How to Replace a Shower Arm Extension

shower arm
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
Pipe wrench
Channel locks

Showers require a bit more maintenance beyond regular cleaning of mold and mildew from the surrounding tiles, such as replacing the shower arm extension. Minerals can build up around it or the metal itself can rust. You will notice that the pipe is full of rust by the orange brown color of the water that comes from the shower every time you open it. You may also have a shower arm extension that is too long or too short for your preference. If so, you need to change your shower arm extension. Once you are able to remove it, changing it is easy. If it is the right length for you and you need to replace it because of damage or corrosion, you can take the old arm extension to the store with you so that you can have an exact replacement.

Step 1 - Shut Off the Water Supply

Turn off the supply. There is a shut-off valve that is normally located on the opposite side of the shower pipe, but some designs do not have it. If you have this kind of model, you should turn off the water supply to your house instead. The shutoff valve is normally located outside, in the front yard.

Step 2 - Removing the Shower Arm Extension

To remove the shower arm extension, wrap a rag around it and use a channel lock or pipe wrench to hold the arm. Clamp the tool down securely and remove the showerhead from the extension arm. Turn your pipe wrench going on a counterclockwise direction. It should be done while you are gripping the shower arm tightly. If you find that you cannot turn the shower arm extension because of the hard water and mineral deposits which may have frozen it in place, spray the joint with WD-40. If you do not have it, you can try an alternative method of soaking the extension arm in vinegar for a few minutes.

Step 3 - Removing the Extension Arm

Once you are able to turn the pipe wrench, continue doing so until the extension arm comes off the joint. Clean the arm before continuing.

Step 4 - Attaching the New Shower Arm Extension

Attach the shower arm extension by turning in a clockwise direction or opposite the direction you turned when you disconnect it. You can turn it manually, but you need the wrench once it becomes harder to turn it further. Before removing the shower arm extension, soak the arm joint in a lubricant for 2 hours to effectively loosen the shower arm extension.

When choosing a tool for the job, you should pick a larger pipe wrench because you will be able to have greater torque with it.