View Full Version : Issue with hand shower and finished wall depth

11-02-2009, 12:15 PM
Hi everyone -

I just finished tiling my shower and am in the process of putting the hand shower in. The only problem is that the 1.5" brass nipple I was planning to use is too short, and the 2" comes out too far, such that the chrome adapter will no longer sit flush to the tile. I haven't had any luck finding a 1 3/4" brass nipple, and I'm not sure that I will.

The ell behind the tile is firmly in place, so I can't bring that forward/back. Any ideas? Is threading a custom piece (brass, iron, etc) doable/within code?


11-02-2009, 12:44 PM
If your local plumbing supply store doesn't have the required length, they may have a nipple threading machine, and can make one for you. If not, you should be able to find one on-line. WOrse comes to worse, you cut it off and buy a die and thread one yourself. This isn't a code issue, so buy or make what you need. You might try two short nipples with a coupler to see how long it is. The two extra sets of threads give you a little more leaway in exact length.

11-03-2009, 06:05 AM
Two of the shortest nipples with a coupling will be EXTREMELY longer than 1 3/4". That is also too short for most nipple chucks to rethread a piece.

11-03-2009, 06:45 AM
Take your 2" brass extension and go to the hardware store and find an exact nut that threads perfect to the threads on your pipe.

Put the nut on an 1/2" onto one end and remove an 1/8" from that side then with a pair of vice grips grip the center of the pipe and then back the nut off. This will clean up the threads that get messed up cutting the pipe.

Repeat and you are done.

Good Luck.

It is very important that the nut is exact - not close.

11-03-2009, 10:50 AM
Hi -

Will I run into an issue because the threads on the pipe are tapered and the ones on the nut are straight

11-09-2009, 04:23 AM
now you've got me confused. Aren't there nipples with straight threads?

The whole idea is to use nuts - or something - to hold it still while you cut.

On straight threads I've often threaded two nuts together to force them to bind against each other. That gives me a good grip on the threaded rod or whatever it is I'm trying to hold still.

Anything else will do too. A brute force method is to hold it with (the right kind of) pliers in one hand and grind off (one thread worth of metal on each side if it's tapered; otherwise cut it more just on one side) using your diamond blade grinder, in the other hand. Rework the threads with an old steak knife or your swiss army knife. Now you are good to go. Might take five or ten minutes to get the thread opening back in shape. With a nut already threaded onto it, you have the advantage of using it to push the threads into shape, from the back side -- instead of trying to get a nut to start on the cut side.

11-09-2009, 05:05 AM
Hi -

There may be nipples with straight threads, but these are NPT. From what I've read, sealing threads are NPT, where engineering (structural) threads are straight, for strength. That's why I was hesitant to use a nut. It might fit, but it won't cut a taper.

11-09-2009, 05:45 AM
nut, to hold it for a few minutes while you cut. Remove the nut after that operation. You now own a spare nut.

... hesitant to use a nut. It might fit, but it won't cut a taper. what does this mean? you thought you would leave the nut on it? You thought the nut would do the cutting?

3. someone else can comment on tapered versus straight threads.

11-09-2009, 07:02 AM
No, not that the nut would cut the threads, but that by cutting the pipe without establishing additional threads, not only do I now have less mating surface, but the taper starts as a wider OD. Especially since this is going to be behind the wall, I want to make sure that I'm not going to run into leaks

11-11-2009, 12:01 AM
In twenty two years I've never had to make a special size nipple for a spout or hand shower. If the measurement falls in between the two sizes, you can either use the shorter nipple and apply more teflon tape or use the longer one and use only pipe dope. The connection will be holding running water only and not full static pressure.

11-11-2009, 06:33 AM
With the longer nipple, it's not an issue of tightness. It literally protrudes out too far from the wall, leaving the brass exposed. Even when I dry-fit the elbow, it doesn't come anywhere close to being flush against the wall.

With the shorter nipple, the elbow comes off with a half-turn. I'm sure it can be made watertight, but it's still only on there by the very last of the threads.

For those that are interested, www.fittingsandnipples.com is making the nipples in a custom size for me, for around $3.50 apiece ($10 shipping). I haven't received them yet, but for $30 (I bought 5), it's worth a shot as opposed to buying a threading die head, which I couldn't find for much less than $100 for brass/PVC.