I have a gap between the tub spout and the tile wall.

How would I straighten the pipe?

I’ve included two photos. One to show the spout and the other to show the copper pipe. This is a condo complex so somewhat challenging to turn off the water to the building. The shower valve has stops.

Separately, if I use caulk, which type do you recommend?

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Is the problem that the pipe slopes downward? That's not initially apparent, but you sort of imply it by the question. – isherwood Dec 22 '20 at 21:50
  • What pipe are you looking to "straighten" and in what way? You mention that as a throw-away comment, but give us no info about it. – FreeMan Jan 22 at 12:49

You need to either shorten the pipe or caulk the gap; neither would require shutting the water off (just don't open the valve while working on it).

I would just caulk it, it's not that big of a gap. Use silicone caulk labeled for use in the tub/shower/bath environment.

  • I will most likely use silicone. I don’t see how shortening the pipe will fix the problem since the gap is larger at the top. It appears the pipe is angled slightly downwards. Any suggestions on how to fix if I was to adjust the pipe or put in a new pipe? – hammerman20 Nov 22 '20 at 15:05
  • You might try searching the site,there are some already answered questions that might help you: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/209367/… – Jimmy Fix-it Nov 22 '20 at 16:24
  • The soft copper was probably bent and that is the reason for the difference in the gap, someone that did understand how to install this properly in the first place may not have anchored the 90. – Ed Beal Nov 22 '20 at 16:35
  • I have also seen cheap imported tub spouts where the threaded boss inside was not straight and true... – Jimmy Fix-it Nov 22 '20 at 16:40
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    You can see the pipe is threaded in, so if it is bent you could just replace it with a brand new (straight) brass nipple of the proper length. – Jimmy Fix-it Nov 22 '20 at 23:45

Chances are you can simply spin the spout on further. To find out, spin it off and clean both the male and female threads with a toothbrush or metal bristle brush. Spin it back on. If it goes snug to the wall, add a few wraps of PTFE tape to the pipe stub and reinstall. Some trial and error may be needed to figure out how much tape is the right amount.

If it won't go all the way, at least now you can see what you'd have to do to shorten the stub so you can. A quick de-sweat, pipe trim, and re-sweat is worth the aesthetic outcome, in my opinion.

Caulk would look crappy on a gap like that. (Caulk always looks crappy on tub spouts.) I would caulk around the pipe, though. Fill the entire void to the tile with silicone.

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