How To Change A Shower Arm
Is your shower arm worn out or broken, the finish doesn't match your other fixtures, or you just want a new style? Changing a shower arm is usually a fairly easy do-it-yourself project. Of course, every situation is different and some instances might call for professional assistance. Read the following step-by-step guide and/or watch as our go-to guy, Mike, shows you how to remove your old shower arm and install a brand new one. He'll cover tips for getting your shower arm out of the wall without breaking anything and what to do if the arm does get broken, as well as the easiest way to ensure your new shower arm is properly installed and won't leak.
Step-by-Step Guide to Changing a Shower Arm
Determine which side of the shower arm will be threaded into the wall.
Use PTFE thread sealing tape and wrap it around the threads clockwise as you are holding the shower arm in your left hand and the PTFE thread sealing tape in your right hand. Wrap the PTFE tape completely around the threads 3 or 4 times, and if your piping in the wall is galvanized then you can wrap it 5 or 6 times.
Pro Tip: Make sure you wrap the PTFE tape clockwise or it will unthread off the shower arm as it is threaded into the fitting in the wall. One roll of 1/2" x 260" PTFE tape free with any purchase - just check this box
Put the escutcheon (trim ring) on the shower arm and hand tighten the shower arm into the fitting. Be very careful to start the threads so they won't get cross-threaded.
Hand tighten two or three revolutions. Using a wrench tighten the shower arm two or three more turns. The shower arm should not be tightened more than a total of six revolutions.
Pro Tip: A professional grade strap wrench or rubber strap wrench will be best to use so you don't scratch the shower arm. Sometimes you can tighten the shower arm without the use of a wrench if you can get the right amount of leverage.
3-3/4" max dia. strap wrench - $10.93
- OR -
5-1/2" max. dia strap wrench - $14.02
As the shower arm tightens up after the fourth revolution you should begin to line it up so the outlet is centered in the down position. If you feel it is too loose after the fourth revolution, and the shower arm is still turning fairly easy then continue to tighten the arm the fifth revolution and line up the arm so the outlet is centered in the down position.