Shower Nipple Installation

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Shower nipples are a type of pipe connection that is used to create water tight seals at pipe joints. Pipe nipples consist of two threaded halves. One half screws into the back-plate of the shower-head, the other half screws into the threaded end of the shower-head arm. When the shower-head arm leaks, it generally is caused by a faulty nipple that will need to be replaced. You can install a shower nipple to stop a leaky shower, replace an old shower head, or install a new shower.

Things You'll Need

  • Shower-head back-plate
  • Pencil
  • Drill with 6-millimeter bit
  • 2 shower wall plugs
  • Hammer
  • Screw driver
  • Teflon plumber's tape
  • Adjustable pipe wrench
  • Place the shower back-plate onto the shower outlet pipe, which should be sticking out of the wall by 18-millimeters. Insert a pencil into the two screw holes of the back-plate and mark the holes on the wall.

  • Remove the backplate and drill 6-millimeter holes on the pencil marks you just drew. Hammer the shower wall plugs into the holes you just drilled. Set the backplate back onto the shower outlet pipe and secure it to the wall with the two provided screws. If your shower head came with a compression nipple, place the washer or plastic "olive" over the outlet pipe.

  • Wrap both threaded sides of the shower nipple with four clockwise turns of Teflon plumber's tape. Insert the nipple into the female nipple or washer located in the hole of the shower-head back-plate. Finger tighten the nipple into the back-plate. Use an adjustable pipe wrench and turn it twice clockwise to finish tightening the nipple connection. Screw the shower-head clockwise onto the other threaded end of the nipple until it is finger tight and hard to turn. Use a wrench to tighten it another 1/2 turn to make the connection a water-tight seal.

Tips & Warnings

  • Handle power tools with care, as they can cause injury.

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