rethread shower elbow

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by Cincy1, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. Cincy1

    Cincy1 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Good afternoon.

    I have accidentally snapped my showerhead arrm off. I was able to unscrew the remaining pipe out of the elbow that is in the wall. In doing so, I think that I have damaged the threads in the elbow. When trying to install the new arm I can only get it to turn 1/4 of 1 turn without any teflon tape on it.

    My question is can I re-tap the elbow that is in the wall? The elbow is behind tile and I would love to avoid having to break out any tile. If I can, can anyone point me in the right directions as to what tap to buy?

    Any help is much appreciated!

    Thanks,
  2. I assume from your username you reside in Cincinnati? If so, I know from years of service work there that hard water is common in certain areas.


    Take a flashlight and closely examine the thread pattern of the shower lug ell in the wall; many and often times calcium build up will start right where the old threads of the shower arm start.

    You probably will only have to run a tap through it just to clean it and be able to use it again but use tape and dope on that connection; most shower arms have very shallow threads depending on mfg. and the combination of both seems to be a water tight way to go.

    I did one in Mt. Lookout that was in the same situation except the plumber never anchored the lug ell which left me no choice but to open the wall and replace it. I had no way to keep the pipe steady to get a tap started, had the crustation in the fitting keeping the new one from turning in.
  3. Cincy1

    Cincy1 New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Thanks for the reply. Yes I do live in Cincinnati.

    I tried cleaning it out with a wire brush, but maybe I'm not able to get deep enough down with just that.

    I will try to run a tap through it. Do you have any thoughts as to what size tap I might need? The house is about 20 years old.

    A side question. Are you a plumber? I am in the process of framing my basement and am going to add a bathroom. There are no roughins, but the location is very close to drain and water. If you are not, was just wondering if you had anyone interested in the project.

    Sorry about our Bengals!

    Thanks again.
  4. The thread bore is 1/2" NPT so that is the tap size you need.


    Yes I am a plumber and do work in Cincinnati but I don't normally get involved in jobs like you are describing; contact Cass on this site to see if he's interested.

    Thanks for the interest though. I'm strictly a service plumber and can't stay in one spot for too long. The phone is ringing all the time to be somewhere else.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,358
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You can get a 1/2" NPT tap at any real hardware store or plumbing supply. You should be able to turn it with a crescent wrench and chase the threads quickly and easily. Of course a plumber can do it, but there will be a pretty healthy service charge.
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