Shower head won't fit on " pipe

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Old 08-11-15, 06:46 PM
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Shower head won't fit on " pipe

Hi,

I have a so-so metal shower head that I wanted to replace. I purchased a new showerhead that has a plastic "coupling"--the part that screws on to the pipe coming from the way. While the metal one fits fine, the new shower head is ever so slightly too big ... as are two other models I tried (just in case it was a one-off defect with the first one). I tried some teflon tape (wrapped it about 6-7 times around) and that did not help at all. At first I thought, hey, I live in an old house (built in 1921) so maybe it's an old pipe. But the metal shower head is modern and it had no trouble fitting tightly.

Any ideas from the experts here?

Thanks much in advance,

H
 

Last edited by ray2047; 08-11-15 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Correct title typo.
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Old 08-11-15, 07:02 PM
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Well, most shower heads are made to fit on 1/2" NPT.

If you have old pipe you probably need an adapter or reducer.

What does the box say the size of the new head is?
 
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Old 08-11-15, 07:14 PM
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Sorry, I mentally goofed. I meant to say 1/2" ... it's standard.
 
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Old 08-11-15, 07:39 PM
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What country are you in (fill out your profile!) and what does the box say the size of the new head is?
 
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Old 08-11-15, 07:46 PM
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Hi X,

I added the info in the profile. I'm in the US. The shower head is designed to fit 1/2 inch pipes and the pipe in my wall supposedly is 1/2 inch. What I mean by that is that the metal shower head also is 1/2 inch and it fits very well ... but the plastic shower head connectors seem to not fit.
 
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Old 08-11-15, 07:52 PM
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I understand that. I'm going to try one last time. You said:

I purchased a new showerhead
What does the box say the size of the new head is? Does it actually say fits 1/2" pipes? Does it say 1/2" npt?

Your box will have a label on it that says what thread your new shower head is. Please supply that information. Or maybe you can provide a link to the shower head you bought. Or a brand name and model #.
 
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Old 08-11-15, 08:24 PM
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Hi X,

Okay, so the box says nothing. The specs on Waterpik's site say nothing. It is a Waterpik VSR-639. However, I have a 3/8 - 1/2 bushing and the shower heads (the old one I have and the new one) both fit nicely onto the 1/2 side. That's how I am judging that it is the standard 1/2" NPT.

The threads on the pipe from the wall, upon a closer inspection, do not have very deep "channels" so I'm wondering if that's why the new shower head won't "bite" onto the J pipe. Does that assumption make sense? If so, is there an alternative to replacing the pipe (ugh, it would involve going through a plaster wall on the other side)?
 
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Old 08-11-15, 08:35 PM
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Yes, I would assume that since the shower head is meant for 1/2" NPT that if it doesn't fit, the problem is with the existing j-pipe.

Can't see what you see, so I don't know why you would need to get at it from the other side of the wall... but I would put a long pipe wrench on the stub end of your existing supply pipe and see if you can budge it. Generally your j-pipe will thread into a female fitting at the wall. So if you have a nipple sticking out of the wall, I'd change that to a nipple + a coupling + an escutcheon and your j-pipe.

NPT will always need pipe dope on them because the fittings are tapered.

Of course, if you get the pipe out, you would want to take it to the store with you in order to try the parts on. Maybe something is odd there.
 
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Old 08-11-15, 08:49 PM
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Haven't posted a pic here ... so hoping this will work. If it does, you'll see the rather tight fit for the j-pipe through plaster and tile. Unfortunately, the vertical pipe it is connected to behind that wall is not "anchored" (tied) to anything. Meaning, when you handle (pull/push) the j-pipe, you can hear and feel the pipe moving behind the wall. I imagine that taking off the j-pipe will be do-able but lining up the female--given the free play on the other side--might not be possible.

Maybe I'm overthinking it... it's my only shower so it would be sub-optimal for me--and my work colleagues who would have to deal with me--if the shower were offline more than a few hours.

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Old 08-11-15, 09:00 PM
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Yeah, I know what you mean. Those pipes are sometimes a booger to get out, but a long pipe wrench placed close to the wall should turn it. Normally that pipe won't go anywhere once the nipple is removed, since it's plumbed down to the valve and spigot.

Make a mark on it with a sharpie where is is flush with the tile before you try to remove it. That way you will know the length of nipple and coupling you need. (outside edge of coupling would be flush with the wall) You would assemble the nipple, coupling and j-pipe with teflon and tee paste, then thread it through the hole to start it in the fitting inside the wall. Sounds hard but I imagine you can do it.
 
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Old 08-11-15, 09:09 PM
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That looks like a copper pipe stub.

If the dog ear fitting is not attached inside the wall.... I don't recommend messing with that stub unless you are prepared to open the wall.

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Actually.... you may not even have a threaded fitting in the wall.
 
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Old 08-11-15, 09:13 PM
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Maybe post a pic of the end of the pipe... that way we can see the threads. I was expecting galv pipe.
 
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Old 08-11-15, 09:43 PM
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Yeah, I get the sense, as mentioned in a previous post, that it's not attached on the other side. I have picture below of the threads on the j-pipe...can't tell, but they're really shallow. I don't suppose there's a way to "deepen" them ...

If I have to stick with the crappy metal shower head, I can (so not the end of the world), but makes it tough to upgrade.

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Old 08-12-15, 04:41 AM
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Do you have room to cut the end off and put on a new one?
 
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Old 08-12-15, 05:12 AM
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The pic isn't what I was imagining but I guess I wonder if the threads on your j-pipe are just worn down from people changing the head.

I'd still try to remove the j-pipe and see what kind of shape the threads are in on the opposite end. Then replace the j-pipe.
 
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