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Steve J. 12-01-2007 11:55 PM

Damaged pipe threads
While removing a broken off nipple of a corroded shower arm, threads of the elbow which it was stuck in, were damaged a bit. The elbow is about 3" deep in the shower wall and to replace the elbow would require tearing out tile wall from one side or sheetrock from the other and would be a real project.

I am uncertain that pipe thread compound and tape will be enough to seal the threads. If a slow drip were to continue, there may not be evidence of a leak until slow dmage over time produced a greater problem in the wall.

I have been told my best option is to use plumbers epoxy on the threads and tighten in a pipe extension, that would now be permanent, and use it to mount the shower arm.

Any experienced people care to share thoughts?

My sincere appreciation for any advice given.


Mike Swearingen 12-02-2007 12:18 AM

I'm not a pro plumber, just a long-time DIYer, but if it were me, I would get a set of 1/2" NPT pipe thread taps and chase out the existing threads.
Then you can use teflon tape and pipe dope on the ends of the new shower arm, and remove it when it becomes necessary again.
Good Luck!

Marlin 12-02-2007 07:31 AM

I'd open the Sheetrock and replace that elbow. Sheetrock is easy to patch.

If you insist on not opening the wall I'd do what was already suggested. Instead of using regular pipe dope though I'd use pro-dope or better yet, blue block. Both of these go on thicker and dry like glue within days where pipe dope takes years. Dope the new arm, three wraps of Teflon, and dope over the Teflon. That thing should never leak.

Steve J. 12-02-2007 09:15 AM

Appreciate the replies.

Has anyone had experience using plumbers epoxy on threads? Will it provide a seal?

Can't seem to find any information on that specific use, so perhaps the best course is to try the tape and dope as suggested, and if ineffective, open the wall and replace the elbow.

Thanks again

majakdragon 12-02-2007 12:20 PM

Go with Mikes suggestion. Tape the tap into an extension and socket for your ratchet.(that way you don't lose tools in the wall) This will give you the length you need to reach the elbow. Go slow to make sure you don't start a cross-thread. If you use an epoxy, it is guaranteed you will be tearing out the wall if something happens later. I like Rectorseal #5 for a great sealing pipe dope compound. At least you can remove the piping later. Good luck.

Steve J. 12-02-2007 11:33 PM

Thank You

Appreciate the insight.

I am basically a DIYer, and have learned a great deal from my mistakes in life. I have also learned that every mistake I have made, others have made before, and learned from. So I welcome the advice of others.


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