Shower arm with ball stuck in the elbow ear pipe in wall?

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  #1  
Old 02-18-15, 01:47 PM
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Shower arm with ball stuck in the elbow ear pipe in wall?

I have a new shower head that I would like to install, but I am unable to with the old shower arm with the ball at the end. I would like to change this old shower arm out to a new one with threads at the end of it.

First, it took me forever to get the flange off because there was not only caulk all around it, but it was all within the inside/back of the flange as well. After taking the flange off, I just sprayed some WD-40 by the area where I thought the threading would be where the shower arm and the pipe in the wall connected. I waited awhile for the WD-40 to soak and then tried turning the shower arm counter-clockwise with a channellock pliers. This of course did not work and upon closer inspection I saw weird paste around the pipe where the pipes connected. I got off most of the paste and then sprayed again with the WD-40 and waited.

This time I tried a pipe wrench because I wasn't getting a very good grip with the channellock. Again, the pipe didn't budge even a bit.

It almost looks like the pipes are welded on together. Is there a way or specific tool I should use to try and get this shower arm off?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-18-15, 02:03 PM
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Welcome.
You need some penetrating oil, aerosol type to get into hole. The WD-40 doesn't help.
Let the oil sit and work slowly on the pipe, it could break off inside wall.
 
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Old 02-18-15, 02:04 PM
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I think Brian means 'break loose' in the wall [where it connects to the pipe]
 
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Old 02-18-15, 02:13 PM
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HI, When you put a wrench to the arm keep it as close to the wall as possible. You want to keep twisting to a minium.
Woodbutcher
 
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Old 02-18-15, 02:14 PM
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No, I think Brian means "break off" at the drop ear elbow. Thats why he said let it sit and work slow.

Something like PB blaster might be good, but sounds like someone used pipe dope instead of teflon tape. It's going to be a problem if so.
 
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Old 02-18-15, 02:26 PM
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Yeah,
I meant it could snap off while trying to remove it. The tip about keeping the wrench close to wall is a good one. It will reduce torque on pipe.
 
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Old 02-18-15, 06:36 PM
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Yes, I have tried to keep the wrench as close as I can possibly get with still being able to have room for my hands to hold it. Perhaps I might try another type of penetrating oil. Looking at how its all connected together though I really don't see how any oil can penetrate anywhere though . It looks completely sealed. It's still worth a shot though! Thanks.
 
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Old 02-18-15, 06:45 PM
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Perhaps I might try another type of penetrating oil
As long as you use penetrating oil it will help. WD-40 is not penetrating oil, it's a water displacer.

Penetrating oil will be absorbed into the metal parts. You'll have to be patient with this one.
 
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Old 02-18-15, 06:46 PM
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If pipe dope was used on the pipe instead of teflon tape and something like PB blaster doesn't help, how should I go about trying to unscrew the pipe and avoiding damage to the drop ear elbow?
 
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Old 02-18-15, 06:49 PM
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Okay I'll try a penetrating oil and report back here on how it works.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 09:29 AM
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So I went ahead and tried the PB blaster because it was pretty cheap. So, what have I got to lose if I give it a go? Well I was hoping for a miracle, but unfortunately the pipe is not budging at all. First, I sprayed some on and waiting about 20mins and tried turning it with the pipe wrench with no luck. I thought okay well I didn't expect it to turn with the first go. I went ahead and sprayed some more on there and let it soak overnight. This morning tried to get the pipe to budge just a little, but nothing.

Well I am going to keep on trying with it, but I'm pretty close to throwing in the towel with this one and leaving the shower unfixed for about a month or two before trying again haha
 
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Old 02-20-15, 09:42 AM
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Why can't you just remove the ball end. That usually is a part of the shower head and not the shower arm and usually unscrews. You then screw on a new shower head.

You say pipe wrench, but earlier you said channel locks. You should try what many call a monkey wrench. Here is what they look like RIDGID 24 in. Heavy Duty Pipe Wrench-31030 - The Home Depot
 
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Old 02-20-15, 10:05 AM
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What is the wall behind the shower?
 
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Old 02-20-15, 10:59 AM
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There is no shower head on. It is just the ball attached to the shower arm. I can't remove the ball itself, but the whole shower arm I thought should be able to be removed. However, I just can't get the arm to move one bit.

I think I am going to go ahead and see if I can find an adapter for this type of shower arm and see how well that works...
Thanks for all the replies.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 12:09 PM
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Sometimes if you alternately tighten/loosen it will break stubborn threads free.
 
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Old 02-20-15, 12:34 PM
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At this point I think you should stop trying to remove it using a wrench.
You mentioned in your original post that it almost looks welded. I can't imagine why someone would solder or braze this arm inside the wall, but that's maybe what happened.

Ray asked what's behind the wall. You might have to cut in from behind. If you can gain access from behind, the job is not that hard.
 
  #17  
Old 03-08-15, 04:19 PM
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I managed to visit some stores and asked around about shower arm adapters for the particular shower arm that I have and no one seemed to have any, or have heard of these kind of adapters. I let someone else have a try at getting the shower arm out, but to no avail, it didn't seem to budge one bit.

I could possibly get behind the shower. The wall behind the shower is just regular dry wall. I might at some point open up the wall and see if I can get the arm out that way.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
 
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