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I'm trying to replace my tub faucet because the old one sat about 1/8" away from the wall and felt loose. As it turns out this is most likely because the pipe coming out of the wall is 1/8" too long. It's a 3/4" pipe threaded at the end and it seems like most faucets using this connection require that pipe to be exactly 4" out of the wall (or probably slightly less to be honest) but this pipe is 4-1/8".

I want the new faucet to fit snuggly against the wall but it has the same issue as the old one, fully threaded on it's still about 1/8" away from the wall. I do have a pipe cutter but I don't think it would work very well on the threaded section of the pipe, however I was thinking if I just extend the threads on this pipe another 1/8-1/4" I should be able to thread the faucet on further because the female threaded section of the faucet looks significantly longer than the male threaded section of the pipe.

Is that a bad idea, and should I just cut the pipe somehow to be the correct length? Also if I do end up needing to cut the pipe is there a correct way to cut cleanly through the threaded area?

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  • You say the faucet can wiggle, that's not right. Do you have access to the back side of the wall. If so you should open up the wall and fasten the pipe so it doesn't wiggle. You can do this after you install the spout and then adjust the depth when you fasten the pipe. – Platinum Goose Jul 26 at 12:50
  • @PlatinumGoose: I do not however it seems to be about as secure as any other copper pipe I've seen, I'm pretty sure the stuff isn't meant to be structural. – jesse_b Jul 26 at 14:00
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pipe threads are tapered so cutting the pipe shorter (eg use a hacksaw) would likely not result in the faucet going on any further, instead you'll probably need to have the threads on the pipe re-cut deeper and longer.

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  • Thanks, yeah that's what I'm hoping, just wanted to be prepared if it still bottoms out in the faucet and I have to cut the pipe. I guess it won't really matter if my cut isn't perfectly straight using a hacksaw though. – jesse_b Jul 26 at 11:57
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  1. there are many brands and types of tub spouts and there is no standard for pipe length out from the wall.
  2. you cannot just cut that type of pipe. It has a tapered thread, so cutting a bit of the threaded portion off will ruin it unless you have a pipe threader to re-thread it.
  3. a 1/8" gap is not unusual at all (and is not necessarily a bad thing, see detail below) and would normally just be sealed with caulking.

In your original problem: "tub spout... sat about 1/8" away from the wall and felt loose" the only real issue is the second part, the fact that it was loose.

Detail- because pipe threads are tapered and rely on that taper to effect a proper seal, using a shorter pipe presents the possibility that the spout will strike the wall before the spout is threaded fully on. Most plumbers would rather caulk a small gap and know that the spout is threaded fully on with no leaks, than thread the spout tight to the wall and not be sure the thread is fully seated.

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  • Not loose on the threads but loose as in it wiggles because the only thing supporting it is the pipe and not the wall. Since the faucet can wiggle it will separate from the caulk very quickly and I'll be recaulking it basically monthly in order to ensure it stays sealed. Everything I have read online says the faucet should sit flush to the wall. And yes there are multiple types of faucet connections, but this particular type is supposed to be 4" – jesse_b Jul 26 at 12:02

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