How To Fix A Leaking Shower Arm

If your shower leaks and you don't see drips from the faucet, it could be the shower arm. The shower arm is the pipe that runs the wall and connects to the shower head. Leaks from shower arms could be coming from the end running through the wall or the shower head end. Here are some tips on how to fix a leaking shower arm.

Tighten the Shower Head

Sometimes, a loose shower head causes the leak. Turn off water to the shower. The shut-off valve to the shower is usually located behind an access panel on a wall, ceiling, or basement floor. If you can't find the access panel, shut off the main water supply to the house.

Cover the base of the shower head with a towel or rag to avoid scratching the surface. Insert a small pipe wrench or adjustable wrench on the shower head base connector and turn it to the right to tighten it. Clean any dampness from the arm and shower head. Turn the water back on to test for leaks.

Examine the Shower Arm

If tightening the shower head doesn't stop the leak, you will have to detach the shower head and examine the arm. Take off the shower head with slip-joint pliers or a vise grip in the shower head base and turn it to the left to remove it. Inspect the arm for damaged gaskets or cracks in the shower head. Damaged parts will need replacing.

Cover the shower arm with a rag close to the wall and rotate a wrench to the left to remove it. If there's a decorative cover, it should snap off. Lubricate stick shower arms by spraying penetrating oil on the threads, then clean the shower arm threads with a brass wire brush or rag.

Install the New Arm

Replace damaged or cracked shower arms. Wrap plumbers tape or pipe compound around the threads to the right three to five times to avoid further leakage. Insert the new arm into the elbow on the wall and attach the shower head by turning the wrench to the right.

Make certain the bends face down in the shower head and arm as you tighten. Turn on the water to check for leaks. If the arm still leaks, give it another turn or two, but don't over tighten because it might damage the new fixtures.

You should be able to stop the shower arm leak on your own. If the leak persists after repairs, it means the leak is coming from another source. You will need professional plumbing services, like those offered by DiRosato Plumbing and Heating, to detect and fix the problem.