How to Remove a Shower Head Arm?

Last updatedLast updated: April 11, 2021
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Many instances might require the changing or removal of a showerhead arm. Whether it’s due to leakage or a rustiness of the showerhead, if you need replacement, there’s not much complexity involved in figuring out how to remove a showerhead arm. Just grab the arm and twist in the counterclockwise direction to remove it.

While some people might choose to remove the showerhead properly before pulling out the arm from the junction with the shower rise pipe of water supply, it is not particularly necessary as the shower arm could be removed with the head still screwed to it.

There might be variations as to where you can hold the arm before turning, but this would depend on the state of the arm. It might be broken or rusty, and as such, in most cases, the best position to grab on to is right at the end.

What you will need

Naturally, all you would need to remove or replace a shower head arm is your hands. But due to the potential for rust and mineral accumulation at the junctions, a couple of tools may be needed. It would be best to have this before you begin to save time.

Tools that might come in handy are:
  • Vise grips
  • Towel
  • Vinegar
  • Adjustable pipe wrench
  • Scale remover
  • Thread seal tape
  • A new showerhead and arm, if the one being removed, is to be replaced.
  • A flat head screwdriver


If you are considering replacing the shower arm and head completely, it might be time to consider hand showers such as the Hotel Spa Neon Ultra-Luxury LED Hand Shower, which reduces the need for future replacements. However, if the traditional showerhead suits you better, an LED shower head is an upgrade over the normal ones.

Step to be taken in removing the shower arm

  1. Turn off the flow of water from the shower. You could turn off the water flow directly to the showerhead, but to be well covered, you can always turn off the supply of water to the bathroom completely.
  2. Remove the shower arm by twisting in the counterclockwise direction. If the arm is not twisting out due to lack of sufficient grip, you could use a towel to improve the grip or use a vise to turn. If it still doesn’t come out, stop twisting and pulling to avoid breaking anything.
  3. As advised in step 2, stop twisting if the shower arm has refused to come out easily. Rather, get a ladder and check out the junction connecting the arm to the shower rise pipe. The presence of brown spots or white spots indicates the accumulation of rust and minerals, respectively. In this case, you can use a towel soaked in a solution of vinegar as a homemade solvent for the minerals. Soak for 15 minutes with the towel and try again.
  4. The solution of vinegar still might not do the trick, and as such, you might need to get a commercial scale remover. Such a product could be available at your local supermarket, and if it isn’t, it would be up for sale online.
  5. The final solution for a shower head arm that has survived all the above steps is an adjustable pipe wrench. The main disadvantage is that using the wrench might damage the arm, and as such, if you weren’t planning on replacing the shower head and arm, you should consider doing so before utilizing a wrench. To use, adjust the jaws of the wrench to fit snugly on the arm, push down and turn. Repeat the procedure until the pipe is loose enough to be removed.
  6. Once you have succeeded in removing the showerhead arm, you can then replace or clean it as planned.

Fixing on a new shower head arm

How to Remove a Shower Head Arm?The goal behind removing your shower head arm could have been to replace it due to leakage, dirtiness, or rust. In this case, the new shower head and arm should most ideally be ready for attachment before the old one is removed. A recommended shower head is the Delta Faucet 7-spray model.

There are generally two ways to this process. The first involves screwing the showerhead onto the shower arm before attaching the showerhead arm to the supply in the wall or to the shower rise pipe. The second involves firstly screwing the shower arm to the rise pipe or the supply in the wall before screwing the showerhead onto the already attached arm.

All of the screwing and turning done in fixing both the shower arm and the showerhead is done to make things tighter, and as such, the appropriate direction to turn in is clockwise.

To ease the burden of removal if the showerhead or arm is to be replaced in the future, apply seal tape or putty to the threads on both ends of the arm before screwing into the wall and showerhead.

Finally, after turning clockwise as far as tightly as your hand can assure, you should use a wrench to make sure that it’s as tight as possible to prevent any leakage. Before using the wrench, though, you should wrap the shower arm with a towel or rag to prevent the jaws of the wrench from scratching the new shower arm.

Final thoughts

Many reasons might call for the replacing or removal of a shower head arm, but certain situations such as low flow or weak pressure might just require the showerhead alone to be replaced. In such a case, you might like to purchase a good massage shower head that gives the best shower relaxation feel.

Regardless of which shower head is purchased, be sure to clean the relevant threads on the shower arm before screwing on the new head. You could also add thread seal tapes.

Once done with the replacement of the shower head arm, shower head, or both, any more problems encountered with flow strength or leakage is probably a sign that you have reached the limits of your handiness, and the services of a plumber are required.

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