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Bath and Shower Diverters

WaterSense Products Pipeline

WaterSense Products SearchA bath and shower diverter is a device that diverts the flow of water either toward the tub spout (i.e., to the bathtub) or toward the showerhead. This product is commonly found in bathtubs equipped with a showerhead, such as in residential bathrooms and private commercial restrooms found in hotels.

Why a Specification?

Bath diverterMany bath and shower diverters currently installed leak a small amount of water from the tub spout while they are engaged and the water is being diverted to the showerhead. In fact, the current national plumbing standard sets an allowable leak rate of 0.1 gallons per minute (gpm) for a bath and shower diverter prior to life cycle testing (i.e., when new) and 0.2 gpm after life cycle testing (i.e., at the end of the product’s life). This is equivalent to a half gallon and a full gallon of water, respectively, wasted over the course of a typical shower.

Many older bath and shower diverters installed in homes across the United States have much higher leak rates, resulting in considerable water waste with every shower. Field studies have shown bath and shower diverter leak rates averaging three to eight times the leak rate allowed by the current standard. In some cases, the studies identified leaks of up to 3.0 gpm, which is more than the flow rate from a typical showerhead.

In recent years, the California Energy Commission has led the charge in adopting efficiency requirements for bath and shower diverters that aim to significantly reduce leak rates over the current national standard. However, WaterSense has identified viable and readily available bath and shower diverter models that can eliminate leaks altogether.

Notice of Intent

In December 2016, EPA issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to develop a specification for bath and shower diverters. The goal is to help increase water efficiency in the residential and commercial sectors, recognize the most efficient technology available, and eliminate unnecessary leaks and water waste. Replacing a leaking diverter with a more efficient model could result in considerable water and energy savings.


On February 8, 2017, EPA hosted a teleconference and webinar with stakeholders to discuss the NOI.  A summary of the meeting and compiled comments received on the NOI to date are provided below.  WaterSense will continue to accept written comments and data related to the NOI to label bath and shower diverters. Please send any comments or suggestions to

Since the issuance of the NOI, WaterSense has determined that research is necessary to further understand the different technologies available and the extent of bath and shower diverter leaks within the existing marketplace. EPA drafted a research proposal, provided below, in hopes of encouraging this research and resolving the outstanding questions related this product category. Please contact if you are interested in taking on this proposal or other research related to bath and shower diverters.