Shower Head Pipe - A question

The house is about 35 years old... and the shower heads require replacement. The pipe comng out of the wall does not have a threaded end but ends directly in the round knob that the shower head covers.
Two questions...
Is there a retrofit kit that would allow me to cut off the pipe extending from the wall and convert it into a threaded end in order to install a new aftermarket shower head ??
Can it be assumed due to the age of the house and type of pipe, that this has been soldered into the feed pipe inside the wall cavity or are all types of pipe threaded. And if threaded, what are the chances of unscrewing this from the wall and getting it out in one piece so a replacement can be installed??
I hate to create more work for myself,, and 35 year old plumbing doesn't like to be messed with.
Any suggestions are appreciated !!!
Thanks in advance !!
Peter
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Does the "round knob" have two flat sides on the collar to fit an adjustable wrench on it?

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No. It's completely round.
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The whole arm _should_ unscrew right behind the wall. Or to make it easier, you've got a nut that you're not telling us about on the tube behind the knob that'll screw onto an adapter available at a good hardware store. Tom
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No Nuts !! I mean on the pipe... the knob is round, it's a single piece all the way into the wall. Inspected it pretty closely, ran a fingernail looking for a separation.... none.... one solid piece. I'm thinking this is probably as old as the house (35 years) and wondering if back at that time they were still soldering stuff into the pipes or if this was threaded in.
Either way, I'm trying to avoid messing with a pipe that hasn't been touched for that period of time. so is there a retrofit kit that would allow me to cut the pipe outside of the wall and attach a threaded end ( soldering is okay with me.).
Peter.
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Peter wrote:

What's the pipe made of? Chrome-plated steel or brass? If so, it's not soldered. I think the only common thing that's soldered is copper (maybe brass), but certainly not chrome or galvanized iron.
Anyway, yes there are kits. These kits consist of 1) hacksaw and 2) right-sized die for threading.
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BALL END SHOWER ARM ADPTR HD Supply Part #: 529510 see: www.hdsupplysolutions.com
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wrote:

Thanks !!! That's what I'm looking for !! I just put a wrench on the pipe to see if it would move... looks like it's in pretty tight.. so I'll just mess with it outside the wall..
Thanks again for your help !!
Peter
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if the flow from the shower arm is good, you may get away with an adapter. otherwise the old arm may be threaded and may with some persuasion unscrew from the female elbow fitting in the wall. shower arms come in different lengths and angles. use teflon tape with a new arm. if you break the shower arm, you might remove the tub spout and replace it with a tub spout with lift up diverter, handheld shower massage. if you do, you would seal the top shower arm perhaps with a rubber pipe end cap with screw clamp. look at escutcheons to correct any appearance concerns. CHROME DIE CAST ZINC DIVERTER TUB SPOUT Chrome Diverter Tub Spout - Die-Cast Zinc - For 1/2 Or 3/4" Pipe Thread - Includes 1/2" MIP Hand Shower Fitting 425175 see: www.hdsupplysolutions.com
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wrote:

My apartment had the same;I just put a channel-lock wrench on the pipe,unscrewed it and replaced it with a new one having the proper threads I bought from K-mart.No leaks. I also used The Incredible Head,a wonderful,inexpensive low-flow shower head.Total cost was about $12,IIRC.

If the pipe is long enough,you could probably cut off the ball and rethread the stub left. You'd have to rent a pipe threading tool and die(set).

You could cut an access hole in the back side of the wall and look. Just patch it up afterwards as you would any other hole.

he can probably access the pipe from the other side of the wall,too. In case of breaks.
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Peter wrote:

In my circa 1981 house, the same situation existed. The pipe was threaded on the other end and easily replaced with a new one that had threads to accommodate a variety of shower heads.
YMMV.

It wasn't that hard in my case. Again, though, YMMV.

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I had the same issue and forcibly unscrewing the shower arm caused the threaded end to break in the fitting. I had to use an internal extractor to remove the broken stub in order to be able to install a new shower arm. You may be luckier but I don't think you would likely need to open the wall.
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Okay.... got everything out...I used a bolt penetrating oil PB Blaster and sprayed it on the pipe connection. Did this in two bathrooms, the pipes came out smoothly.
PIcking up new shower arms and nozzles tomorrow... ( thanks for the low flow shower head tip).
Thanks for all the helpful hints... it wasn't half as bad as I expected, maybe I'm just gun shy (or rusted bolt shy) from working on cars and outdoor equipment, but golly gee I've had my share of busted off stuff in inaccessible places. Didn't want to break into a wall right before Christmas as company is expected.
Thanks again all for your help and have a happy holiday !!
Peter
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