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Old 02-01-2009, 10:06 AM   #1
 
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Shower head leakes, but at least it's straight!?!?!


Hey, I am remodeling my bathroom and have a question on sealing the threads on the shower head arm.

What I have coming up from the shower control valve is PEX, up to a Shark Bite fitting/female adapter, and into this I have screwed in the shower head arm.

Now, I used standard white Teflon tape and wrapped it around 3 turns. Once I screwed it in, I got it fairly tight...could have been a bit tighter, but the concern was that I would have turned it past being straight, and it would no longer look straight--it would be cockeyed. So I got it fairly tight but not quite as tight as I would think it needs to be.

I turned on the water and sure enough, had a very very slow drip out of that fitting.

So what do I do:
Wrap the tape 4-5 times?
Use yellow or pink tape, because it's thicker?
Use dope instead of tape?
Continue to tighten the shower head arm an additional 15-20 degrees clockwise or so to get it really tight, causing the arm to not be straight?


Thanks and be kind as I am a first time plumber & remodeler
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Old 02-01-2009, 10:16 AM   #2
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try it dry with no tape to see those CW turns(count them) to see where it ends up an it is straight.2,3,4 wraps just make it tighter faster so judge that ..... and anticipate that final turn.the big non-critical thing there is it isn't a standing pressure like the water at the selector hot/cold.it is a running water when your in the shower,and the only restriction is the water coming out the shower head in a spray.
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
So what do I do:
Ayuh,.... Go 1 more full turn.......
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:32 AM   #4
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Wrap the tape 4-5 times?
-- sure it wouldn't hurt


Use yellow or pink tape, because it's thicker?

-- no the white is fine.


Use dope instead of tape?
-- use dope WITH tape.


Continue to tighten the shower head arm...

-- no it will look really bad.
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:22 PM   #5
 
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rippy is right use dope and tape, first wrap the tape, make sure your wrapping in the right direction, so the end of the tape should face the opposite direction of the direction of threading, so you twist the shower arm to the right, the end of the tape should face to the left. Thats to prvent the end of the tape getting caught on the female threads. . then dope it.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:19 PM   #6
 
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Wrap the threads 6 times and you should have a good seal.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:22 PM   #7
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Although I could have the picture wrong, someone is going to mention not to bury shark bites in the wall, hot topic but wanted to throw that out there for you.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:40 PM   #8
 
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There is no problem with shark bites behind a wall. That passes code. At least where i live... those things are tested up to like 300 psi or something crazy like that... my concern is that you are running pex to the shower... are you using 3/4"?... because ive heard of people having volume issues when running 1/2" PEX to a shower head.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:32 PM   #9
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As said before, tape ( I like to do 5 times in a clockwise direction as you look into the hole) and dope provide your best seal, but as for tight, it may actually not be as tight as it can go. Take a pair of pliers(I like to use my 9" channel locks) and stick one of the handles into the neck, then continue to turn it till it is not only tight, but pointing down in the right direction. You will find that you can often go 3/4 of a turn further this way than you can just by hand.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:11 AM   #10
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I would go with five complete wraps using white tape which should do it. This way if the shower arm tightens up with the end cockeyed (say 8 o'clock) there is enough give to to get it all the way around back to the proper 6 o'clock position without tearing apart the elbow inside the wall.

Looking at the shower arm pipe end, press the Teflon tape on top with the tape end going to the left. When you finish wrapping, the tape will then go over the top with the free end to the right. As you point the shower arm into the wall the exposed tape end should be seen going over the top to the left or going under to the right.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:28 PM   #11
 
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The actual shower valve is fed by 1/2" supply so sending 3/4 pipe up to the shower head is pointless.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:09 PM   #12
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Re: Shower head leakes, but at least it's straight!?!?!


I found that when I unscrewed the pipe, connected to the back of the showerhead, which has a male thread on both ends - and then flipped it and screwed the other end into the wall that the showerhead then screwed on properly and tightened facing down.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:04 AM   #13
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Re: Shower head leakes, but at least it's straight!?!?!


At the risk of starting a big disagreement here.

Teflon tape and pipe dope are not sealants, they are lubricants. They simply enable you to screw the fitting on tighter.


I prefer pipe dope, it is a better lubricant. One container I have is of the toothpaste consistency. I can stick mu finger in and get a dab and put it on the threads before you can find the end of your Teflon tape.

So dab bit of pipe dope on the threads and screw into the drop ell. Then stick a small rod in the other end of the shower arm for leverage. An 10" extension bar of your 3/8" ratchet set works very well. As you tighten you make a judgment call as to whether or not you can make another full turn.

If you find that you can't make the full turn, take the shower arm out, redope it and try again. I think you will find that each time it will screw a little further in.

Then screw a 1/2 PVC pipe cap on the end of the shower arm, turn on the water and check for leaks. With the pipe cap on shower arm, that is as much water pressure as the joint will ever see.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:24 AM   #14
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Re: Shower head leakes, but at least it's straight!?!?!


Quote:
Originally Posted by rebaths View Post
Hey, I am remodeling my bathroom and have a question on sealing the threads on the shower head arm.

What I have coming up from the shower control valve is PEX, up to a Shark Bite fitting/female adapter, and into this I have screwed in the shower head arm.


Thanks and be kind as I am a first time plumber & remodeler
Rebaths....... I doubt this is any issue... but just checking.

I'm not familiar with all the different sharkbite fittings..... but your "Shark Bite fitting/female adapter," is either a drop ear that is well attached to a framing member, or is somehow well secured such that you can safely thread all the way into it..... RIGHT??????? (As a sharkbite fitting will rotate as will many pex when torqued)
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Old 07-20-2017, 05:17 PM   #15
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Re: Shower head leakes, but at least it's straight!?!?!


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