How to Install Shower Head Pipe

Are you searching for a quick and effortless home improvement project? Consider installing a new shower head pipe. With minimal experience needed and only basic tools needed, this task can be completed in no time!

Shower heads attach to a short pipe known as the shower arm, which threads into an in-wall fitting. To prevent leaks, wrap all exposed threads with plumber’s tape for extra security.


When a shower head pipe is removed or damaged, it’s essential to replace it with one made from high-quality material. This ensures the new shower head won’t get damaged by water spray and will last for years.

Before you begin, be sure to have all of the tools necessary for installation. These include an adjustable wrench, pair of slip-joint pliers and a new shower head.

Once you have all necessary materials, replacing a shower head pipe should take only minutes. However, it’s wise to prepare ahead of time by using an effective rust, calcium and lime remover on the old shower head in order to loosen any gunk that’s clogging its threads.

Next, clean the shower arm’s threads to eliminate any residue from old Teflon tape or mineral deposits that have built up on them. Doing this is necessary because it will make PTFE tape stick better and last longer when applied to the threads of the shower arm.

Once your shower arm’s threads are wrapped with PTFE thread sealing tape, wrap them 4-6 times along its entire length. If your wall piping is galvanized, this may require more than just a few wraps; nonetheless, this will help guarantee no water seepage from between the threads and wall.

To prevent leaks and thread damage, it is imperative that you apply tape correctly. Start at one end of the shower arm and wrap clockwise until you reach its opposite end.

Once the tape has been secured around all threads on the shower arm, you can reinstall its pipe and head. Finally, turn on the water and check for leaks.

If there are any leaks, you can re-tape the threads with PTFE tape to prevent further damage from a leaky shower arm. Doing this can be costly and potentially detrimental to the wall’s interior substrate.


When replacing a shower head, you’ll need several materials to ensure the process goes smoothly. These include the new shower head, its arm, thread seal tape (also known as plumber’s tape or Teflon tape), and instructions.

When purchasing a shower arm or head, inspect its ends for leaks. If there are any, clean off any dirt and buildup with a cloth before wrapping them with thread-sealing tape.

Thread seal tape should be wrapped two or three times around the threads of a shower arm, to prevent water infiltration between it and the pipe it screws into. Furthermore, wrapping ensures that your shower arm won’t unwrap when you screw it into place in the wall.

Thread-sealing tape should be applied clockwise on both sides of your shower arm. You may need slightly less tape on the side that connects to your shower head since it is easier to get a tight fit there.

Use a wire brush or an old toothbrush to wipe away dirt and grime on the shower arm’s threads. This step is especially crucial if the threads are galvanized; otherwise, you could risk sealing them incorrectly.

Once the PTFE thread-sealing tape has been applied, screw the shower arm into your shower flange and secure with plumber’s putty. Doing so will prevent water from seeping around the head pipe, saving both time and money in the long run.

Install your shower arm by twisting it clockwise into the pipe fitting in your wall. If you are using a brass shower arm, wrap it with more layers of thread-sealing tape than you would for galvanized metal since brass is softer than galvanized pipe.

Once again, slide the escutcheon plate back in and reinstall your showerhead as per step four. When complete, test for leaks and enjoy all your new piping!

When installing your new tub faucet, cut the copper piping 5-1/8″ away from the face of the tile wall. Depending on which type of faucet you have, you may need to cut a hole in your shower surround (Problem 3 below) or install an access panel for easier access.


If your shower head is leaking or not functioning properly, it could be time for replacement. Installing a new shower pipe – commonly referred to as an arm – is an easy and straightforward project that even the average homeowner can complete with minimal tools and expertise.

Before replacing the shower head, you’ll need to prepare its connection point for replacement. This involves cleaning away any mineral deposits or residue that may be present and replacing any old plumber’s tape in its threaded area.

Additionally, you’ll need a roll of Teflon tape and some pliers. Wrap the tape around the threaded end of the new shower pipe clockwise four or five times; this will help prevent leaks when connecting it.

Next, you must solder the pipes together, making sure they are connected securely. This step is straightforward if using copper pipe; however, soldering brass fittings requires more time.

To install your shower head, you’ll need to locate the hot and cold water supply pipes from which it draws. These should be 3/4-inch main supply pipes that extend at least a foot above floor level. Run a length of 1/2-inch pipe from these to the faucet threaded adapter, add reducer couplings or elbows, then sweat the connections together.

Once you’ve finished, double check to make sure all pipes and connections have been sweated and secured. You can use a piece of paper to hold down the connections for extra assurance; additionally, test the water before turning on your shower to verify there is no leak.

Once all joints have been sealed and plumbing connected, it’s time to install the shower head pipe. First, take out any existing thread tape from any threaded areas; this will make threading the new shower arm into your plumbing supply line much simpler.

Check the connections between the shower head and pipe for signs of rust, debris or limescale buildup; these can affect seals and lead to a leak. Wipe both pieces clean before reconnecting everything. If there are any concerns about seal integrity, consider using expanding foam as additional security.


Shower heads are an integral component of bathroom plumbing systems. Installing the wrong pipe can lead to water leaks and other damages in your home; so, it’s essential that you understand how to install shower head pipe correctly for your situation. To prevent such problems from arising, be sure to select the correct choice of pipe when making your purchase.

Installing a new shower head is relatively straightforward, provided the old one is removed. Start by wiping away any old plumber’s tape and any pipe-joint compound or mineral deposits with either an old toothbrush or electrical brush.

Once that’s done, wrap the threads on your shower arm with PTFE thread sealing tape. This helps ensure there are no water leaks at either end of your arm. You can also use this to secure off fittings such as female shower faucets or escutcheon (trim rings) threaded into it.

If your new shower arm does not include a rubber washer, wrap some Teflon tape around its threads several times to create a seal. Do this before screwing in the arm into the wall.

To create a tighter seal, twist the shower arm clockwise and use an adjustable wrench to tighten it. Be careful; masking tape can be wrapped around the jaws of your wrench or you can wrap an old rag around the collar nut to protect it from scratching.

Next, attach the new shower arm to the head. You can loosen the arm using a pipe wrench or pliers, then screw it into place – being careful not to over-tighten – or you can tighten it with a screwdriver.

Once the shower head and arm are attached, you can turn on the water to ensure everything is secure. If any leaks appear, retightening them may be necessary or altogether replace both parts.

If you need assistance installing your shower head, a professional plumber is always available to do the job. But, if you feel confident about taking on this task yourself and don’t have any mobility or strength issues that might limit your ability to work safely, you may be able to handle it yourself with ease.

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