Shower fixture screws onto nipple -- but no nipple size works

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DavidTu

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I have some American Standard fixtures that both require screwing onto a nipple protruding from the finished wall. Since the tile guy ends up with the final say over where the finish wall ends up, it looks like two of these ended up wanting a nipple between the available sizes: a shower arm and a wall supply (for hand shower).

For example, the wall supply does not screw on far enough to rest against the wall surface (has a rubber gasket) with a 2" nipple. Could not locate a 1.5" nipple but the "Short" nipple I tried was too short and would not get a seal with available threading. The shower arm, likewise, seems to want to be between 3" and 3.5". At 3" it starts scratching the tile before there is a seal, at 3.5" it never reaches the tile.

My solution for the wall supply was to really muscle the longer 2" nipple in to the point that I was scared I'd break the drop ear from the block. Still, when I tried to muscle the wall supply on... it almost worked... but I had another 1/4 turn to go to make the supply connector point down. Using a screwdriver in the connector for leverage, the cast metal piece broke off before I could complete the rotation. So... now muscled in the nipple a bit more and waiting for a replacement piece that hopefully will make it all the way around, snug. --NOT such a great solution --- what SHOULD I have done?!

My solution for the shower arm is to make a nipple by sweating on some male 1/2" IPS connectors to a short piece of copper. I can make an in-between size nipple this way and I expect that to work. -- STILL, is there an easier way to deal with these situations?? I cannot believe American Standard just relies on perfect setback from the finished wall? Is there a trick for the PROs?
 

Reach4

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You can use pipe dope instead of tape to give you a bit more threading depth. Click Inbox above.

I would think a pro would select fixtures that are not so finicky.
 

Terry

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1.5" nipples are gettable. I carry brass on the truck in a tray.
You learn to use less or more muscle as needed, sometimes using more tape wrape.
And at times I have soldered up a section using two male adapters. We don't like how it is either, but we learn to deal with it.
And yes, there is no way to know exactly at rough how close you are. There is just way too much variable after the tile guy gets to it.
 

Jadnashua

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Some stuff is unreasonable about how exact the placement must be, so it's good to read the installation instructions to see. We've had some people try to install some stuff that required the threads to stick out with 1/16" accuracy, which is nearly impossible. Why they think that is good design, amazes me.
 

dosby

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I did my drop ear using machine screws through a 1" wood plank, instead of wood screws. I would stack up metal washers to decrease the installation depth of the drop ear.
I did have access to the back of the shower wall, though :)
 
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