Key Step to fix TWO Price Pfister Bathtub Diverter Stems - Update 12-05-11

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Mechanical Engineer Engke, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Mechanical Engineer Engke

    Mechanical Engineer Engke New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Chino Hills, California
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    The diverter stem model 9H-3C made by Price Pfister which controlled the routing of mixed hot / cold water to the shower header / spout.
    How it works:
    1. Turn clockwise to advance the flat [black color] washer to close the metallic seat, directs water to the spout.
    2. Turn counter-clockwise, the larger washer [flat & beige color, or diverter washer] compressed by the front cone section and seal the mixed water down to the spout and direct waster upward to the shower head.

    Problem: This diverter stem, as brand new unit along with the entire bath room facet system, only works for short period of time, then the diverter washer cannot seal !00% of the mixed water down to the sprout, while try to direct all water to the shower head.

    Fix Solution is to put a set of two brand new diverter washers together. This is key step work for my two shower facet systems in two different bath rooms. A single diverter washer will not work, partial water [~ 1/3 ] still leak through the spout.

    Cost: At Home Depot in California, the Diverter Stem is ~ $13 [tax included], plus additional diverter washer which is available in the repair kit, which cost ~ $6 + tax. Total ~ $20.

    Alternative method: You can purchase a similar thickness Nylon washer or a thicker Nylon washer [equivalent to double the thickness] between 40 cents to $1.40 provided that you can modify the OD or ID or the combination of both diameters. [This is more work for you to save few dollars]. Individual Nylon washers are available from Ace Hardware.

    I hope this forum article can provide a simple / easy / economic way for those who experienced similar problem. Try this method, if other alternate repair does not work for you. My method works 100% for two diverter stem systems.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,537
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; My method works 100% for two diverter stem systems.

    That is a bit presumptious don't you think. It works for YOUR stems, but might not for anyone else, especially since you may be the ONLY person who has had the original problem, even after installing a NEW diverter stem.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    We have discussed this before. From a personal stanpoint, I have owned my condo for 22 years, with a 3 handle Windsor PP. I have NEVER had a fault with the diverter. About every other time I redo the hot and cold stems, I change the diverter stem " just because", but I have never had a leak. I would suspect problems with limited travel and leakage if two washers were used. Yours is working for you so we don't argue with success.

    When you assemble the stem into the valve...are you careful to retract the stem into the body (CCW)? If not, the body nut may not fully seat into the valve. This would cause problems.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,537
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    When I fix a Price Pfister 2 or 3 handle valve, I ONLY do the hot and cold, unless there is a problem with the diverter, or I am converting it to "lifetime" ceramic stems, (my usual repair), which use a different escutcheon.
  5. Mechanical Engineer Engke

    Mechanical Engineer Engke New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Chino Hills, California
    Single diverter Nylon washer PN & Cost for Price Pfister Diverter Stem Model 9H-3C

    I found an exact diverter washer for the Price Pfister Diverter Stem Model 9H-3C:

    It is available at the local Mission Ace Hardware Store in Glendora [531 South Glendora Avenue, Glendora, Ca 91741], phone # 626 914 7980 or try to call other hardware stores near your local area.

    This single Nylon washer is packaged by Danco Inc [Irving, Tx, 75062], Stock no. 35692B with PN:
    #16 /bat Diverter Washer.

    The price is $0.99 + tax. Exact same size as in the Pfister Diverter Stem Model 9H-3C. If you encounter a similar problem as I experienced for my two Price Ffister shower room facets, and received absolutely no help from the manufacturer [like my case, either by phone calls or by emails], and cannot divert the water properly even after replace with a brand new diverter stem. I would recommend just Picture.jpg add additional same size Nylon diverter washer, it should work for you. If this hint help you to fix your problem, share your experience with others if you wish to do so.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    No offense to our engineer friend..I hope he isn't looking for the Nobel prize for discovering that the nylon washer is replaceable on the PP shower!
    As we have mentioned before, I can repair this ubiquitous model with my eyes closed, and hj can do it in his sleep!
    As a matter of course, a professional plumber will often make the decision to replace the entire stem, for many reaons. First, time is $$$. Second, there are other possible defects that may be noticed, may be overlooked, if you simply repair the old stem. Callbacks take all the fun out of this business!
    SO, we certainly let homeowners know about all the parts involved, and since time is not a driving factor on a DIY job, we are not critical of someone who overhauls the stem instead of replacing.

    At home, I have two sets of stems. When I need to redo the shower, it is a quicky...out with the old and in with the new. Then, at my leisure, such as when the Chargers are losing at halftime, as usual, I will work over the old set, clean it up, new gaskets and packing, grease as appropriate, then into a plastic bag where they will sit for a few years!!!!
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