Bathtub spout diverter leaks, but when are they a defect needing to be fixed?

Often times when I pull the bathtub spout diverter to activate the shower in the bathroom, water will leak out of the tub spout as the water is flowing to the shower head.
The question is, when is it actually a defect or problem that needs to be fixed when the water is leaking out of the tub spout as the shower head is activated?
Many of the newly installed bathtub spouts will leak when the diverter is pulled to activate the shower.
It seems like 80 to 90% of the bathtub spouts that I inspect will leak water when the diverter for the shower is activated.

I note it as a malfunction if it significantly affects the performance of the shower head. I just had one a week or so ago that only about half the water was being sent to the shower head.

That little bit in your picture wouldn’t make my report.

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If it’s just dripping and not affecting the shower head pressure, I just note it and state that it may eventually fail and be an issue in the future.

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Don’t you think that’s a tad silly, considering everything associated with a home will “eventually fail and be an issue”?

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Not really! I can do an inspection, charge $500 and just put in my report. " Eventually, everything is going to fail…" walk away and be happy…no?

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That’s a standard that I could identify and articulate. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a spout diverter malfunction to that extreme. They seem to get obstructed by calcium deposits.

I report like Ryan.

I heard someone, can’t remember who which is a shame cuz I say it all the time, “The pyramids are failing, just very slowly.”

I wouldn’t call out your picture, but diverters that leak more will make the report. It’s a judgement call, the agent will shoot it down most likely.

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If it’s dripping directly into the tub from the spout, I wouldn’t use the word “leak”. Usually, on the ones I see that can barely get it up, it’s leaking out of the control valves, too.

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Better word Tom? Dripping?

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They all leak a little, even new diverters. Where is it written the tub spout needs to be water tight when operating the shower. That dribble in the photo is a non issue and not unusual.

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Here is the one I wrote up recently. You can see how much water is still coming out of the spout.

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That is water that you paid to heat that is going down the drain; that would make it in my report.

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Yep. And even though it looks like an ok amount of water is coming out of the shower head, it really wasn’t. The picture makes it look better than it actually was.

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That’s the feedback that I’m looking for, Martin. Thank you! It’s normal to see that level of dribble at the tub spout when the diverter is activated. However, I would consider that level of dribble at most other types of fixtures or drain pipes to be a defect.

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I would too Adam, however this is a diverter. The diverter is simply a gate that is lifted up, and the pressure of the water is keeping the gate in an upward position. Some water leaks by.

They do make diverters that are valve style. The gate design has been around for decades, and it’s in inherit in that design that some water does dribble past the loose gate and through the spout.

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“When using the shower head, a noticeable amount of water still escapes from the tub spout as well. This may reduce the water pressure at the shower head, and will also lead to water waste. This could be repaired by replacing the tub spout diverter and/or tub spout”

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Pretty much the same, if its a dribble, meh. But if its any significant amount I note that the diverter failed to fully divert.

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Your photo. That’s a water leak. Unused fresh water going down the drain. Write er’up. :+1:

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Diverters can also be repaired (cleaned) with vinegar or CLR, as I’ve seen done in a YouTube video.

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