5649
Be a good little shopper. Whenever you buy a part in a package like this, always cut a L or [ shaped slit on the back. This way, if the part is the wrong one, you can take back a package that does not look like it was run over by uncle ed's 4 x 4.
Delta shower ring on single handle faucet
4. Take your pry bar, 5 in 1 tool or a flat blade
screwdriver and pry the ring from the tile or wall.
Do this in 2 or 3 different spots. You want to pry it
out enough to get your fingers behind it.
Removing trim ring on delta shower faucet with scald guard
5. Spray a little lubricant where the ring meets the center protrusion so the ring will slide over it. Use both hands to gently remove trim ring. I only show my one hand cause i was holding the camera with the other one. Couldn't afford to hire that cute lady photographer with the long blonde hair---ok, getting distracted again. Rock the ring from side to side to get it to slide over the center cover.
spray lubricant on delta shower diverter to loosen
6. Spray penetrating oil, wd-40 or whatever you have on push button shower diverter nut. Give it a few minutes to do its magic. Note: the nut may come loose without having to use anything.
removing push button shower diverter on delta single faucet
7. Take one of the tools listed above and gently start to loosen the nut. I used an adjustable wrench cause that is what i had. Note: As Clayton pointed out, "lefty loosey". This can be a little tricky cause the nut does not have much surface area to grip. If the nut is so tight you see the copper pipes start to bend, call a real plumber. You don't want a flood. Mine came loose without a lot of struggle.
removing old diverter valve from delta faucet
8. Take some needle nose pliers or something small to remove the old broken part. Make sure there is no debris in the hole!
use teflon tape on shower diverter threads
9. Start to wrap the new delta shower diverter threads with teflon tape. Make sure to wrap it from left to right as shown. 2 or 3 complete turns should be plenty.

Note: you can also use teflon "paste" instead of teflon tape (that way you don't have to trim anything)
trim off excess teflon tape on diverter assembly
10. Take utility knife and trim off excess teflon tape-don't cut the black plastic piece. You just don't want any teflon tape to end up in the pipes or valve assembly.
installing new delta push button diverter assembly
11. Install new delta "push button diverter". Be careful you do not cross thread (That's enough to make a preacher kick out a stained glass window).
Snug it with your adjustable wrench. No need to overtighten.
check for leaks on new delta push button diverter assembly
12. Put the knob back on temporarily (don't install screw just yet). Turn shower on and check the new assembly to make sure it is not leaking. If ok, remove knob and install trim ring, reinstall screws, recaulk. Now, you can take a real shower.
I hope this picture tutorial is helpful on
"Replace Delta shower diverter"

Oh, don't forget to give a shout out on google or twitter!
Note: If you have problems with water coming out of the faucet AND the shower head, Delta's website has some info that may help you.
(after going to that page, go down to about the middle of the page and look for the question "Why does water come out of my shower head and the spout at the same time?"
(They also have a helpline number on the site)

Several do it yourselfers have asked if the hole where the diverter goes can be plugged and a spout with diverter used instead.
Yes! Thanks to viewer and do-it-yourselfer Matt, the plug is about 15 dollars and the part number is
Delta RP 2865. I do not know if this is sold in the big box stores but it is available online.

(April 17, 2017)  Thanks for the instructions on how to fix the Delta shower/tub diverter!  I had no idea how to fix it and your site was perfect. Took me no time at all and now it's no longer leaking.  Thanks for taking the time to post the info!  You're the best!  Tim C.

Thanks Tim. Yes, i AM the best. Now if i could just convince HGTV......

(March 18, 2017) Hi Sir Crabby, I read your article on the Delta push button diverter valve. Very informative! Prior to reading your page, I had a plumber come in and tell me it would be about $800 to repair/replace the diverter and that drywall from behind the tub wall would need to be cut. Is their any reason that you can think of as to why they would need to cut the drywall?  My push button diverter not only spouts out water as mentioned in your article, but I dont get any water coming out of the tub spout.. The shower seems to be working fine aside from the water that push button diverter dispenses. James G.
Howdy James.
The plumber may have been intending to replace the whole fixture, not just the diverter. When you replace the fixture, you have to be able to get to it and that is why drywall needs to be cut out. If you haven't replaced the diverter yet, try that first before proceeding.
Crabby the Handyman

(March 2016) Thanks for the Delta shower diverter fix.  Broke the existing one, gave the 9 month old a bath in the sink.  Made a late run to Menard's for the Danco version.  All went well and got to clean up the faucet area too.  Thanks again! Bradley
Greetings Bradley. Your welcome. Glad your situation improved. At least the 9 month old will never remember being in the sink.
"Crabby the man of handiness"

(March 2016) Your instructions for the delta diverter valve replacement
were perfect. EXCEPT the bottom of my valve was below the cutout. Used
utility knife to trim away enough fiberglass to get the 7/8th on. Loved your comment re. atheists. Thanks for your mission and services to folks like me.
Mark J          (Romans 10:13).
Hello Mark. Apologies for the delayed reply. You are mostly welcome. Glad i could assist in some way to alleviate the pain and suffering of plumbing problems. Also appreciate your support of my comments regarding spiritual matters and the inclusion of scripture. I would add the verse Matthew 7:21 to the one you supplied.
Cheers, God bless and "Fix On"
Crabby the Handyman

(Jan. 2016)  Crabby thanks for perfect instructions to change my Delta Diverter. I found the part in Home Depot total price with tax 18.37. Used a 7/8 Deep Socket to remove old part. I don't think I would have been able to change this without your instructions. Thank you again sure I saved a lot of money not getting a plumber. Anthony
Mucho thanks for your remarks. I'm glad i could help another homeowner avoid that painful, burning sensation one gets after paying a plumber. Fix On, Mr. Do it yourselfer....
"Crabby your somewhat friendly handyman"

(Dec 2015)  God bless you. You made me laugh and helped me fix my shower. Thank you. Neri
So glad i was helpful Neri. The holidays are even better with a shower that works!    Crabby

(November 2015)  Thanks not only for the succinct step-by-step instructions, but also for drawing -- OK, maybe they weren't drawn -- pictures.  I didn't even need the ice water.  My only regret is that I did not find your site two months earlier. Ken

HA. I'm glad you didn't need the ice water Ken. That does indeed make for a nicer repair job.
Thanks for letting me know and i hope you had a better Thanksgiving than a certain feathered bird,
Crabby ("Fix On")

(Jan. 2015) Thanks a lot for the beautiful write up on the Delta
pushbutton diverter.  You've done a tremendous public service and
saved a lot of people a lot of hassle. John

(Jan. 2015) Thanks for your article "How to repair,replace push button
diverter on Delta tub/shower faucet with "Scald Guard!" Your
instructions were perfect and saved me calling a plumber. Scott

(Dec. 2014) Hey Crabby, I put new Delta replacement into my Diverter, that replacement didn't stop the dripping out of the spout, is this a usual/ just live with it type of  deal or is there another adjustment on the back side of the diverter? Batson
Hey Batson (great name by the way),
If you have problems with water coming out of the faucet AND the shower head, Delta's website has some info that may help you.
(after going to that page, go down to about the middle of the page and look for the question "Why does water come out of my shower head and the spout at the same time?"
(They also have a helpline number on the site)  Crabby, your edu-tainment handyman

(Nov. 2014) Thank you Crabby, this was so helpful!!! My son and I finished the project in no time. John
Today's headline..."Another homeowner saves money AND makes a plumber cry"

(Nov. 2014) Crabby, do you have any idea on why it failed? or why they fail ?
The instructions are great because I just ordered one to replace it :(
The thing is, We lived in this house for a long time and we hardly
ever used this bathroom shower. Thanks for listening, Tony

Hi Tony. I believe they break as a result of mass hysteria. Ok, that's just plain goofy. In my case, the black plastic piece broke off from the "stem". Plastic pieces just don't seem to hold up over the long term. Moral of the story? Everything we make eventually wears out or breaks !! (that seems to be one reason we all have jobs--HA)  Crabby

(Sept 2014) Hey Crabby, I just finished replacing my delta tub/faucet diverter with your directions printed out. I could not get in there with an adjustable wrench. It seemed like the right tool was a socket wrench with a 7/8' deep well socket since that was the nut size. Thanks for that info. I got one at the big box store, new Husky socket wrench and the 7/8 socket for $20. The diverter came right out and fell into my tub in a bunch of pieces. Thanks so much, for $35 it works again and I have a cool new tool. Now my girl can take a bath. Thanks so much. Pete Mortensen from Georgia
Pete, thanks for letting me know my info helped on your project.
35.00 for a cheap fix AND a new tool to boot. Sweet...
Crabby  "Fix On"

(June 2014) Thanks so much for posting how to replace the Delta shower diverter pin. Everything was exactly as you explained; I needed the 22mm socket. The job was successfully completed by 2 women who have never done this kind of thing before. Loved your humor. Thanks again! Linda

Awesome Linda. You are welcome. Glad it worked out and thanks for letting me know.  Crabby the magnificent..... (or at least pretty good)

(May 2014) Eric Young
Thank you so much for your informative website and willingness to share! You saved me much frustration by clearly outlining the procedures and even listing part numbers. So awesome!

You are most welcome Eric. Glad i could help by saving endless frustration, profuse sweating and painful boils....
Crabby the Handyman  "Fix On"

(December 2013) Dear Crabby,
I WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW.....You are not crabby at all!You are a WONDERFUL GENIOUS because you have, what NO MAN I have ever met has....BRAINS! Are you single??? I was married almost 21 years to a idiot who could not drive a nail into banana pudding!I am not the inferior dum woman that my ex drilled into my head that I was for almost 21 years!I'm a nurse and I did not become one being stupid but I allowed him to make me feel I was.You have made me feel that I am NOT stupid!( I probably am but you made me feel like I wasn't!) Your instructions on how to fix the diverter stem on a Delta faucet ARE AWESOME! Can't get any easier than your instructions! No one else could tell me what was wrong or how to fix it! They tried to make me think they knew what they were talking about because they wanted a date! GOD BLESS YOU CRABBY! Or should I say SWEETIE OR HANDSOME?!..Or BOTH! This Southern Tennesse girl should have married you first! I'm gonna go take a HOT SHOWER NEXT!!!THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Cathy

Thank you Cathy! I may have to use the skull deflator and take a COLD shower......

(December 2013) Hi Crabby,
I replaced the Delta diverter in my 1 knob shower per your excellent
instructions (plus a can of PB Blaster).  I was losing about 30% of my
water thru the faucet when I turned the shower on.  Well, I'm still
losing about the same amount of water with the new diverter.  What do
I look at next?  Thanks, Gary

Hey Gary,
Yea it took too long to respond. Just for that, i should have to listen
to justin bieber for two straight hours....

Since i ain't a plumber, i don't have a good answer except to give you
delta's helpline. They should be able to help you narrow down the
problem. The number is 800-345-3358. If you installed a "danco" brand
diverter (instead of Delta brand), Delta may chastise you. Good luck,
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! (happy holidays if you're

Thanks for your response; it is a Danco part from Lowes. However, a few days after I wrote you it began functioning much better. There is still water out the faucet, but it is much less than before and a greater flow from the shower head. I didn't know your magical healing powers could travel long distances and thru walls. Thank you "O great one."

From Phil (Sept 2013)
I never dreamed I would be snickering & laughing as I wrestled with my plumbing problems, but your extra cool presentation has me doing just that! I had dialed my plumber's number and waiting, when I thought - why not look on the internet for how to change out the single knob diverter? The rest is history - Crabby to the rescue. Not just great info and how-to but smiling all the while.  Nice job, Crabby. 
Thanks so much, Phil V.

You are welcome my good man. Yes, having a good time whilest fixin' stuff is much better than cursing and drinking oneself into a stupor, while others look on, shake their heads and say, "He just couldn't handle the repair, tsk, tsk"
Crabby, CEO of edutainment

From Cynthia (August 2013)
THANK YOU SO MUCH for a wonderfully informative and thorough website.  Your directions, pictures, and model/skew numbers (along with the much needed humor) are appreciated more than you'll ever know.  I'm sending your website information to everyone I know as it is the BEST!

Cynthia my dear,
Thank you for your kind, educated and deserved comments. I figure if i'm not gettin' rich, at least i can help someone with a problem (haven't given up on gettin' rich though).            Crabby.........."Fix On"

From Tyler (August 2013)
Hey I have a delta shower with the push button water diverter. When I push it in it still runs out of the spout and shower head. I went and bought a new one and put it in then pressed it and nothing happens just runs out the spout only. What could this be? please help me!!!!!

I have grave news for you. You may have to buy a new house. Well, ok that is just a blatant exaggeration (ow, those two words just hurt my head). Anyways, i would take out the new diverter (hopefully you did NOT cut off the black plastic piece before installing it!) and make sure there is no debris in the hole and then reinstall. If still no luck, hit me back (don't take that literally)
Crabby             Note: Later, i dug up some info on this problem. See the link above (Delta's website and help line)

From Matt (August 2013)
With regard to the Delta shower diverter fix.  I did remove and plug the diverter in my early 90's Monitor 1700 series in order to upgrade it to a newer model with the diverter in the tub faucet.  The part required to plug receptacle for the original diverter is Delta RP 2865 (approx $15).  It tightens right with a 22mm socket.   Let me know if you'd like me to write a more detailed description of the procedure.  I appreciate the info provided to get me started on the project.

--Kudos dear Sir.  America salutes your spreading of knowledge. Together, we will overcome!

From Ralph in Michigan (July 2013)
Got the delta diverter in with your help here.. Thank you.. Ralph in Michigan

--Ralph, you are mostly welcome! Remember to "Fix On"

From Clayton (June 2013)--
Thank you for posting your instructions on replacing the Delta faucet diverter.  It is always a feeling of accomplishment to do it yourself and your instructions helped immensely.  The 22 mm deep socket worked like a charm (I know, you did not originate the suggestion, but you did post it.) There are several things I would add after this experience.  First, if you have trouble removing the faucet handle, invest $10 in a Heavy-Duty Faucet Handle Puller, available at the same store as the diverter and 22 mm socket, rather than risking the plumbing.  Second, remind viewers that the diverter has standard threads (lefty, loosey) so they don't apply torque in the wrong direction.  Third,
Teflon paste is an alternative to the tape and does not require trimming.
Thank you again, Clayton

--Clayton. Everyones comments, including yours, have made me proud and even moved me (slight moisture starting to accumulate in eyes). Your welcome and "fix on", Crabby

From Ceejay (June 2013)--
Just used your instructions to replace the Delta shower diverter.  Works perfectly! I very carefully used vice grips to loosen the nut on the old diverter in that incredibly tight space. Thank you Crabby from this proud Did It Myself Gal!

--You're welcome Ceejay.  Good job!
To quote from an astro-nut "One small step with vice grips, One giant leap for a do-it-yourself gal....."

From Molly (May 11, 2013)--
Thanks crabby- 34 year old single mom followed your directions and our shower works again without an expensive plumber bill!! Thanks again!

--Your welcome Molly. Glad i was able to help out. Course, the plumber lost some business. Think he might be crabby? NO---because that's me!

From Reid---
Crabby, thanks so much for posting the info on replacing the shower diverter.  Particularly the step-by-step photos!  Saved me a lot of time and aggravation, not to mention the $100+ plumber bill. My wife pointed the problem out on the weekend so bought the Danco replacement part at Home Depot instead of the official Delta.  Seems to do the job and less expensive.  Also, didn't have a deep socket to get the diverter out, but borrowed a neighbor's 7/8" combination wrench--using the closed end was able to get 'er done.  Thanks again!

--Your welcome Reid. Thanks for the tip about the 7/8" wrench. Continue onward and upward, Crabby........."Fix On"

From Andy W
I thank ye for the tips about replacing  the diverter. My wife heard me bellowing while performing this task and feared the worst, but she was hearing howls of a man who would not be vanquished.
Your advice is much appreciated.  Lyndon Johnson would be proud.

I am not sure if the W in your name stands for wolf (you were howling),
but I am proud indeed to have been a part of your grand and glorious
endeavor. May you continue to be filled with wisdom and fortitude.
"Fix On"
P.S. Lyndon Johnson and i had a falling out some time back, but he
would still be proud.

Thanks a heap!!  Saved me a bunch of aggravation with your guidance - 'specially the part about 22mm deep well socket for the shower diverter!  You da man!!   Eddie

Response---Eddie, Glad i could help. As far as the deep well socket tip, Steve from Alabama is "da man" on that one........Crabby

Hey Crabby
THanks for posting your article about replacing the diverter valve and thank for posting the part number! I've been searching for that thing but I didn't know what it was called or the part number. You saved me a load of time and frustration!    Silas

You are an encouragement for those of us trying to save. Nice of you to bother. You silly thang.   Elizabeth W.

Thanks Crabby for your information and help!!!  It was exactly what I was looking for and oh so perfect!!!   Al  S.

Question from Andrew
Ok this may be a foolish question but I am just making sure
because my set up looks just like yours.  Do I need to turn the
water off before attempting this?

Your question is not foolish. Foolish is spitting into a headwind.
No, you do not have to turn the water off, at least i did not have
to. Good luck with your repair,

Crabby the least pretty good

Comment from John
Dear Crabby, Just a note of thanks.  Your directions were really helpful.
Regards,  John L

Appreciate your response John. "Fix On",  Crabby

Question from Sally
"My shower has just the push button diverter to turn the shower from tub to shower. Is it supposed to have  a knob on there too?? Its always been this way and I'm selling my condo now and I'm wondering what an Inspector might say about it. It works fine, but always thought it looked a little weird, like it was missing something. Thanks!!"

Answer ---
About your question Sally. No, that push button is NOT supposed to have a knob on it, so don't worry. The inspector should not even notice or bring it up. If he/she does, they need a good swift kick in the back pockets for being a goof. Take care and send me 5.00. Ok, never mind,
Skip this step if using teflon paste

Do NOT cut plastic piece off!!