Looking for a shower head arm


The old shower arm has developed a crack and it's weeping water and getting worse. I have to replace it before it damages the wall.
I got it unscrewed easily, but what I found wasn't what I was expecting. From all the descriptions I found on the net and from looking at the replacement arms available in hardware stores, I expected the arm to screw into a fitting behind the wall, sticking out through a hole which can be covered by a flange. Instead, I found this:
<
http://home.comcast.net/~esionder/temp/showerarm1.jpg
A pipe sticking out into the shower. Attached to that is this:
<
http://home.comcast.net/~esionder/temp/showerarm2.jpg
<
http://home.comcast.net/~esionder/temp/showerarm3.jpg
Maybe I have my terminology wrong - which is the "arm", the copper pipe or the chrome cowl? Anyway, I would like to find a replacement for the chrome piece to save myself from hacking open the wall. However, I can't find any similar piece in any physical or on-line store. Can anyone suggest a source for this piece? Any other suggestions on other ways to repair this?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

*I would try taking the old piece to a plumbing supply. My sister recently did a bathroom over and she installed a shower setup similar to this: http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecatalog/detail.jsp?from=thumb&frm=&module=Showerheads&itemA7202&prod_nums74&section=2&category &resultPage=0-2131042038
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed 17 Mar 2010 02:34:19p, Nil told us...

What you have actually looks more like a tub filler spout than any type of shower arm. As you've found out, most shower arms screw into a fitting behind the wall. Your best bet is taking the part to a really good plumbing supply store and see what they have or what suggestions they may be able to offer.
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wayne Boatwright wrote:

Is this a house or a mobile home? If the latter, try the local mobile home supply house. That does look like a close cousin to a bathtub spout with an aerator tip replaced by a shower head. What is on the wall on the other side of the shower head? The sink area, a bedroom wall, or (hopefully) a bedroom closet? If the back of the wall is someplace out of public view, you can cut an access hatch, and replace with a proper bronze fitting and real shower arm pretty easily. They sell snap-in access hole covers, or you could just mount a mirror or shallow bookcase over the hole or something.
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
alt.home.repair:

Unfortunately, the other side of the wall in back of the shower's plumbing is a hallway. If I have to re-jigger the plumbing I'll have to open up the wall and patch it up later. It would be a good thing to have an access panel, but it would be very visible.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed 17 Mar 2010 08:11:32p, Nil told us...

Biting the bullet and installing an access panel in the hallway might ultimately be the best choice. You could, perhaps, cover the access panel with a picture or wall hanging.
Neither of our bathrooms have access panels to the tub/shower plumbing. Hopefully we'll never have a serious problem. Luckily, in one respect, we have conventional shower arms.
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in alt.home.repair:

Yes, it does look kind of like a tub spout, although I've never seen one quite like this.
I guess I'll have to start driving around to supply houses because they won't know what I'm talking about unless I show them. There are a fair number of places in the Boston area, but they are very spread out. It's hard to tell from the descriptions online and in the phone book if they are retail stores or not - many seem to be wholesale or cater to industrial customers only.
Thanks for the suggestions. I think you're on the right and only practical path.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nil wrote:

Rather than driving around, consider getting fax numbers and sending faxes of the 3 pics ....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed 17 Mar 2010 08:06:29p, Nil told us...

Wholesalers may be willing to sell a product to a private individual, especially if they see you have few choices. Or, they may be able to tell you who they sell to and recommend a dealer.
Best of luck!
--

~~ If there's a nit to pick, some nitwit will pick it. ~~

~~ A mind is a terrible thing to lose. ~~
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nil wrote:

What you expected is the norm. What you have is wierd...photos #2 & 3 appear to be a cowl that screws into and covers the copper pipe. The shower head then screwed into it?
Best suggestion is what others suggested...take the old part ("cowl") and a print of photo #1 to a plumbing supply store - not a Lowes/Home Depot - and let them set you up with what you need.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Look up "shower elbow". Most of the new elbows are 90 degree and might require your stub out to be shortened a bit, or you could match a newer elbow with a shower valve escutcheon.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
alt.home.repair:

OK! The problem has been resolved! I'll post this for the archives, in case someone else has the same issue...
I couldn't find the appropriate part in any chain hardware stores. I emailed <http://www.plumbingsupply.com/ with links to the pictures (they won't take attachments), but their email system strips out links! They eventually stopped responding to me. I also emailed <http://www.cometplumbing.com/ on the advice of someone here. They never responded.
So, I called a plumbing wholesale company about 20 miles away. When I described the piece, the guy knew just what it was, and even had one in stock! Turns out this is made by Symmons, and they call it the "Nu- Arm", their model number 301. The part is still in production, but I don't think anybody uses it for new installations any more. It's just used to repair old installations like mine.
This is great. I can just screw the new one on and I'll be back in business. No need to be tearing up the walls just yet.
Thanks to all for your help and guidance.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.