Shower arm busted off

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Old 02-14-09, 04:24 PM
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Shower arm busted off

The shower arm in my shower has busted off leaving some of the threaded portion in the pipe, What do I need to do to get it out? (don't use shower arm for balance when cleaning feet)

Thank you.
Chris
 
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Old 02-14-09, 05:16 PM
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You will probably need an internal pipe wrench like these:



Home Depot should have them in the plumbing section. Once you get that stub out, you can replace it with a new one.
 
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Old 02-14-09, 05:25 PM
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You'll need the one for 1/2 npt size.It's chrome plated brass and if it broke it had become brittle so you might play around with seeing if it will chip out but don't mess up the threads in the fitting.
 
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Old 02-14-09, 09:52 PM
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If it broke, it could very well be plastic (all the broken ones I've come across have been plastic). You can use an easy-out, or just turn it out with a screwdriver held at an angle.
 
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Old 02-14-09, 09:56 PM
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I have a similar situation. My old shower arm broke off (and I learned that it was actually plastic, not metal) and there was a piece still stuck inside the brass elbow where the shower arm connects. I used an internal pipe wrench, but it didn't work as it was supposed to. Instead of gripping the broken pipe piece and twisting it out, it just shredded the plastic, and the tool broke in the process.

I managed to break the plastic pipe stub into small pieces and get them all out, but I think I blunted some of the threads inside the brass elbow when I used the internal pipe wrench. Now I can't get a good seal with the new shower arm. I've tried 4-5 turns of teflon tape, and I've also tried Rectorseal #5 sealant, to no avail. Is there any other sealant (epoxy, Loctite permanent sealant, something else) that I should try? I'd really rather not tear up the wall to replace the brass elbow if I can avoid it.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 06:19 AM
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Shower arm, 1/2" or not? Confused

One of my shower arms broke off the other day. As far as I thought, it's 1/2" pipe. I bought a new arm, and it fits the original shower head fine. So it's the same size, and it said on the package "fits 1/2" pipe fittings."

So in order to get the broken off nipple out of the wall, I bought both a 1/2" inside pipe wrench and 1/2" extractors, but they are too small. I don't get it. I measured the inside of the old and new shower arms and they actually measure a little larger than 5/8" I.D., so of course anything that's 1/2" will be too small.

But the next size after 1/2" is the 3/4" which is too large. I did some searching and found others with similar issues, but no tool that seems to fit this 5/8+ pipe that's labeled 1/2".

Any points, both from an explanation perspective on sizing, and a tool to easily get that broken nipple out? I tried hacksawing a bit but it was slow going, and I was worried about going too deep into the threads of the fitting.

Thanks
 
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Old 02-15-09, 07:26 AM
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It sounds like you bought tools designed to remove bolts not pipe.1/2 in bolt size is very different from 1/2 in pipe size.Go to the plumbing department of a real hardware store with knowledgeable saleshelp.You need an extractor specifically for removing pipe.

FYI all shower arms are a standard 1/2 pipe size.the arm is right.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 07:52 AM
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Thanks for replying. The inside pipe wrench and extractors were bought in the plumbing section and they say they are for removing frozen or broken pipe nipples. So I'm not sure what the deal is. This 1/2" pipe is definitely larger than 1/2" ID. weird.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 08:09 AM
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Steven,

I merged your two threads. Keep all your questions within this thread, by bookmarking it, so we don't have to go back and forth.

Hang in there, and lets wait for a pro to chime back in.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 10:12 AM
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Thanks, but I don't think I had another thread.

but if they are the same topic, perfect.

Thanks
 
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Old 02-15-09, 11:09 AM
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Mark always on a 1st name basis with everyone....a Steve is a steve is a Steve to him...lol
 
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Old 02-16-09, 05:04 PM
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Got it out

Well I bought the 10 dollar 1/2 inch internal pipe wrench and it couldn't break the busted piece loose. all it did was grind and slip and and grind and slip. But it did grind enough away that after some chissling with a small screwdriver and hammer, I was able to get the old piece out. The remaining threads looked usable so I taped up the new piece and gave it a go. So far so good. If the tape doesn't work, what kind of goop can I use that's not too permanent?

PS Anybody need an internal pipe wrench for cheap?

thanks all for the help!
Chris
 
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Old 02-16-09, 05:15 PM
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I figured this one out. As was mentioned, 1/2" pipe vs 1/2" pipe threads, are very different. You can't use a 1/2" inside pipe wrench to get out a 1/2" pipe thread nipple, as it will spin, as you and I both saw.

My friend (who happens to be a master plumber) came over yesterday and had the broken nipple out in about 15 seconds. He had a No.7 bolt extractor, with the last 1" or so (maybe less) cut off. He inserted it into the fitting, tapped it lightly with a hammer, and turned counter clockwise. It came right out.

Unfortunately for me, the fitting still needed to be replaced (bad initial installation and years or movement. So I still had to cut the wall open a bit, and install a new elbow. Good as new now, and solid as a rock.

The one additional challenge I had was thanks to a junk shower arm extension from The Home Depot. After struggling to get this new arm to not leak (I basically couldn't) at both the elbow and the shower head, I inspected it closely. This Danco brand arm has flat threads. They didn't have a deep edge like they should. In my opinion, this was leaving too much of a gap between each thread and the pipe sealing tape. I prompted returned it and went to Lowe's, and found one that had normal deep channel ("sharp") threads. Installed it with 2 wraps of teflon tape, and not a drop. Darn junk from the HD.

All is good in my shower world now though.
 
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Old 08-18-09, 06:59 AM
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Broken shower arm solution that works!

I also have had the problem of the shower arm breaking off at the threads inside of the iron riser pipe. I tried many of the solutions i found on the internet without success. While searching for pipe extractors, i came across the harbor freight tools website which sells a drillmaster pipe nipple extractor set, item number 93822, for $5.99 plus shipping. Since there is a harbor freight tools nearby, i went to the store and purchased the tool for $7.99 plus tax. It worked like a charm! It is a set but you only need the 1/2 inch extractor for this job. Use a 3/4 inch socket and you may have to enlarge the hole in the grout base slightly to accept the socket. I also used a t-handle in order to apply the torque evenly. It took a bit of strength to get the broken piece started, but once started it came out without damaging the iron riser pipe threads.
 
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