Shower Arm for 1950's House

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by subs, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. subs

    subs New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Honolulu
    I just removed an old shower arm with surface rust. Our house is from the 1950s and the piping in the wall is still OK. The threads were stripped at the end of the shower, and there was a spirally piece of brass that had been curled off the end because the previous installer had forced it into the female threaded pipe in the wall.

    I put a new shower arm and discovered that it would not fit and that if I forced it, a strip of brass of the new arm would probably begin to "uncurl" just like the old one. The threaded diameter appears to be slightly smaller than the 1/2" standard or maybe the thread count is very different.

    I suspect the female threaded pipe in the wall has a thread that is different than modern shower arims. It might be metric (?) but I doubt it.

    Does anybody know what type of threaded pipe might be in my wall, and if adapters are available?

    SS
  2. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Messages:
    1,339
    Location:
    Cincinnati OH
    It should be 1/2" iron pipe size, if not then I do not know what size it is with out looking at it.
  3. subs

    subs New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Honolulu
    It is slightly smaller in diameter than a 1/2" IP shower arm. I just bought the shower arm from Home Depot and it is today's "standard". The question rephrased is: What diameter pipe and thread count was used in my 1950's house, which is not 1/2", but slightly smaller/tighter?
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,510
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You are in Hawaii and the house is from the 50s. We do not know if they were using American, or Oriental materials at that time. If American, it would be 1/2" ips, but the thread may have been damaged which would cause your difficulty.
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,904
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    There is a chance that it was 3/8", but more likely it's a damaged thread like hj mentions.
    If it is 3/8", it may be a good idea to have a plumber change out the top fitting in the wall.
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