A faucet diverter is most often used to direct the flow of water from a bathtub spout to the shower head. The presence of a faucet diverter permits a bathtub to be used either for bathing or showering and eliminates the need for a separate shower stall. Although there are many different faucet diverter designs, there are actually only two basic types — a spout with a built-in valve or a three-valve model. Faucet diverters are also utilized in kitchen applications to direct the water flow to a handheld sprayer or filter.
Bathrooms are typically small rooms that require efficient use of space. The ability to combine bathing and showering facilities is essential in these confined spaces. The use of a faucet diverter often saves enough space for a closet, vanity area, or cabinet. This device can also reduce bathroom construction costs by eliminating unnecessary plumbing and fixtures. The type of faucet diverter installed depends largely on the design of the faucet.
A bathtub spout with a built-in valve is the most commonly used type of faucet diverter. This kind of diverter is utilized in both single and two handled faucet models. The hot and cold water is initially sent through the tub spout as it is mixed. Once the desired mixture is achieved, a small knob on the tub spout is pulled upward to direct the flow of water to the shower head. After showering, the knob is pushed downward to send the water through the spout again.
A three-valve diverter is also used on many bathtub faucet models. This application typically has separate valves for hot and cold water as well as a valve for the diverter. As with the spout diverter, the water flows through the spout until it is mixed properly. Then the diverter handle is turned to send the water flowing upward to the shower head. When finished, the diverter handle is turned in the opposite direction to return the flow to the spout.
Faucet diverters are also found in certain kitchen applications such as hand-held sprayers and water filters. Hand-held sprayer applications typically utilize a diverter valve built in to the sprayer nozzle. Once the water is flowing through the faucet spout, a button is pressed on the sprayer nozzle to divert the flow to it. Releasing the button returns the flow to the spout again. Certain types of water filtration systems contain a diverter to temporarily send water through the device by means of a small handle located on the faucet spout.