Water has devastating effects on any type of metal. Over time, corrosion can turn the toughest piece of metal into a piece of trash. The same goes for shower arms.
Whether galvanized iron or stainless steel, shower arms tend to lose their resistance with use. The constant water flow through the pipe always brings consequence, whether you like it or not. Therefore, you must be prepared and have a new shower arm at hand as a future replacement.
Installing shower arms is so easy that it won’t take you more than 5 minutes to do so. In most cases, you’ll only need to use your hands. However, sometimes, rust can accumulate in the thread and complicate things. If that happens, you’ll need some extra tools to get the job done.
If you’re reading this, perhaps it’s the first time that you replace a shower arm or are having some trouble removing the old one. Whatever the case, don’t worry. Here you’ll find the solution.
In this article you’ll learn the secrets best kept by professional plumbers to replace a shower arm like a pro.
What is Shower Arm?
A shower arm is metal tube with two threaded ends, through which the shower water flows. It may have 8 inches or more in length. One of its ends has an inclination of 45º-90º so that the water falls.
Shower heads are very durable and can last a lifetime if the materials are really good. However, water quality can also affect the durability of the product. Chlorine and minerals dissolved in water tend to accelerate the corrosion process.
For that reason, some people need to replace their shower arms more frequently than others. Fortunately, most shower heads are very cheap. So, replacing them isn’t a problem for anyone with a decent income.
Metal in shower heads receives special treatments to increase its resistance to corrosion. For example, by galvanizing, the piece receives a thin layer of rust-resistant metal, such as chromium or zinc.
Plated shower arms are more durable and also the most expensive ones. However, if you buy a really good model, you’ll only have to invest your money once. You won’t need to make replacements in the future.
Step by Step Guide to Replace A Shower Arm
Anyone with common sense can replace a shower arm. You don’t need previous experience or be an expert to do it. In addition, the necessary tools are very common and you can easily find them at home.
Below, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to learn how install a shower head arm in less than 5 minutes.
- First of all, you need to have on hand some tools and materials necessary for installation. These are:
- Roll of Teflon tape.
- Dry cloth.
- Once you have all required equipment, it’s time to start working. Using your hands, turn the shower head counterclockwise to remove it. You may need to apply extra strength if the shower head and arm are joined by a rust seal.
- After removing the shower head, it’s time to remove the shower arm. Using your hands, rotate the arm counterclockwise to remove it. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to use a channellock.
Usually, the notches on the channellock pliers tend to slide on the smooth surface of the shower arm. To avoid this, cover the shower arm with a dry cloth first. Then, apply pressure with the channellock and turn counterclockwise. Turn the shower arm until it’s easy to remove with your hands.
- Then, apply Teflon tape on both ends of the shower head. Do it clockwise, so the tape doesn’t slide when installing the shower arm. Be careful not to apply too much Teflon tape for a perfect fit.
- Install the shower head on the wall, turning it clockwise. Don’t apply too much pressure to make it easy to remove the next time you’re going to replace it.
- Finally, install the shower head, turning it clockwise. After that, turn on the shower. In case of leaks, remove the shower head and the arm, apply Teflon tape again and repeat the same procedure.
As you can see, replacing an old shower arm with a new one won’t take more than 5 minutes. But, the process can get more complicated than normal due to rust. So, if you find rust evidences on the arm, you may need tools to remove it.
When applying Teflon tape, make sure you do it the right way. Do it clockwise and don’t apply too much so the shower arm can fit. If you follow each and every one of the tips in this step-by-step guide, you’ll no longer need to call a plumber to fix your shower.