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Thread: Install shower arm

  1. #1

    Default Install shower arm

    What is the best way to install a shower arm? The area is already drywalled with a hole for the arm to attach to the fitting. Can I use a pipe wrench or do I need a strap wrench or something like that? How tight does it need to be? Any other tips on making the connection leak-free are appreciated.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    Most shower arms have a bend in them. Assuming that it isn't a really cheap arm (flimsy), that angle should give you enough leverage to tighten it up without tools. You will need either pipe dope and/or teflon tape to seal the threads to prevent leaks at the fitting, though. One or the other should suffice, but I see a lot of plumbers using both - can't hurt. A shower arm doesn't have a bunch of water pressure in it unless it has an on-off valve in it.

    More tape is not better. Two turns is enough. You want it snug (from just screwing it in), then probably another 1/2 turn (using the force available from the angle). More is okay if you need to get the angle aligned. Check it, and give it more if needed. You don't want it moving around if you adjust the showerhead.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    San Diego


    The shower arm is almost too "slippery" for a strap wrench. You can use a very large screwdriver for leverage, but be careful of the threaded end. A cheap arm can go out of round.

    This is one of those jobs where you get a "feel" for it after you have done some. The trick is to recognize during one revolution that it is "enough" and stop when is comes into line. If you go past the "right" spot, you may not be able to get al the way around.

  4. #4
    Plumber, Contractor, Attorney LonnythePlumber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Wichita, Kansas

    Default Plier's Handle

    I use the handle of my pliers by sticking it up into the arm for added leverage.


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