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I don't know what the pipe is technically called, but it's the one that you attach your shower head to. Well, after the guys finished the job and left yesterday, I noticed that this pipe is very loose. I can move it to the left or right an easy 2 inches either way. When I told him about the loose shower pipe, he blamed it on the previous installation when it never did that before with my old shower.

Also, when I checked the tub faucet head for movement, I swear I heard something fall and hit the subfloor behind the wall. I told the guy about it and he said it was probably some blocking that fell and that it's probably nothing to worry about.

He said he'll come out and look at it. In the meantime, can anyone shed more light on this based on what I've told you so far? Is there anything I can do now to secure the shower head pipe in place? What could that falling sound possibly have been?

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Fire that contractor and never use him again. It wouldn't hurt to post a review online of the low quality of work he's doing so that others don't hire him either. –  BMitch Sep 22 '11 at 17:40
    
I have mixed feelings now that the owners son came out. His dad is a bit rugged and I don't quite trust him, but his son is real good. I probably won't go as far as to post a bad review (although I thought about it), but I doubt I will hire them again for future jobs. –  oscilatingcretin Sep 22 '11 at 18:35
    
The son being capable doesn't excuse the father damaging your plumbing (even in a minor, fixable fashion) NOR attempting to pass the buck to the prior installer. I'm with BMItch - you can say they fixed it but this should go on Angies List. –  The Evil Greebo Sep 22 '11 at 18:39
    
Well, his son was the one who came out to fix it and actually admitted that he, himself, caused the problem. His dad was only here taking over while his son went on lunch, although it was his dad that was quick to initially blame the prior install. They rectified the situation. Their loss is that I will not be calling them for future jobs for which there will be plenty here in the coming months. –  oscilatingcretin Sep 22 '11 at 18:48
    
Well, in that case, credit to the son for owning up to the issue. Still not keen on Dad... –  The Evil Greebo Sep 22 '11 at 18:59
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is a picture of one example of a rough shower plumbing install:

enter image description here

As you can see, at the top there is a cross brace, and there is a 90 degree angle that's been mounted into that brace secured, preferably with screws but possibly with nails.

My guess? Your shower head was braced with nails, some idiot hit your shower head pipe pretty hard and pulled the nails loose, and the sound you heard was one of the nails falling out.

It's not serious - as long as you don't put any weight on the shower head - and the fix will involve opening up the walls. Technically you can fix it from behind, so you won't have to destroy tile in the process, but that's a harder way to do it. Basically you have to pull the wall behind the shower, cut the pipe to the shower head, pull the brace, re-secure the shower head, replace the brace, and then fix the feed to the shower head w/ a connector.

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Thanks for the info. Due to the way it moves left and right, it seems as though it's not secured to whatever it was secured to before. I just talked to the guy again and he's going to come out and shoot foam into the opening so that he doesn't have to open the wall (it's just drywall). Does that sound like a professional fix or just a hack to get in and out as quickly as possible? –  oscilatingcretin Sep 22 '11 at 17:13
    
It's a hack. However, as long as he doesn't overfill the void (and thus blow out the drywall), it could work. –  The Evil Greebo Sep 22 '11 at 17:17
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The foam is a complete hack, it will eventually become lose again, and by that time, the contractor will be long gone. –  BMitch Sep 22 '11 at 17:41
    
BMitch is right - I wasn't thinking about how pressure on the foam will cause it to collapse over time. That mounting angle really should be screwed into the brace to fix this properly. –  The Evil Greebo Sep 22 '11 at 17:45
    
Good call, Greebo. His son came out today and suspected that he had indeed knocked a nail loose, but not out. He enlarged the hole in the drywall, put a screwdriver through against the head of the nail, and pounded it in. It's in super sturdy now. You were spot on! –  oscilatingcretin Sep 22 '11 at 18:34
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Basically, your pipe moves and it shouldn't. They probably did something to the strapping of the pipe in the wall. These pipes are supposed to be "strapped" or tied into the 2 x 4. Maybe what you heard was the strapping falling but regardless you are left with a pipe that moves. I have a brand new bathroom and the same problem. All the tiles are up and we came up with this and it works! NO glue, NO chalking, NO Foam!

Solution: RUBBER GROMMET (Google them if you don't know what they are). Basically they are a thick rubber gasket with an indent all the way around. They come in any size. Measure the diameter of your pipe and the size of the entire space around the pipe. Length and width. We used a rubber grommet that was less than an inch in diameter, made a cut so you can open the grommet up, slipped it around the pipe, the tile fit into the indent all the way around the grommet and voilà, no more moving pipe.

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