Save my new shower!

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by ShannonT, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. ShannonT

    ShannonT New Member

    I am installing the trim for my new shower and I have a leak in the wall. :eek:

    I put teflon tape on the threads and screwed the shower head arm into the plumbing. The first sign of trouble is when I can't turn the arm any more and it is pointed straight up. So I take it off, put new teflon tape on and stop screwing it in when it is pointing downward. I install the shower head and the arm wants to move. I just know there is going to be trouble so I take of the trim around the handle and sure enough, when you turn on the water it is dripping from above.

    In a desperate attempt to tighten the arm I got out the locking wrench and a thick towel to prevent marring to see if I could tighten the arm one more turn. I got it to turn an additional quarter turn and scratched the arm in the process.

    Now what do I do? It has been a year of remodeling this bathroom and I so want finish this project.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Get a different arm. It has a bad thread on it. If the thread has that problem, it may leak even if you could turn it that last bit. The alternate problem would be a bad fitting in the wall, and that would be a very bad problem.
  3. ShannonT

    ShannonT New Member

    Not the thread

    The threads aren't damaged. The problem is that the arm continues to rotate when you adjust the aim of the shower head so you don't get a good seal. Getting a new arm to match the brushed nickle finish won't be easy either.

    The threads on the fitting in the wall could be damaged, I guess but I don't think so. The solder joints were all checked before I closed up the wall so I am confident about them being all right.

    Any other suggestions?
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    San Diego
    It needs to be tighter. Once you get the "feel" you know when you are on the last turn. Insert the handle of a large pair of pliers into the end of the shower arm and use it for leverage to get all the way around.
  5. ShannonT

    ShannonT New Member

    Pliers trick

    I will give the pliers trick a try when I get home. I am also going to change from teflon tape to the liquid/paste goop I have. I may have too much tape on the threads which is keeping me from turning the arm that last quarter turn.

  6. C NUMB

    C NUMB Plumbing Contractor

    NPR, FL
    I would use both. First make sure you apply the teflon tape right. If you hold the shower head side of the arm with your left hand then apply the tape clockwise(with the threads). Go 2 turns then adjust the tape away from the end towards your left side and go another 3 turns. Then apply a small amount of pipedope. Be careful with the plier handle deal as it can damage the the arm if you over tighten. Also be sure to run water though the arm before installing the shower head, pipedope tends to plug the screens and restrictors.
  7. ShannonT

    ShannonT New Member

    Fixed - or not

    Well, I took off the teflon tape and replaced it with pipe dope. Then I put the long padded handle of my adjustable pliers in the arm and I was able to turn it the final 1/4 of a turn.

    Now I have a new problem. I took the handle off to adjust the hot water temperature and there is a small puddle inside the handle and it is coming from the inside of the fixture. Like the o-ring around the cartidge is leaking.

    :eek: What's with that?
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