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Thread: old shower pipe thread

  1. #1

    Default old shower pipe thread

    My in-laws own a really nice lake cabin that dates from the mid-30s; the shower head recently fell apart. I now find that the shower arm ends in a
    5/8'' male fine thread, while all available shower heads are 1/2" coarse. I badly need an adapter to make that connection (5/8" fine female to 1/2" coarse male) but have been unable to find one. Any idea where to find one, or failing that, a 5/8" fine shower head?

  2. #2
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    I think you have some kind of remnant from an old shower head still on the arm, becuase there are no fine thread shower arms or shower heads.

  3. #3

    Default 5/8" fine shower arm

    Well, yes and no; there is no remnant, the arm very definitely ends in a 5/8" fine thread. There is an adapter that goes to the old head that appears to be 7/8" coarse (I haven't measured, but it is definitely larger than a 3/4" hose fitting). I'd certainly accept a shower head with the 7/8" thread, but the whole thing would be simplified if I could find an adapter from the 5/8" fine to the 1/2" coarse. Any clue where I could find one?
    Thanks,

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    How about posting a picture?

  5. #5

    Default No camera cable

    That's a good idea. Unfortunately, I'm up here on vacation; I brought my digital camera, but not the cable to get the picture into my computer. I can tell you, however, that the shower arm looks like any other 6" shower arm with a slight bend (I've tried to attach a picture I found); it just isn't the standard size. The threads are 5/16" fine; I have confirmed that by taking the current adapter (the one that goes to 7/8" coarse) to the hardware store. I can't see how it attaches inside the wall, but it is undoubtedly (if I can say that) a 5/8" fine thread at the other end as well, and I'm reluctant to go digging blindly. Unless someone has a bright idea for where to find an adapter, I may have to call a pro, but this will be expensive if he has to dynamite. Thanks in advance for all ideas!
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  6. #6
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Did you try threading it into a 1/2" pipe thread fitting?

  7. #7

    Default

    We may be reaching the limits of my knowledge (easily done); it definitely does not fit the 1/2" thread on a standard shower head. Is the 1/2" pipe thread different from that? If so, is there likely to be a an adapter between the two?
    Thanks again for your help!

  8. #8
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    It should be the same.

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default shower

    The only way it would be something other than a standard 1/2" ips thread is if it were part on a complete valve/shower unit, such as a Milwaukee Queen Anne shower, but those were always external risers not inside the wall.

  10. #10

    Default

    All I can tell you is that this is undoubtedly not the standard 1/2" thread; standard modern shower heads do not fit. It is inside a wall; it may not have started that way (the wall may have been added later), but the problem remains the same: 5/8" fine thread male outlet needs to fit 1/2" pipe thread female shower head. The head that fell apart was a pretty strange little guy, but I'd take another one if that was the only option.

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Is the hole in the wall big enough to see if that is actually an adapter fitting? You might be able to just unscrew that and put in a standard arm and showerhead.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12

    Default

    The hole in the wall is snug around the pipe so that I can't see, but the way it looks and feels I doubt if it is just an adapter. Does anyone have an idea what a machine shop would charge to make an adapter like the one I need? The charge for dismantling the wall and changing the works could be pretty high.

  13. #13
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Open up the wall a little bit around the pipe so you can see...
    Keep the hole small enough that the escutchion will cover it..
    What is on the wall on the other side of this shower?
    Frequently tubs and showers back up to a closet wall where opening the wall is not much of a problem.

  14. #14

    Default Stand down

    Thanks to all; I called the plumber in, and he actually had the proper adapter. It's not an identical fit, but with a wad of teflon tape it will do.
    Problem solved, pretty much.
    Thanks!

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