Broken Tub Spout...

Old 01-01-05, 10:20 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Broken Tub Spout...

Happy New Year To All!

My wife and I went shopping today and I thought a new shower head would help give 2005 a nice clean start. After screwing the new one on I turned on the water, pulled up the water stop in the spout, and noticed that the new head's pressure was really low. After watching it for a minute or two I looked down at the spout and noticed water coming out where the spout and wall meet and is caulked(not well I guess). I'm thinking this is not good . I took the blow-up child protector that slips on the spout off. Twisted the spout counter-clockwise and SNAP, off comes the spout . The stub out was rusted through and I'm assuming leaking because at this point I see water coming out from under the tub, and into my closet which shares the plumbing wall. Out comes the sheetrock saw and there went a hole in my closet. One positive, got to try out my new wet/dry shop vac... worked great at cleaning up the water. So now it's cleaned up and I am planning my attack tomorrow . Looking in the wall there is a 2X4 that looks to keep the spout supported and from being pushed into the wall. It looks like the rusted stub out that the spout screwed on to screws into a 90 degree elbow that is nailed to this 2X4. If this is correct should I be able to find a stub out with two male ends, that is the right length for tub spouts? Could it actually be that easy? I'm sure getting the old stub out of the elbow will be a major pain, any hints? I've had to do very little plumbing work aside from replacing a toilet, and clearing some slow drains... so any hints, ideas, words of wisdom, will be MUCH appreciated.

Old 01-02-05, 06:09 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,975
Received 1,776 Upvotes on 1,588 Posts
If I understand correctly, the "stub out" you are talking about is called a nipple. It's a piece of pipe that has male threads on both ends. The trick is getting a nipple of the correct length. If it's too long your new tub spout will not be flush with the bath wall and if it's too short you will have a leak. You may be able to pull out the nail inside the wall and move the elbow fitting a little bit to help get the length to work.

Most often I use a piece of copper pipe and sweat/solder the male threaded fittings on each end. This allows you to get the exact length that you need. If in doubt about the correct length make it a bit long. You can try it and if it doesn't work you can unscrew the spout, unsolder one male fitting and cut a bit off the copper pipe and try it again.
Old 01-02-05, 06:28 AM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Northeastern NC On The Albemarle Sound
Posts: 10,701
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
The first thing that you'll probably need is a 1/2" inside nipple extractor to get the broken one out of the 90 wall fitting.

1/2" Nipple Extractor
You could probably find a galvanized nipple that would work, but I wouldn't go that route due to the rust that will occur.
You will need to solder a copper 1/2" male threaded fitting on a piece of 1/2" copper pipe to replace the old spout "stub-out". You can either determine the exact length for the stub-out with male threaded fittings on both ends for a female threaded diverter tub spout, or go with the type of diverter spout the fits onto a straight pipe by rubber seal and set screw and cut the pipe to the correct length with a tubing cutter.
Use 2-3 flat wraps of teflon tape on all male threads wrapped clockwise only as the threaded ends faces you.
Good luck!
Old 01-02-05, 09:21 AM
Rainbird's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: California
Posts: 355
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
If you are not comfortable soldering copper pipe, you can always use a 1/2" brass nipple for the stub-out. They are available in various lengths, so measure from the elbow to the tub spout threads.
Old 01-03-05, 08:18 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up Mission Accomplished

Thanks so much for the great advice from all of you. The 1/2" Nipple Extractor worked out just awesome! I only wish that my "Weekend Plumbing Repair" had ended with the task of replacing the spout. After further investigation I decided that the faucet needed replaced as well. I had never soldered anything before, but decided to give it a go and went and bought a solder kit and gave it a go. Cutting, Sanding, Fluxing, and fitting wasn't too bad, although fitting to existing copper I feel adds an element of difficulty compared to a new install. Applying the heat though was another story. Being in the wall, I had a very hard time keeping the sheetrock from burning. I decided at this point to let a pro take over and one of our trusty area plumbers came over today and soldered everything up for me. I wasn't at home, but it looks like he had the same problem keeping the rock from burning, so I didn't feel so bad about calling him in... PLUS I feel more confident that his soldering won't leak. Thanks again for the help.

Old 01-04-05, 05:39 AM
majakdragon's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: N.E. Arkansas
Posts: 7,475
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
I have always kept a piece of sheet metal abot 12"x12" with two small holes in the top. I stick thumb tacks in the holes to hold it up on the drywall to avoid burning the paper off. Works pretty good if you remember not to grab it as soon as you are done soldering.
Old 01-04-05, 11:11 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Majakdragon,thanks for the great tip. Hopefully I won't have to use it soon, but will keep it for much later use...


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: