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Plumbing in the Home/Damaged Copper Pipe for Diverter


Diverter Pipe
Diverter Pipe  
Hello Jay,

I was trying to install a diverter in the shower because the old one would no longer seal and constantly leak.  When I tried to remove the old one, the threads were jammed.  The assembly that attaches to the copper pipe started twisting and eventually created ridges in the pipe.  When I install the new unit, the O-ring that seals against the copper pipe leaks.  I think it is because it either gets damaged while sliding over the groves or the grove creates a leak rout for the water.  Likely both.  Do you think I can sand the pipe down or smooth this out somehow? I don't want the water to leak into the wall which is what happens now. See the attached picture.

Thanks for your help.

Hi Syed, Since copper is a very soft metal, I don't think you will be able to get it perfectly round again and to get these grooves you will have to remove quite a bit. Your best bet is to unsweat(unsolder) the pipe from behind the faucet wall and replace it. A leak in that wall can cause a brand new set of problems that is expensive to fix. The type of diverter you had uses a set screw that is secured with an allen screw from underneth the diverter. It is what we call a slip on and it has to be put on a clean, perfecly round piece of copper in order to seal properly. The bottom line is you could try sanding and perhaps get lucky but replacement is a guarnteed fix.

Plumbing in the Home

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Jay Nicholas


Plumbing & Heating (warm air, hot water & steam heat)


40 years in the business, 40 years as a lic. master plumber in NY State. Retired

Graduated Magna cum laude at the School of Hard Knocks

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Commercial, residential and light industrial. You name it ...I have probably worked on it

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