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Thread: How can I convert a threaded 90 rough-in behind tile into a slip-on for showerhead?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member JZ34's Avatar
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    Default How can I convert a threaded 90 rough-in behind tile into a slip-on for showerhead?

    Hopefully, this question makes sense. My bathroom shower is already tiled. 1/2"copper pipes behind the walls. My original plan for a showerhead was to use a basic arm that would have a male 1/2" to screw into the "90" behind the shower tile in the wall.

    However, the showerhead that I wanted only came with a slip-on 1/2" connection. Yet, there is no copper pipe extended from the shower wall to complete the slip-on connection.

    Ideally, I would solder a length of copper 1/2" pipe to a male connector and screw that assembly into the wall. However, it seems like the copper pipe would be too fragile to screw into the "90".... and I would either damage it with my pipe wrench OR I could potentially break the soldered connection.

    Any ideas? Is there a device for this particular scenario. Worse case, I can open up the drywall in the room behind the shower, so I can access the 90 and fix this issue.

    Thanks in advance.

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    In the Trades SacCity's Avatar
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    Use a deep socket, In the plumbing section there are socket sets made for removing valve stems from within the wall.
    Last one I bought 11/16" I think was about $6
    Michael

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    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    You surely wont break the soldered connection if it's done properly...

    I wouldn't even put a pipe wrench on it, dope/tape it and crank it in as hard as you can by hand.

    If that doesn't seem tight enough, get one of those strap wrenches, or insert a dowel of wood inside the pipe to prevent crushing and use channelocks or pipe wrench as a last resort...

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    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SacCity View Post
    Use a deep socket, In the plumbing section there are socket sets made for removing valve stems from within the wall.
    Last one I bought 11/16" I think was about $6
    Michael
    This will only work if the tile guy was lazy...

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    DIY Junior Member JZ34's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlarrivee View Post
    This will only work if the tile guy was lazy...
    I read SacCity's first post and wasn't sure if the deep socket could help. But, I believe you figured out my dilemma -- the hole in the tile wouldn't be large enough to slide the socket around a fitting. It looks pretty clean -- the diameter is just large enough for the arm. There is a temporary threaded fitting coming out of the wall right now, so the tile guy would have a guide.

    I like the idea of hand tightening... then using with a wooden dowel and the strap wrench. That seems like it would be sturdy enough. I'd probably cap the copper and turn on the water to make sure that no water is leaking before cutting off the cap and affixing the showerhead.

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    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    What I use for temporary caps are Sharkbite caps... You can remove and re-use them, they wont wreck the end of the pipe or goto waste...

    I'm not a big fan of the expense of those type of fittings for burying in a wall, but the test-cap is a great use for them.

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    DIY Junior Member JZ34's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlarrivee View Post
    What I use for temporary caps are Sharkbite caps... You can remove and re-use them, they wont wreck the end of the pipe or goto waste...

    I'm not a big fan of the expense of those type of fittings for burying in a wall, but the test-cap is a great use for them.
    That's a good suggestion for me. The less soldering, the better.

    Is there any method to avoid having to solder the 1/2"extension piece (2" to 4" beyond the tile, according to the showerhead instructions) to something like a male adapter like I'm linking below?

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    In the Trades SacCity's Avatar
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    Thanks for correcting me and providing an alternate solution!
    Also I had not thought about the shark bite fittings as temp caps, great idea!
    Michael

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    George the Plumber Gsalet's Avatar
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    What I have done in similar situations is to solder 1/2 MIP adapters on both ends of the pipe then screw one Mip end into the 90 and tighten the other mip end, this will not crush the pipe then cut the copper pipe to size and discard the mip adapter. You dont need it to be too tight for a shower head.
    Good luck

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    DIY Junior Member JZ34's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gsalet View Post
    What I have done in similar situations is to solder 1/2 MIP adapters on both ends of the pipe then screw one Mip end into the 90 and tighten the other mip end, this will not crush the pipe then cut the copper pipe to size and discard the mip adapter. You dont need it to be too tight for a shower head.
    Good luck
    Also a good idea. Thanks for all the suggestions.

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member dlarrivee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gsalet View Post
    What I have done in similar situations is to solder 1/2 MIP adapters on both ends of the pipe then screw one Mip end into the 90 and tighten the other mip end, this will not crush the pipe then cut the copper pipe to size and discard the mip adapter. You dont need it to be too tight for a shower head.
    Good luck
    Sounds expensive...

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I am wondering what kind of shower head, or arm, comes with a slip on connection. I have never seen anything like that and cannot imagine why anyone would want one.

  13. #13
    One who lurks Basement_Lurker's Avatar
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    I have never seen one either. And Gsalet's suggestion seems to be the only ideal method to install a proper copper stub into a drop ear fip 90 post tiling, especially since it will only run you an extra 50c to ensure you have threaded the stub in properly...that is, if you didn't want pipe wrench marks on your tubing.
    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me? -Jack Handy


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