Three Handle Diverter - Changing Shower/Tub Diverter Turn Direction

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by philly, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. philly

    philly New Member

    Dec 24, 2015
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    I'm renovating an 1850's Philadelphia rowhouse with one bath. After looking through the big box offerings I couldn't find anything which fit the look I was going for. After more searching, I splurged on a very nice three handle diverter set from Strom (or Sign of the Crab). The diverter actually ships in pieces, where the hot, cold, and diverter valves are all separate and must be connected by supplied brass nipples.

    I assembled the valves and diverters following the stampings on the valves (Hot supply valve connected to the H on the diverter, C to C). This leaves the T (for Tub I assume) connection on the diverter facing down and the S (for Shower) facing up. Before installing the diverter I pressure tested it to check for any leaks, and found that turning both the hot and cold valves clockwise shuts turns the water off. However turning the diverter clockwise diverts water to the showerhead, rather than the tub spigot, which seems counterintuitive. Is there any way to reverse the operation of this valve? Can I install the diverter body upside down? When I look in the diverter outlets for the shower and tub connections, I see one hole in the shower outlet, and two in the tub outlet, so I'm not sure the valve is the same if installed upside down. I tried contacting Strom, but they are off for the holiday and I was hoping to get this installed this weekend.

    For reference the valve set is the St Lawrence series from Strom/Sign of the Crab (P0352). Thanks in advance for any insight!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Probably not. While you might be able to flip the valve 180-degrees, typically, the outlet ports are not the same size...the one for the tub is larger than the one for the shower. This isn't always true, but is more common. In that case, if you flipped it, while having more volume available for the shower probably wont' matter for a single showerhead (that head has internal restrictions, so more won't help), restricting that to the tub spout WILL slow down the tub filling. ALso keep in mind that assuming you got a building permit and inspection, what you are installing will NOT pass inspection without additional plumbing. All new construction or remodels require anti-scald technology to be delivered, yours almost certainly does NOT. You can buy the required add-on pressure-balance valve, but it can be somewhat of a pain to install it, and because it fails, and isn't built into the valve, you'd need an access panel to service it down the road when it needs it (they all do, eventually, but on modern valves, you can get to it from the tub/shower through the trim plate).
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There is NOTHING "intuitive" about the direction the diverter valve turns. One way is the tub and the other the shower and it makes no difference which way it turns.
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