Key step to fix the Price Pfister bath diverter stem

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Mechanical Engineer Engke, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Mechanical Engineer Engke

    Mechanical Engineer Engke New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Chino Hills, California
    Like to share my hard lessons learned in the past few days while I tried to fix the diverter problem at my two bath rooms. I made several trips to local Home Depot and spoke to four different employees who have been plumber prior to working at HP. None of them can assist my problem.

    Problem: Diverter knob cannot full divert 100% water to shower head for a shower set used for ~ 4 years.
    After pull out the diverter stem, the diverter washer has random cracks / breaks around the outer diametrical edge.

    Basis knowledge:
    There are two types of washer to control the water flow direction. While turn the knob, or handle, clockwise, this stem moves forward and push the black washer [front most washer secured by a brass screw] against the metallic seat. This will stop water flows up to the shower head, direct 100% water to the spout, e.g. down to the bath tub.
    While turn counter clockwise, the stem will pull the second washer [nylon material, beige / clear color and larger in ID and OD, which is pulled by the conical shape at the stem tip] against brass housing in the front. This diverter washer will stop water flows to the spout, all water will flow up to the shower head. While this diverter washer cracks, partial water will split to the spout.

    Trial / Error fixing to final solution

    1. Brought a new set of repair kits from Home Depot, ~ $6, replaced, both washers, the metallic seat inside the housing, the O ring and a black longer / thicker washer within the stem at the front section. Put the overhauled stem back, the problem getting worst, ~ 1/3 water down to the spout while divert the water to the shower head.
    2. Brought the brand new diverter stem from Home Depot, ~ $13, model 9H-3D. Same problem as in fix step 1 above.
    3. Call Price Pfister two days on the row, each time waited more than 15 minutes. No help at all.
    4. Did the Google research, foundd the forum discussion under the "Terry Love's Plumbing and Remodel" today, 11-29-11. Saw a similar problem, one man suggested to replace with a thicker diverter washer, such as 3/8" union washer [PN 02-2004] from Larsen Supply, it may not last as long as the nylon washer.
    5. Step 4 gave me a hint to use double diverter washers After I put doubler diverter washers, the problem solved. This second diverter washer is not cheap, need to buy the whole repair kit just for this part.

    Hope this can help others. I will inform Home Depot Manager of the basic design issue of the Price Pfister hardware.

    One question: Any one can suggest where to buy additional diverter washer alone? [repair kit or brand one
    diverter stem only provide one of this washer].
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    I have NEVER had that problem, nor have I had to use "two diverter" washers. In fact, I never even try to repair a diverter stem, I replace the complete unit. NOW, however, since the stem is "double seated:, if the "body gasket" where the stem screws in is too thick it will NOT allow the diverter washer to "clamp" in the valve body, then you need a thinner body gasket, or Teflon tape, NOT two diverter washers.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    We are happy that your shower is now working, but have some long-term concerns.

    The PP shower is one of the most ubiquitous models in the country. I have repaired in the hundreds, I believe, and hj probably can add a zero to that figure. We can repair this one in our sleep, blindfolded!

    I an not trying to toot my horn here. What I am saying is that neither of us has ever had the difficulty you describe. What I would recommend if your shower acts up again, is to do a thourough visual inspection of the interior of the divertere body area. We would be looking for loose pieces of debris...chunks of an earlier white nylon washer....which are interfering with your fit.

    Call on us again if you need further help.
  4. Price Pfister

    Price Pfister Pfister Faucets

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Lake Forest, California
    For the original poster "Mechanical Engineer Engke",

    We're sorry to hear about the problem you’re experiencing with repairing our product. We want to address the problems you had and make sure your experience matches our standards of excellence.

    Please provide some additional information:

    * The model number of the product. If you do not know this, please follow these directions: http://www.pfisterfaucets.com/do_it_yourself/how_to.aspx
    * Any other specifics on the issue you’re experiencing
    * A method to contact you (ex. email, phone, etc. (phone is preferred))
    * Best time for contact (ex. mornings, evenings, etc.)

    Please send this information to us at pfistersocial@bdhhi.com.

    We apologize for your inconvenience and look forward to resolving this matter as soon as possible.

    Sincerely,

    The Pfister Team

    Pfister is a part of the Stanley Black & Decker Hardware and Home Improvement (BDHHI) Group.
  5. Mechanical Engineer Engke

    Mechanical Engineer Engke New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Chino Hills, California
    Hi HJ, Jimbo and the Pfister Team:

    I am grateful for your recommendations and suggestions. I am sure enjoy the positive responses after I published my first forum article.

    If I learn a better alternate way to fix the same problem from the Pfister team, or a single nylon washer with double the thickness, I will pass on information.

    Best Regard.
    Engke
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego

    We are dying to hear if PP has any insight on your problem beyond what we have suggested. Please share your experience with us all.
  7. Mechanical Engineer Engke

    Mechanical Engineer Engke New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Chino Hills, California
    Will do jimbo and thanks for your interest on this PP Diverter Stem insightful solution.
  8. TSTheBeav

    TSTheBeav New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Colorado
    I have the same exact problem!!! Why doesn't PP just answer their phone. Very upsetting.
  9. TSTheBeav

    TSTheBeav New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Colorado
    Thank You

    Thank you for giving the solution. I was on hold for 40 min with PP yesterday and 2 hours on their web site No help at all. After reading your solution i but the new and my old nylon washer on and bam I was down to 1% water to the tub. So I went back and procured a second nylon washer as mine was old and suspect. Now all is great, nice easy turn (Almost 1/2 rotation) and all water goes to the tub when you want or 100% to the shower head.

    You are very kind Sir and deserve an award for giving the answer every one else seems afraid to give.

    PS. Price Pfister Psucks!

    Thank you again,

    TSTheBeav@gmail.com
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