How To Repair A Leaking Shower Arm
While many homeowners know to check for clogs and repair leaks in the shower head, the shower arm is often forgotten. If you have noticed water leaking from the shower arm, it may take a slightly more complex repair job, but it is still something that can be done. Instead of replacing it completely, try the following tips for fixing the leak. These tips fix a leak of a shower arm that is due to a broken pipe in the wall behind the shower.
Expose the Pipe
When you have a leaking shower arm, there is probably a broken pipe behind the wall of the shower. In order to fix it, you will need to expose these broken pipes.
In order to find it without ripping out the entire wall, take measurements from the shower head to the wall and ceiling. Measure where the shower head is from the wall, and then from the ceiling. Take these measurements and transfer them to the wall behind the shower, and make a mark at the right spot. Draw a square around your mark, large enough to access the pipe. Cut out the drywall around this square. Using a square or rectangle is best because it will be easier to repair the wall once you have fixed the plumbing issue.
Look at the Broken Pipe
Now that you have exposed the broken pipe, you can get a little more information about repairs that are needed. If it looks like the pipe was split due to the shower arm being twisted a little too far, then you will need to cut that part of the pipe out and replace it with a new piece. After cutting it out, you will be able to use a coupling and extra pipe to make the repairs. If the cause of the plumbing issue is due to a joint that needs replacing, this will be much easier to accomplish. Once you know the problem, you can head to the hardware store to get the right supplies.
Cut the Pipe
If you need to cut out some of the pipe that is damaged, use a pipe cutter. This will give you a clean cut, and let you put in a new piece of pipe with no issues. One you cut the piece out that needs to be replaced, you can simply measure that piece, and cut a new piece of pipe that is the same size. Use a sanding cloth to clean the edges of the pipe and push the pieces together to be sure they fit. If not, you may need to file the edge down a bit so they are flush with each other.
Solder the Pipe
Soldering is your best bet when trying to attach two new pieces of pipe together. Start by adding flux to each sides of the pipe fitting. Put the pipes together with the flux on them, and make sure the shower arm is screwed into place before you continue.
Once they are straight, get your soldering tool out and solder the joints together. Make sure you go all the way around, instead of just soldering the front. The flux will act as a type of metal glue, allowing the pieces to fuse together. You can now tighten the shower arm, then repair the drywall you had to cut out.
If you don't feel comfortable soldering pipe or opening up the wall, it is best to call plumbers to finish the repair job.