How to Remove a Shower Arm that is Stuck

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Sometimes, shower arm removal can be such a headache. Especially when nasty corrode or mineral build-up kicks in, things can get tough, and repair work becomes a nightmare. But chin up, sunshine, there are various ways you can try to tackle that stubborn shower arm.

In this guide, we will go through different methods of removing a stuck shower arm. So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty and get to work.

Assess the Situation

If you’re dealing with a stuck shower arm, it pays to take a moment to size up the situation before you dive in. By following a few simple steps, you can save yourself time and money and potentially avoid some serious headaches down the line.

Check for Obvious Signs of Damage

First, give it a thorough check for cracks, dents, or rust. If you spy visible damage, it’s best to bring in a professional plumber to save the day. No major damage? Then we are good to go!

Turn Off the Water Supply

Before you start, switch off the water supply to prevent any damage. Check near the shower or in the basement for the handy shut-off valve (your home’s plumbing diagram might also help you locate it).

After the water supply is cut, turn on the shower to release any remaining water pressure. That way, you can remove the shower arm without inflicting further damage.

By following these easy steps, you can preserve your bathroom and dodge the big bucks it would cost to fix mishaps.

Gather the Tools You Need

Getting your shower arm unstuck may seem like an impossible feat, but with these tools in your toolbox, you’ve got this in the bag:

CRAFTSMAN Adjustable Wrench Set, 3-Piece (CMMT12001)

Adjustable wrench

HORUSDY 4 Pack Heavy Duty Pipe Wrench Set, Adjustable 8" 10" 12" 14" Soft Grip Plumbing Wrench Set with Storage Bag

Pipe wrench

Channellock 440 Tongue and Groove Pliers | 12-Inch Straight Jaw Groove Joint Plier with Comfort Grips | 2.25-Inch Jaw Capacity | Laser Heat-Treated 90° Teeth| Forged High Carbon Steel | Made in USA, Black, Blue, Silver

Channel locks

Kroil Original Penetrating Oil, Industrial Size, 16.5 oz. aerosol (KanoLab Aerokroil)

Penetrating oil

D-NYX 10 Rolls Extra Long Teflon Tape 1/2 Inch(W) X 520 Inches(L) - Plumbers PTFE Tape – Thread Seal - Perfect for Shower Heads and Pipe - Home Plumbing Pipe Sealing - Sealant Tape

Teflon tape

How to Remove a Shower Arm that is Stuck

KES 16-Inch Shower Head Extension Extender Rainfall Shower Arm with Flange Stainless Steel Matt Black, PSAN4-BK

Step 1: Turn Off The Water Flow

The first step is to turn off the water flow. You don’t want to end up getting soaked while working on the shower arm. Find the valve that controls the water supply to your shower and turn it off.

Step 2: Twist The Shower Arm Off

Here comes the fun part! The second step entails twisting the shower arm off with your bare hands. If it doesn’t budge, you can channel your inner superhero and use pliers or a wrench to get a better grip. And just in case things get a bit rough, be sure to use a cloth or tape to protect the shower arm from any unfair scratches or damage.

Step 3: Look At The Shower Arm Junction

Take a closer look at the point where the shower arm connects to the wall if you are having difficulty moving it. You might spot a teensy-weensy screw or hex nut that’s keeping that arm glued right there. Grab a wrench or screwdriver, whichever you prefer, and give that screw or nut a good twist to break the bond. Then that arm will be history!

Step 4: Adjustable Pipe Wrench

If that stubborn ol’ shower arm still won’t budge, grab hold of an adjustable pipe wrench! Before you remove the arm, wrap it up with a cloth or tape to avoid any scratches. Remember to turn counterclockwise to loosen it. However, be careful not to apply too much force as it can cause damage to the arm or wall. Don’t worry, just follow these steps, and you can safely detach the arm.

Tips and tricks

You may want to remember this when dealing with a maddeningly stuck shower arm:

  • Don’t forget to prevent leaks or spraying by shutting off the water valve
  • Try a penetrating oil around the shower arm to lubricate and ease it out
  • Use some pliers, a strap wrench, or a pipe wrench (yikes) to turn the arm counterclockwise
  • For more stretch, use a hair dryer or heat gun to heat up the metal
  • If all else fails, consider using a hacksaw – just protect the showerhead and wall using a cloth or tape!
  • Take it easy and allow yourself time to avoid damaging the showerhead or wall, taking breaks as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if the shower arm is stuck?

If the shower arm is not moving or turning, it is likely stuck. You can try turning it with your hand or with pliers. If it still doesn’t budge, it may be stuck due to mineral buildup or corrosion.

Can I use WD-40 to loosen a stuck shower arm?

Yes, WD-40 can be used to loosen a stuck shower arm. However, it is important to note that WD-40 is not a lubricant and should not be used as a long-term solution. It is best to use a penetrating oil or a lubricant specifically designed for plumbing.

What if the shower arm is too tight to turn with pliers?

To loosen a tight shower arm, use a pipe wrench or a strap wrench instead of pliers. These tools provide more leverage. Ensure not to damage the shower arm or plumbing fixtures while doing so.

Should I call a plumber if I can’t remove the stuck shower arm?

If you’ve exhausted all the methods to remove a shower arm that’s stuck, it’s advisable to seek the help of a plumber. A professional plumber has the necessary tools and expertise to remove the shower arm without causing damage to the plumbing fixtures. It’s better to call a plumber than to take the risk of damaging the plumbing system further.


Well, these processes are pretty straightforward but don’t forget to handle them with care and take safety precautions when dealing with plumbing fixtures. And, if things go wrong or you’re unsure, it’s always best to aim for the stars and call in an expert plumber!

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