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gls2009
New Shower Head not fitting into existing shower stem

With little ones in the house, we wanted to replace the existing shower head with a new hand held one. We bought one. Took off the old, but discovered that the new one had a diameter slightly smaller than the existing shower stem. According to sales staff at Home Depot and Ace Hardware, we'd have to replace the shower stem with one that matches current shower heads being sold. Is this the only option? If yes, how does one go about removing the shower stem? What stem would we need to purchase to be sure it's the correct size? Would there be any issue with the new stem connecting with the existing pipe?

A. Spruce
Re: New Shower Head not fitting into existing shower stem

This seems odd to me, I've never known shower necks to have different thread sizes, they're usually 1/2" pipe thread on both ends. There may be an adapter to go from the standard thread to what you need. Best bet is to take your existing shower neck and the new shower head into the store to match up a replacement.

Shower necks are usually pretty easy to remove. Wrap a rag around the neck and then use pliers or a pipe wrench, turning counter-clockwise, to remove the neck. It should be just that simple. On older plumbing or improperly installed plumbing, it's possible to break the neck or the fitting inside the wall, but generally this isn't an issue. When you go to install the new neck, wrap the threads with teflon tape (about 10 wraps ) and then a little thread sealant (Rector-Seal is the best ). The new shower head should have a rubber washer to seal it on the neck so the threads there won't need any teflon tape or sealant.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: New Shower Head not fitting into existing shower stem

I'm with Spruce, I have only seen one size. Are you sure you didn't leave part of the old head in place?
Jack

gls2009
Re: New Shower Head not fitting into existing shower stem

We're quite sure we didn't leave a part of the old shower head in place. The shower neck comes out of the wall, bends slightly a few inches away from the wall, and ends with threads for the current shower head to screw on. No separate piece.

We haven't tried to remove the old shower neck, but will try it. Perhaps we can install a new shower neck with the proper pipe diameter onto existing water pipe in the wall?

Previously, we took the old shower head to two local hardware stores. The staff at one of the stores suggested that we go to a local plumbing supply company to ask for an adapter. The plumbing supply company staff told us that there is no such adapter with the diameters we needed.

Gray Watson
Re: New Shower Head not fitting into existing shower stem

What material is your shower arm made from?
Do you have access behind the wall containing the riser?
How old is your home?
Where are you located?

NEC
Re: New Shower Head not fitting into existing shower stem

Hey! LeslieK is back as Grey Watsherself!
(Laughing) Can you behave Leslie?

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