Which shower arm adaptor

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by md001, May 18, 2010.

  1. md001

    md001 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    new jersey
    Anyone know how to tell what kind of ball end shower arm you have, in order to determine which adaptor to purchase to turn it into a regular threaded arm? There seem to be at least three of four different adaptor (american standard, gerber, etc.) Perhaps someone knows the diameter of the threaded piece behind the ball joint for the various makes? I'd take the shower head into a store and just compare it to the adaptors, but it seems like not many places actually keep the adaptors in stock. Any help appreciated.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,485
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If the ball is integral to the shower arm, it was proprietary, possibly PricePfister, but ANY adapter is going to create a very "wiggly" connection which will be unsatisfactory for most users. Replace the shower arm with a threaded one.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The two that I ran into a lot were AmStd and PP. They were about the same diameter, but different thread. You just had to know which you had. The shower arm was made (usually) by the brand who made the shower valve.

    Those adapters are getting scarce, and I don't know any good reason not to just replace the arm.
  4. md001

    md001 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    new jersey
    Thanks for the comments - that's kind of what I was afraid of. Is changing the shower arm difficult? I.e., do I need to remove tile to do that, or should it just unscrew? I half-heartedly tried to turn it with channel grips and it didn't move (counter clockwise) - I didn't try to hard though, nervous that I can't actually see what I'm trying to twist.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,485
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    IF it were to break, and it DOES happen, then it was already cracked and just waiting for an opportunity to break in the wall and give you a flood. Otherwise unscrew it. If it turned EASILY when you tried with the Channelocks, that would have meant it was TOO loose and also probably leaking in the wall.
  6. md001

    md001 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    new jersey
    Okay, I'll give it a shot. How critical is it to shut off the water supply before taking the arm off?
  7. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The water is shut off at the mixer so just unscrew it.
    I would not turn on the mixer while it is removed though...
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,485
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You do NOT have to shut anything off other than the shower valve, and that should already be off unless you are bathing at the time.
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