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splishsplash
Leaking Shower Arm behind Wall

We just put in a 6' molded shower stall, with American Standard fixtures. My husband left the end wall open until we had taken several showers to see if there were any leaks.

Sure enough, a leak at the threads behind the wall. He couldn't get it to stop. He called AS and they sent a new arm.

Would you believe we still have the same problem?? Although he has installed fixtures before he has decided it must be something he is doing or not doing.

I'm attaching a pic pointing out where the leak is/was in both and how much of the arm is behind the wall (you can see the marks on the arm where he had to put vise grips on it. It stops at 9 o'clock by hand. Which means it's pointed up.

It's not a big leak, just drops. Using hot or cold or warm water.

Would someone be so kind as to look at this pic and throw some advice/ideas/suggestions his way. He is ready to pull what hair he has left, out.

My thanks.......j
Hmmm....it seems as a newcomer, I'm not allowed to post images. I hope I explained the problem well enough.

dj1
Re: Leaking Shower Arm behind Wall

It's impossible to imagine where the leak is coming from, so try to load a photo via photobucket dot com, or something like this.

I could guess that something is misthreaded or missing plumber's dope. That would cause a tiny drip.

Don't run the shower and don't let a drip behind the wall become a monster mildew problem.

splishsplash
Re: Leaking Shower Arm behind Wall

I'm sorry I realize now most of my explanation is in the picture.
We left the wall open (at the business end of the shower) until this is fixed.

It is around the threads where it is leaking. He has tried umpteen different methods. Wrap teflon tape 3 times, wrap tape 6 times, tape and pipe joint compound, wire brush. He took the first one totally out and started over from clean and scratch and still has the same problem. And the two(same style & co)different shower arms.

I'm afraid this is the message I get from this forum even using Photobucket.

"The following errors occurred with your submission:
To be able to post links or images your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 1 posts.

Please remove links from your message, then you will be able to submit your post."

Soooo I went and put it on a webpage. I'll understand if you don't want to go to the trouble to copy and paste the address.

I went on and put the original size, labeled image since I had to go to all that trouble anyway. I thought might as well be able to see it good.

plumbingtrouble.blogspot.com/

Thanks, j

This is ridiculous. It wouldn't even let me type the http with no active html link.

johnjh2o
Re: Leaking Shower Arm behind Wall

I don't see any t-tape or pipe dope on the shower arm. There is also the chance that the female ell is bad. To test this put a nipple and cap in it . If it leaks with the nipple and cap the fitting is bad. It's very strange that you have a leak there as there is very little pressure on that joint.

John

dj1
Re: Leaking Shower Arm behind Wall

I finally saw the photo.
If the wall is open, I'd replace the female adaptor.
BTW, I also don't see any teflon tape, but I do see a lot of wrench marks on the brass nipple. Talking about teflon tape: I do 8 wraps around, and I get no leaks.

keith3267
Re: Leaking Shower Arm behind Wall

The photo is just a mock up of the actual fitting. Is the actual ell PVC? Around here, you cannot have a metal male thread screw into a PVC female thread. You can have male PVC thread into metal female thread, PVC to PVC and metal to metal, but not what you have mocked up. It is very easy to crack the female PVC threaded part. But they make them and sell them so maybe they are legal somewhere or maybe its just a local thing here that bans them.

Anyway, I would suggest that you start with a brass ell with female threads on both fittings, the glue a male PVC bushing onto the pipe and screw the ell onto it. Then screw the shower arm into the new ell, with or without an intermediate bushing as needed.

johnjh2o
Re: Leaking Shower Arm behind Wall

Keith, that's CPVC not PVC and the shower arm is screwing int a metal thread. The metal bushing is part of the fitting. I don't think it's a mock up because they mentioned they used pliers on the shower arm.

John

dj1
Re: Leaking Shower Arm behind Wall

PVC is white. The picture shows CPVC, which is ivory-yellow. But the leak most likely comes from the thread.

Replace the 90 elbow and see if it helps.

keith3267
Re: Leaking Shower Arm behind Wall

I stand corrected on the CPVC. I did notice teh metal bushing but I thought that it threaded into the CPVC. If you scroll down to the bottom of the picture, you can see that it is a mockup, or they cut out the section and took a picture and are intending to replace the ell and about 8" of pipe.

dj1
Re: Leaking Shower Arm behind Wall

Yes Keith, they most likely cut their existing pipe with the intention of install a new elbow.

splishsplash
Re: Leaking Shower Arm behind Wall

Good Morning,

I wish I could say the saga is ended and the wall in my new bath sealed but alas it's not.

We did make some interesting progress though. After installing the original arm that came with it (American Standard) and it leaked. AS sending a new arm and it leaked. They both leaked at the threads.

He went to the plumbing supply (we don't have a hardware store, per se') and got just a standard 'off the shelf' arm and installed it yesterday, just to experiment. Voila'....NO LEAKS!

Of course, it doesn't match my shower 'stuff' (bronze) so it can't be the answer. So we're now wondering what is the problem? And solution? Another AS arm? Could two be off?

Could it have something to do with tapering? As I said before the AS arm when put in, only turns by hand to 9 o'clock and really required some force, as you can tell to get it to 6. And yes you can tell our exasperation by that time to resort to vice gripe marks on the arm but that part is behind the shower wall.

And by the way, I didn't recieve any notification in my email even though I had it marked or I would have been back in yesterday, before everyone went back to work today:)

Thank you again for all your suggestions.

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