Shower Pipe, Novice homeowner

Old 11-03-07, 09:04 AM
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Shower Pipe, Novice homeowner

I recently bought by first home and I am commited to DIY'ing as much as I can. But I have come to a crossroads of DIY and raise the white flag:

I wanted to install a new shower arm. When I unscrewed the shower arm from the pipe behind the wall everthing seemed fine. But when I tried to install a new 1/2 inch nipple to attach to the new shower unit, the thread won't catch.

I purchased a pipe scrubber, but that has not helped. I thought perhaps there was residue I could clean out of the threading.

I can screw in the nipple about two turns, it feels snug, then it breaks off. I assume the thread on the brass connection is kuput. When I run my fingers over the thread it feels pitted.

I have contemplated a thread tap, but I have heard that a TAP is not always the best solution with brass. Does any one have an opinion on the effectiveness of a TAP?

My other option is to break the wall and tile (the other side of the wall is an exterior wall) and change the elbow joint with the thread damage.

Can I break the tile just enough to do the repair and cover the area with a decorative plate? Or do I need to repair and retile? Do you know of any good DIY sites that could walk me through the process?

OR as a novice should I bite the bullet and call a plummer to have the job done correctly? How much $$$ is too much for this kind of work?

I know, I know a lot of questions. This is my frist home and I want to be as handy as I can. All of your help is appriciated!

If the women don't find you handsome, at least that can find you handy.

Old 11-03-07, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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When you took out the old arm....are you sure that some of the thread did not break off and stay in the elbow in the wall? If this is the case, and ice pick sometimes can dig it out. Otherwise, a hand-held hacksaw blade can be used to carefully cut slices, then peel it out.

Make sure that the tap you got is for tapered 1/2" PIPE thread. When you are sure there is no residual broken pieces in the fitting, you could gently chase the threads. If the threads are damaged a little, you will have to use teflon tape and dope and inspect carefull to insure you have no leak. I put a cap on the end of the shower arm to get full pressure on the connection, and inspect with a flashlight to make sure it is not dripping.

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