Three Handle Tub and Shower Faucet: Plumbing Explained

three handle faucet shower system

The three handle tub shower faucet is one of the most complicated pieces of plumbing you are likely to encounter as an amateur home improvement fan. If you are looking for a new challenge, and feel confident, then the three handle tub and shower faucet design will have plenty of challenges which can be addressed as you install it.

In order to install a three handle tub and shower faucet, you will have to have some basic home improvement skills which will help you to get the most out of your system, and a few spare hours in which to install the faucet into your home.

The Three handle Tub and Shower Faucet

Unlike other forms of tub faucet, which traditionally have a connection between the shower and the tub, the three handle tub and shower faucet allows the user to control the shower and bath water supply independently of each other. There's a handle for the hot and cold taps in the tub, and the third handle will then direct the flow of water towards the shower head.

This means that you will need to have a diverter in place in order to ensure that when you use the third handle, the water supply is able to reach the shower. This type of tub and shower faucet is convenient if you use both the bathtub and the shower on a regular basis.

How the Three Handle Tub Shower Faucet Works

With this device, you have a series of valves which supply water to the faucet. The main valves are those which control the hot and cold system, and these are similar to the ones on regular tubs and showers. The main difference is the third handle, which controls a valve which directs the flow of water. This valve, known as a diverter valve, can sometimes resemble a ball with a hole drilled in the center. When the handle moves the valve, this hole lines up with either the shower or the tub faucet, and water travels through the hole from the water supply to the shower or tub.

Problems with the Three Handle Tub and Shower Faucet

The main problem with the three handle system is that it relies upon a diverter valve to cause the water to travel to the desired location, either the shower or the tub. This diverter can sometimes become corroded due to shower leaks and other problems, and you may also find the valve becomes stiffer over time. The seals on the valve may also become damaged, and this can lead to leaks and water damage behind the wall.

In order to repair this valve, it is necessary to strip the faucet from the wall and take out the diverter, replacing it completely with a different one. Apart from this, the three handle tub and shower faucet only suffers the same problems as any usual faucet, such as loose washers or loose pipe joints.