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Thread: Removing Stuck Shower Arm and Drain

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member jgold47's Avatar
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    Nov 2010
    Detroit, MI

    Default Removing Stuck Shower Arm and Drain

    This ties to my other thread, but wanted to keep them separate. I tried to replace the shower arm in my 1920's shower. I'm pretty sure the arm is not original however, but regardless, with all the pipe wrenches I could find, I couldnt get the thing to move at all.

    two questions -
    1. Wrench harder?
    2. does heating the arm help at all?

    part two, I am going to try and remove the drain from the tub as the tub uses an oldschool stopper system thats long gone and we have no way to plug the drain for a bath. I've got all the various tools the big box stores sell, including that gnarly extractor, but is there any chance that its somehow not threaded onto the waste pipe?

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Bothell, Washington
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    Heating the arm will make it harder.
    Heating the fitting in the wall would make it easier, but that is hidden.
    In an old home like that, you may need to put a pipe wrench on it. Longer gives more leverage.
    And be prepared to go into the wall if that doesn't work.

    The tub drain should be threaded.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    1. use a bigger wrench
    2. It is threaded, but if the thread is "seized" you may snap the tube under the floor, so be judicious with your efforts and if it does NOT turn fairly easily, which it probably will not, be prepared to carefully cut it out.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  4. #4
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Land of Cheese


    Before starting, be prepared for the possibility that you may have to open up the wall and have access from below to replace the tub shoe along with the waste and overflow assembly.

  5. #5
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    North Vancouver, BC
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgold47 View Post
    ...I couldnt get the thing to move at all...
    Man Hands are needed. Elbow grease a must.

    If you where my buddy here in Vancouver I'd give you a "Chirp" and say something like "Try putting your purse down first" or "Maybe the wrench is getting caught in your blouse" - One thing you get working the tools every day is a killer grip. Most homeowners do not have the strength to really make these tight fittings twist out.

    After "Chirping" my friend and failing (which Vegas has at 50/50 odds) I'd be looking for my "Big Wrench".

    I find cursing helps. LOL


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

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