There will be a lot of times in your life when you have to deal with things that you don’t particularly enjoy. In this instance, the problem lies with your shower, more specifically the shower arm.
Let’s say that you recently decided to change your shower arm because you were dissatisfied with the water pressure that is provided.
To replace the shower arm, all that was required was some caution and attention to detail, as outlined in the instructions below.
In less time, you will be able to effortlessly replace a shower head and arm by following the directions that are provided below.
When it comes to dealing with bathroom fixtures, it is not advisable to employ the trial and error method. This is an adult job or one that teens who are mature enough to handle it could do.
About The Shower Arm
To connect your showerhead to your water supply, you’ll need a “shower arm.” Arms come in a variety of lengths and designs, but the most common is a 12-inch chrome steel rod with a central bend.
Both ends contain male pipe threads of 1/2-inch in diameter. A half an inch of the bronze elbow must be included in the rough-in plumbing to allow for the installation of a shower arm.
To prevent the shower arm from moving, fasten the elbow to the framing behind the wall’s hole where it extends.
Types Of Shower Arm
There isn’t just one standard size or shape that a shower arm can be. Altering the way you take a shower is as simple as selecting a new style of shower arm from the variety available.
Spend a little bit of time getting acquainted with the various kinds of shower arms that are available. After that, you’ll be able to determine which shower solution will satisfy your requirements the most effectively.
The typical length of a shower arm is around one foot, and it has a curve in the middle that is set at 45 degrees.
This pulls the pipe directly from the wall and then makes a downward angle, providing a more direct downward path for the shower head that may be adjusted.
This particular shower arm model is the most common and has proven to be effective. However, it does not work very well for someone who is really tall.
If you find that you have to duck frequently as you are too tall for the shower, it may be time to look into purchasing a shower arm that raises the height of your shower head.
This would provide you with a shower that is more soothing and would not require you to bend down to rinse off.
One or both of these shower arms are angled upward and outward in an S shape. Alternately, they could take the form of a bar that protrudes vertically from the entrance.
Before heading downward, these ascend the wall at an angle of ninety degrees, which is perpendicular to the wall.
You may adjust the vertical pipe that comes with some of these shower arms so that it stands upright in a vertical position.
Alternately, you can tilt it forward in order to raise it higher or lower it, based on the person’s height who will be using it.
Shower arms with an S curve do not provide any added angling or height options.
For Rain Shower Head
A straight-down shower arm fixture, rather than an angled one, is the most common shower arm fixture. Depending on the shower arm, rain shower heads may fit.
To get the most out of your shower, you’ll need a shower arm that isn’t attached to the wall. This can help you get the most out of your high-pressure rain shower head by keeping the shower head at a steady height.
The finest shower arm can be determined by familiarising yourself with some of the most basic versions and the purposes for which they are designed.
It’s important to pick the proper model for the shower head type and your height, even if some of these models overlap.
If you aren’t sure what kind of shower head and arm you need, you can always ask a DIY expert at your local store for advice.
How To Understand That Your Shower Arm Needs A Replacement
The most soothing aspect of your shower is the shower head; the water pressure, the settings, and the temperature are the factors that contribute to a pleasant and enjoyable showering experience.
Taking a shower with warm water during the chilly winter months is a requirement, but taking a shower with cold water during the hot summer months is very relaxing.
But what should you do if the shower head in your bathroom starts acting up? The following are some suggestions made by our plumbers that indicate it is possible that you need to replace the shower head in your bathroom:
Issues With The Water Pressure
If your shower head has been operating normally up until recently, but you have noticed that the water pressure in your home has decreased, it is possible that it is time for you to change your shower head.
Alterations in water pressure are sometimes brought on by the gradual deterioration of shower heads that occur over time.
After a certain amount of time, they may be unable to pump the same quantity at the same pressure, and this may indicate that they need to be replaced.
Without a water softener, your shower heads could be plagued by difficulties with sediment buildup in your plumbing system.
In the shower, you’ll see white or greyish layers accumulating on the shower-screen heads or on its inner rim.
Even though this buildup is easily removed, if it is left unchecked, it could damage other parts of your shower head.
It may be necessary to change your showerhead on a regular basis.
Is there a persistent leak in your showerhead that just won’t go away? The leaks persisted even after you replaced the washer inside of the shower head and cleaned out the holes.
There may be no other option but to replace the shower head if this is the case. A malfunctioning shower head mechanism might be caused by the wear and tear on the shower head.
The shower arm or the shower hose may be the source of the leak. Instead of wasting water, we could call our plumbers.
Components in your shower arm can wear down over time, which can cause issues. It’s also possible that the design of your shower arm will go out of style and not match the rest of the bathroom’s decor.
A huge amount of water is consumed by older models, which might lead to wasted water. Shower sessions can be completed with less waste if older, high-flow fixtures are replaced with more water- and energy-efficient alternatives.
Common Scenarios For Shower Arm Removal
General Procedure Of Removal
Your shower arm should be easy to remove if it is not more than five years old. Even if you don’t think it’s necessary, make sure all the water source in your bathroom is closed, but don’t forget to turn off the shower!
There is a risk of mold growth if the shower is turned on when the shower arm is off. In order to bend the shower arm, grab it at the very end and turn it.
It’s your decision whether or not to remove the showerhead first. Get a rubber glove and put it around the pipe if the shower arm won’t budge or isn’t bent in a position that provides you a mechanical advantage.
The arm will be opened in the great majority of cases.
The Stuck One
Due to the age of the shower or prolonged use of the same, the shower can be locked by scale and rust. And where there is rust, there is typically weakening metal that can shatter if you only rely on your muscle power.
You will need to remove the escutcheon using a screwdriver that has a flat head so that you can see through the hole and examine the area where the shower arm attaches to the plumbing.
This can be accomplished by prying off the escutcheon. If you see white deposits surrounding the connection, it is because minerals are causing it, and there is nothing you can do if you do not have access to the connection other than continuously trying to turn the shower arm.
If there is no scale present, you can try loosening the threads with some spray lubricant by giving them a couple of squirts.
The Broken One
You’ll shatter a rusted shower arm, no matter how hard you try, if you use a lot of force to spin it.
Despite the fact that this may appear to be a significant problem that necessitates breaking through the wall, there is a simple solution that helps you to avoid all of this.
A hammer, a 10-inch metal file, and your wrench are all you’ll need. Insert the tapered end of the file into the hole in the wall, and then smash it firmly against the broken pipe with the hammer.
Tap the handle of the hammer on the handle of the wrench to break a seal that is preventing the threads from loosening.
Using the hammer, if it rotates in the pipe, hit it hard so that it stops spinning. Ensure that you’re tapping in the right direction to loosen the pipe, as it must revolve counterclockwise to do so.
After a few well-placed taps, the seal should be broken, allowing you to unscrew the pipe and remove it by hand.
How To Replace A Shower Arm – Simple DIY Process
Now, let’s get to the main point where we will share how to replace a shower arm.
Turn Off The Water
Starting with the entire bathroom’s water supply being shut off, Your plumbing system’s water supply line can be disconnected by turning off your home’s main water valve.
You can also search for a shower shut-off valve by looking under your sink or back of a wall panel that is detachable. Is it still not there?
Removal Of The Shower Head
Removing the showerhead makes it much simpler to get rid of the shower arm. Keep doing this regardless of the type of showerhead you’re retaining or installing.
Using a pipe wrench, tighten the showerhead nut while holding the shower arm steady. Rinse it for a few minutes in a bowl of vinegar if the shower arm is caked with scale.
This will release the scale-forming minerals and help you remove them more easily.
Clean The Shower Arm
To make removing the shower armless of a chore, remove any more scale, mold, or mildew that may have accumulated in the area around the shower arm.
Either vinegar or limescale and calcium remover come highly recommended by our team.
Use the long adjustable pipe and wrench you have to secure a grip on the shower arm. Turn the wrench in the opposite direction of the clock.
It is imperative that you move gently during this process. If the arm does not get loose easily, you should immediately cease working on it to prevent breaking it.
If the arm does not get loose immediately, try applying some lubricant to the place where the arm contacts the wall, waiting a couple of hours and then giving it another go.
After successfully unscrewing the shower arm, you will observe a pipe projecting from the wall with thread wrapped around the outside part of the pipe.
Installation Of The New One
Before you install your new shower arm, you need to first cover the threaded end with several layers of plumbing tape. The threads on the shower pipe will still be able to hold the shower arm in place.
In the event that you do not have plumbing tape on hand, you might use a pipe joint compound to establish a watertight seal.
After that, put the threaded end of your shower arm in first, and spin it clockwise to secure it. Check that the showerhead is properly installed and that it can be tightly twisted.
Refix The Shower Head
Before you screw the showerhead back onto the new shower arm, you need first to apply the plumber’s compound to the end of the showerhead.
This should be done in the same manner as you did with the shower arm. First, spin the showerhead counterclockwise until it is snug, and then turn it clockwise a further half turn.
The water source for the bathroom should be turned on, and then the tap should be turned on to direct a slow stream of water to the new shower arm.
Turn the shower arm clockwise to strengthen the seal if you find any leaks after turning off the water supply and checking for them.
You are now able to thoroughly clean and improve the quality of the showers in your home since you know the process of installing a shower arm.
By completing this simple do-it-yourself project in a short amount of time, you can revitalize and modernize all of your washrooms without having to call and pay professionals to do it for you.
Brandon Mooneyham is our senior writer and editor at StayDomio covering everything about bathroom showers, renovations & solving problems. Brandon spent 6 years as a professional plumber (licensed plumber), foreman, and supervisor. He lives in Nashville with her wife, two daughters & a dog. He spends his free time upgrading his big backyard.