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Leaking Diverter Valves Issues

One of the most common issues that we have been asked about recently is inspectors who are citing “leaking shower diverter valves” on shower bathtub faucet assemblies. This refers to a condition where the lower faucet in a shower continues to drip or leak water once the switch (diverter) for the shower-head has been engaged. When you turn on your shower-head, the lower faucet should not run any water at all; if it does, it will be considered “leaking”. This is a Level 3 deficiency, as it represents hardware that has failed and is no longer operating as intended. In many cases, this can carry a significant point loss, and if this is present in a large number of units, it can have a significant effect on your score.

What if all my diverter valves leak “a little”?

Many shower assemblies are considered to be working “as designed” if they are allowing a small stream or slow drip of water once the shower-head has been engaged. If you have these sorts of showerheads in your units, you can tell the inspector that this is the case and that he/she will see the same condition in all of the units that they will inspect. Many inspectors will not cite you for a deficiency if you are able to show them that the condition is normal by evidence of the condition being present in all units. If the inspector does not accept this, you will be able to create a Technical Review appeal with proper documentation from a licensed professional (please contact us for information and assistance with a REAC appeal).

What Should You Do Before Your REAC

Regardless of what you may have experienced in the past, your REAC inspector should test all shower and bathtub faucet assemblies for proper functionality and leaks. Before your next REAC inspection, you should test all of your apartment and common area shower assemblies to ensure that the shower diverter valves and other functionalities are working properly. The best procedure for testing all your shower equipment is to:

  • Turn the shower-head towards the wall (away from yourself) Activate the shower/tub stopper (if present).
  • Turn on the lower faucet and let run for at least 15 seconds or until water is warm.
  • Check to see if the water is being retained in the tub properly by the tub stopper.
  • Activate the shower diverter valve and then check and see if any water is leaking from the lower faucet, and if the head is spraying properly, ensure there are no leaks from the hose, or behind the head.
  • Turn off all of the water supply and ensure that the water drains properly down the drain.

Best Practices for REAC Preparation

The best practice to ensure that you have properly prepared for a REAC inspection is to have a complete and thorough inspection of your property at the beginning and end of your preparation. The Pre-REAC at the beginning of the inspection will establish what needs to be done, both in terms of what items are deficient and what items carry a significant point penalty. Directly before your inspection, another Pre-REAC will ensure that other issues have not occurred in the meantime and that everything was done properly.

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