showerhead on ball shower arm fell off - and can't find correct o-rings for it

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by carlegeo, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. carlegeo

    carlegeo New Member

    I have an old shower arm with a ball at the end - there is nothing else but the ball, and the
    ball does not have a coupling or ring around it where the showerhead screws into it -
    its just a ball with a hole in it -- and
    the showerhead just fits on the ball by itself.
    (showerhead has no threads in it either)

    I only know this from recently, when the showerhead started falling off the ball, and
    all I could see inside the showerhead was a partial o-ring, the rest had worn away or fallen out,
    and assumed that somehow
    the o-ring, placed inside the shower head top, fit onto the ball and made enough
    contact, that the showerhead did not fall off.

    That is, the shower head has no threads itself, just an empty area where I found
    the partial o-ring.

    I have purchased about 20 o-ring sizes and none seem to work ! Have purchased
    what seemed to be too big and too small just to be sure.

    ===> Does anyone know what might be the solution ?

    Again, the ball itself does not have a collar at all that its embedded in - its just a ball and somehow the showerhead,
    which has no threads itself, was held on by the previous o-ring, or some other way I don't understand.

    And I think that the 2 wheadon or other ball arm adapters won't work cause they assume that there
    is something around the ball to screw into - and this does not have that at all.

    Thanks for any suggestions - carlegeo
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
    Just replace the shower arm and get a new shower head.
    What you have is an old Price Pfister shower arm.

    The threading in the wall will take the new 1/2" shower arm.
  3. carlegeo

    carlegeo New Member


    Thanks for the reply.

    I'm not handy at all and afraid of some problem in removing the shower arm thats been there
    probably 20-30 years - that is of shower arm breaking off and needing to go into wall, and money is tight.

    ===> Do you know what kept the shower head onto this price-pfister ball ?

    Would it have been an o-ring and/or something else ? Then at least I could try to continue
    with the o-ring search or to get whatever other part might be needed, and could then just
    put the shower head back onto the ball and continue to use it.

    PS the pictures I see of the whedon and other ball arm adaptors for price-pfister seem to assume
    its one that has a collar that the adapter can be screwed into, but what I have does not,
    so that seems to rule out being able to do something like that.

    Thanks again - carlgeo
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You should have found the correct "O" ring with a maximum of TWO tries. It fits into the shower head recess, and the only critical dimension is the O.D. so it is snug. Those "adapters" make a very "sloppy" installation which is hard to get everything tight enough so the head does not just "flop" down.
  5. carlegeo

    carlegeo New Member

    ===> I received a clue when talking with those who make the adapter kits for shower arms with ball joints; they confirmed
    the kits would not work for my situation since the ball does not have a collar around it --

    but they asked me about the showerhead itself and mentioned that what was keeping the showerhead on the ball,
    was what they called a clip ring; whereas the o-ring was for preventing leakage.

    I mentioned to them that inside the showerhead there is this metal ring, I guess it could be called a metal washer also,
    and that it was able to be taken out of the showerhead. They said that perhaps this is the clip ring they were referring to.

    Thus assuming that this metal washer is the clip ring they referred to - I need to figure out how to re-attach this to the ball,
    since now when just having the metal washer in the showerhead, with or without an o-ring, the showerhead does not stay on the ball.

    Google searches so far for words like clip ring or metal ring or metal washer in context of shower heads or shower arms does not
    show me too much.

    ==> Thus I don't know if this clip ring is damaged somehow and thats not why making good contact with the ball,
    or if it is not in the correct place in the showerhead or if it needs to go onto the ball itself, or something else.

    Thanks - carlegeo
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Your description does NOT match any showerhead I have ever seen, so a picture of the items would be beneficial.
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