plumbing advice needed


E

erico

Howdy,

I recently installed a shower down in my basement. Before putting the
drywall up, I checked all the plumbing joints by leaving the lines
pressurized for a day and everything seemed fine.

The *one* thing I didn't check was the threaded connection between the
10" metal shower stand that protrudes from the wall (the curved metal piece
that the shower head attaches to), and the supply line. I did put teflon
tape on that connection, but figured it would never have any water in
it, except when the shower was on, so there was nothing to really
worry about.

Of course, I just discover that it leaks when the shower is on max. There is
enough pressure in the line (even though water is coming out of the shower
head) to cause some water drops to bead up on the threaded connection.

I can't unscrew the 10" metal shower stand without cutting a hole in the
drywall - and then of course I'd need to fix that too. However, I can
get my fingers on the threaded pipe joint without ripping any drywall.

I'm thinking of just applying a bunch of caulk around the joint and
calling that a fix. My thought is that the only time this could possibly
leak is when the shower is on, and since the shower is in the basement,
I don't expect it will be used more then a few times a year (if we
have a guest sleeping in the basement - which doesn't happen much).
My last house had a shower in the basement, and it was used maybe
a half dozen times in the three years we lived there.

Any thoughts on this? I'm just not sure its worth going to a lot of trouble
to fix a leak that can't produce more then a handful of drops/year.

Thanks.
 
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E

erico

Why can't you use a pipe wrench to remove it? Normally this can be done
without removing anything else.
Technically, I believe I can remove it. However, my concern is that since
I can't physically grab the union (not enough room unless I cut drywall),
there will be alot of stress on the pipe within the wall when I twist the
shower stand off.

Perhaps that's not an issue?
 
A

Amun

erico said:
Technically, I believe I can remove it. However, my concern is that since
I can't physically grab the union (not enough room unless I cut drywall),
there will be alot of stress on the pipe within the wall when I twist the
shower stand off.

Perhaps that's not an issue?
Did you not mount the "union" to a brace between the studs ?
usually you use a cast fitting with 2 screw holes.

but can you get to it from behind, or is this against the basement wall ?

AMUN
 
E

erico

Did you not mount the "union" to a brace between the studs ?
usually you use a cast fitting with 2 screw holes.

but can you get to it from behind, or is this against the basement wall ?
I braced it enough so that someone playing with the showerhead couldn't
easily move the pipe - but the bracing wasn't intended to prevent twisting.
Honestly, it never occurred to me that I might have to remove this thing.

Anyway - I went for broke and took off the metal shower stand. Nothing
inside the wall seemed to break, even though I had to twist quite hard.
After applying a lot more teflon and remounting it - the damn thing still
leaks, only not as much. =)

I think I'm going to give the caulk a shot. Heck - the stuff only has to
hold up to a five minute shower a few times a year.
 
F

Fred

erico said:
I braced it enough so that someone playing with the showerhead couldn't
easily move the pipe - but the bracing wasn't intended to prevent
twisting.
Honestly, it never occurred to me that I might have to remove this thing.

Anyway - I went for broke and took off the metal shower stand. Nothing
inside the wall seemed to break, even though I had to twist quite hard.
After applying a lot more teflon and remounting it - the damn thing still
leaks, only not as much. =)

I think I'm going to give the caulk a shot. Heck - the stuff only has to
hold up to a five minute shower a few times a year.

I just removed a relative new sheet of vinyl flooring from my bathroom that
was installed by a contractor. Black mold, mot much but it will be if its
not addressed, was growing between the glue and the vinyl. Couldn't find any
evidence of dry rot or water damage, perhaps from a few drops once a week
just like your shower.
 
I

I R Baboon

yea just slap some caulk on and forget about it. no sense in fixing it the
right way. just leave it half assed for the next guy to fix correctly.
BTW did you own my house before me?
 
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A

Amun

erico said:
?

I braced it enough so that someone playing with the showerhead couldn't
easily move the pipe - but the bracing wasn't intended to prevent twisting.
Honestly, it never occurred to me that I might have to remove this thing.

Anyway - I went for broke and took off the metal shower stand. Nothing
inside the wall seemed to break, even though I had to twist quite hard.
After applying a lot more teflon and remounting it - the damn thing still
leaks, only not as much. =)

I think I'm going to give the caulk a shot. Heck - the stuff only has to
hold up to a five minute shower a few times a year.
It's your house, but I wouldn't tolerate ANY leaking in a wall.

check all threads for obvious damage or faults. (pipe cracks/holes)

Throw out the teflon tape, and coat the threads with pipe dope, (plumbers
joint compound)
or just a heavy grease.

THEN screw it in ,and you won't have ANY leak.


AMUN
 
T

Toller

Throw out the teflon tape, and coat the threads with pipe dope, (plumbers
joint compound)
or just a heavy grease.
A plumber I worked with swore by dope AND teflon.
 
S

Sacramento Dave

Amun said:
wall

It's your house, but I wouldn't tolerate ANY leaking in a wall.

check all threads for obvious damage or faults. (pipe cracks/holes)

Throw out the teflon tape, and coat the threads with pipe dope, (plumbers
joint compound)
or just a heavy grease.

THEN screw it in ,and you won't have ANY leak.


AMUN
1: Unscrew the shower head 2: unscrew the shower head mounting pipe. You
might have to make a small cut around it with a key whole saw. 3: put a
small amount of pipe dope on the threads, then put 5 to 7 wraps of Teflon
tape clockwise on threads, then put pipe dope on again. 4: Screw the pipe
back in, don't over tighten just good and snug. If you over tighten you run
a risk of cracking the drop-eared-90ty 9 (The cast piece with to mounting
holes.) A pipe is tapered so your putting a wedge in lot of pressure. 5:
Run the water for a few minutes to clean out crap in line. 6: put the shower
head back on. When you feel every thing is good caulk around the hole.
Anyway that's what I would do, but I'm just a plumber.
 
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D

David W.

A plumber I worked with swore by dope AND teflon.
A plumber I was watching (commercial work) swore by dope, then teflon, then
more dope. I guess he hated call-backs for leaking pipes :)
 
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