How To Replace A Symmons Shower/Tub Spindle and Diverter

Below is a video of a symmons shower/tub spindle and diverter being replaced.

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This is how you can fix that dripping or leaking bath tub or replace that sticky diverter. Its also a way to update or give your bathroom a new look for not a lot of money by replace your discolored shower valve trim.

First place a towel or face cloth over the drain to keep small parts from falling into the drain.

Next you will want to shut off the Hot & Cold water to the Shower Valve. Helpful tip: If you can turn on a facet below the level of the tub, the water will drain from the tub to that facet. So you don’t get wet while you work on the shower valve.

Once it is turned off you should double check by turning the handle to the hot and then the cold.

Next take a flat screw driver or take a utility knife and remove the center cap hiding the screw that secures the handle in place. With the cap removed you can now remove the flat or philips screw with the appropriate driver to remove the Handle.

With the screw removed you can now remove the handle. If it won’t come off you can take a medium size set of Channellock and put them onto the handle and bring it straight down and then back up to snap off the end of the spindle letting you remove the handle.

Next Remove the two flat or philips screws on each side of the spindle to remove the faceplate and Diverter/Volume Handle.

With the faceplate out of the way you can now remove the packing nut. With the packing nut removed you can now remove the spindle/cartridge.

Now with the Spindle/Cartridge removed. It is time to take your seat removal tool and remove the outer seat and then remove the inner seat. With them both removed you can now reinstall the new seat set. First let’s install the inner/ smaller seat. Next install the outer/ bigger seat.

Alright with the new seats installed inner and outer. We can move onto replacing the shower Diverter. You will want to remove the cover that holds the diverter some will have two flat or Philips screws or like this one will use the 4-way wrench (the A wrench side). Next take a flat screw driver and remove the brass colored key way. Next remove the Diverter using the twisted part of the 4-way wrench or Symmons also recommends using a 5/16″ X 3″ Lag bolt. Insert the wrench or the lag and turn it into the diverter and pull it out. BE CAREFUL not to turn it to far in as it will cause the diverter to expand causing it to hit the housing and will stop the diverter from sliding out. Sometimes the diverter can be stuck. You can drill it out going one bit at a time and trying to pull it out in between and only drill 3/4 of the way in. Another method is to use a torch to lightly heat around the diverter to soften the o-rings to get it to slide out. Be Careful as to what is inside the wall.. for example insulation, spider webs, news paper that could catch on fire.

With the diverter out you will want to use a ½ wire brush to clean inside to make sure when you install the new diverter the o-ring has a smooth surface so it can seal. Next put plumbers grease on the o-ring on the diverter so it will slide in easier. With it greased slide it back into the diverter hole pressing it in till it bottoms out. Next take a flat screw driver and reinstall the brass colored key way. Next reinstall the cover back over the diverter using the 2 screw or the 4-way wrench.

Next remove the old gasket from the front of the spindle housing. Then install the new one. With the new one installed next put the spindle into the front of the housing or the 12A-Cap spinning it all the way in. Next reinstall the spindle and front housing into the shower valve. Next reinstall the packing nut. Just snug it down with channellocks. Now the spindle and diverter have been rebuilt.

Next take the handle and put in on to the spindle and shut the shower valve off. Next take a flat screw driver and turn the brass colored key way so it points up and to the right. That will put in on tub so you don’t get wet when you turn the water back on. At this point you can turn the water on and check for leaks around the spindle. It’s also a good idea to turn it from tub to shower quickly so you can also check for leaks around the diverter.

Next we can clean the shower/tub wall where the faceplate mounts. After that we can start to put the valve back together. They do sell the handle, faceplate, diverter/volume handle, or the entire shower valve if any part of yours needs replacing. First put the inner cover on over the spindle. Next reinstall the faceplate. Make sure you have the gasket behind the faceplate to seal it to the tub wall. If you have that gasket in place you can reinstall the face plate. Make sure that the diverter is set to tub. If it doesn’t slide into the diverter turn it back and forth slowly until it lines up. Once it’s lined up tighten the 2 screws that hold the face plate to the shower valve.

Alright now with the faceplate reinstalled you can now reinstall the handle and tighten the screw to secure it in place and then put the cover on that hides the screw.

That’s it your done. You have just rebuilt your symmons shower valve.





I can’t recognize the 4-way wrench you used in the symmons shower rebuild. Where can I get one ? thanks
By the way, the video is superb !

Hello, The 4-way wrench is made by “Raven tool inc” or at least that is what the logo on the side says. I have yet to find another one.. As I would like to have a replacement for this one when it wears out but I got this one out of my grandfathers plumbing tools. They do sell them separately.. Thank you.

Ever heard of this? I have a Symmons Tempetrol shower faucet. It puts out hot water to the shower for about 5 minutes, then it start to cool off dramatically. However, if I turn on the hot water in the sink in my bathroom, the shower stays warm forever and the water coming out of the sink is dead cold. I’m thinking there’s a problem with the shower valve, but don’t really know.
Any suggestions?
By the way, this seems to happen with the other shower in the house as well.

Hello. The Symmons shower valve spindle is a pressure balancing valve. Meaning it balances the hot and cold water to be even. When the spindle goes bad it will either just have hot or cold water come out or do what you say start off with great hot water and then taper off to warm then cooler water. I would start by replacing the spindle but why it have it apart you might as well replace the diverter.

I am trying to replace just the diverter soindlw. How to I remove the old spindle without a four way wrench?

To remove the diverter if you don’t have the 4-way wrench you can use a 5/16’s 3″ long lag bolt and thread it into the diverter with a ratchet and socket and then grab it with a pair of pliers or vise grips and pull it out. I just added a link to the 4 way wrench -> .

Thank you for your excellent tutorial! So far, my unit is working great, but the diverter switch simply snapped in half and it’s difficult to switch from shower to tub. Can the switch easily replaced, or would I have to replace the entire faceplate? I’d love to know before I start taking everything apart. Thanks again!

Hello, To replace the diverter handle is not that hard. You will need to remove the handle, center cone/ cover and then the face plate. Once you have the face plate off there is a clip that holds the diverter handle to the face plate. Slide that up and out and swap it out. Most of the time when the handle brakes its because the diverter valve is turning hard within the shower valve body. You may also want to think about replacing it. The handle part # is a T30 ->


I just changed my diverter but the water is still flowing from the bottom spout on the shower setting. Thoughts? Thanks.

Depending on which style Symmons shower valve you have some have a design function to allow a trickle of water from the tub spout when diverter is set for shower position, This trickle of water is necessary to ensure safe operation in that the valve will be shut off at main handle and NOT with diverter handle. If its more then a trickle the o-ring on the end of the diverter could have gotten damaged or there may be some hard water deposits stopping the o-ring from seating. Make sure to use a 1/2 copper pipe wire brush to try and clean the area where the o-ring sits. Sometimes it helps to add some plumbers grease to the o-ring to help it slide easily into place.

The upstairs most likely needs a spindle and a seat set as it sounds like water is getting past them and causing the drip. If your talking about removing the nose cone/ cap. You will want to turn the spindle half way between hot and cold, the spindle can’t be closed or fully open as it puts pressure on the nose cone/ cap and you can’t remove it. You may want to also try a pipe wrench to give you more leverage to get it off. For the main floor one if its leaking out the bottom of the valve or body of the spindle then the o-ring of diverter is leaking. So if that’s the case you could get away with just replacing the diverter. If its leaking around the spindle/ nose cone there is a gasket behind there that seals it to the shower valve body. Then you might as well replace the spindle as it comes with the gasket. I would lean towards the spindle leaking. So for parts and tools – ** are ones you will need:

** Shower handle –
** Spindle –
Nose cone/ cap –
** Diverter –
** Seat kit –
Cone cover –
Diverter handle –
Face plate –
** 1/2 wire brush –
** Pipe wrench –
** 4-way wrench – OR

I think I got everything I could be missing something let me know if I did or if you have more questions. Thanks for watching and Good luck with getting both shower valves repaired. Don’t forget to give the video a thumbs up/ like if you haven’t already. Thanks

Hi, thanks for the detailed videos. Recently I noticed the tub spout still running water when I flip the bottom lever to use the shower head. So I think I need to replace the diverter, am I right? Also, I noticed the washer for the spindle is wore out so I will replace that and Nose cone / cap. Think that should be enough to fix the issue. What do you think? Please advise.

You’re welcome. If your saying the tub spout is leaking while you have the water on and using the shower then yes that would be the diverter allowing the water around it to leak out the tub spout rather then all go to the shower head. So not 100% sure what your saying/ asking in the second part. So do you mean the gasket that seals the nose cone to the valve body is leaking? If so that gasket comes with a new spindle and not with the nose cone. I’m not sure if you can find that gasket separate. You should be able to use a utility knife and remove the old gasket off the nose cone and reuse. Do you mean the spindle washer is worn so its dripping when off so you are going to replace the spindle and the nose cone at the same time? I think I have only had to replace the nose cone part 2-3 times and that was because I couldn’t get the packing nut to seal without it making the spindle hard to turn for the end user. Hopefully that answers your question if not let me know. Thanks for watching and good luck with the repair.

Thanks for the speedy reply @TheDIYGuy. I just replaced both spindle and nose cone/ cap altogether. Looks good so far. Still waiting for the diverter to arrive. Thanks again and I really appreciated it.

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