Re: Leaking Pipe Nipple
Posted by LonnythePlumber on August 11, 2004 at 22:53:23:
In response to Re: Leaking Pipe Nipple
: : : The pipe nipple on our bathtub faucet keeps leaking. We've tried everything- tape, pipe dope, it just will not make a good seal. the guy at the plumbing desk at the hardware store suggested just packing the area around the pipe with silicone caulking. he said that is what a plumber would do- is this correct? We've tried everything we can think of- any suggestions?

: : What pipe nipple are you referring to? The spout nipple, the escutcheon nipple or other? LonnythePlumber

: Just inside the tube spout- we bought a new tub spout package, plus took out the pipe that comes off the main pipe in the wall (sorry- I do not know the proper plumbing terms for this- my husband just mentioned that he was replacing the pipe nipple) the new pipe he put in was about 2 inches long (est) and threaded at both ends. He screwed that back into the main pipe in the wall and then put the plastic piece back on top and the faucet over the top of the plastic. It doesn't leak unless you pull the diverter on the top of the faucet to activate the shower, then it leaks from the join at the pipe nipple. Did this clear it up or did I just confuse matters worse? my husband said it isn't the valve- it's the connection to the pipe nipple?

Silicone will not seal this connection. With only a 1/2" by 2" nipple your husband is probably not able to get it tight enough in the elbow. This is generally not a hard connection to make. I use two turns of tape and pipe dope on top of that although you should not need to use both.
It is preferable to gain access from the back of the faucet so that you can get a back up wrench on the elbow and the other on the nipple.
Another option is to get a spout that has a nose connection so that you will have a longer nipple coming out of the wall. These spouts have the thread connection out by the water outlet.
Careful. If he is trying to tighten the nipple without a backup on the elbow he can dislocate the elbow or tear it loose from the faucet.

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