So I was trying to move my shower head and it has snapped off, so I need to change it. Is it possible to do this myself, and if so what do I need to buy? I have looked online at shower arms, and they mention a standard BSP fitting? Please see photos below as to what is on the wall when I unscrew the current shower arm. Is this standard BSP? Or can I get an adapter for it? It just looks like a pipe to me 😂 I’d also ideally like the current holes to be hidden too. Also, is the white thing attached to the wall, or would this also be changed? Many thanks for any help, I really am lost!

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    I don't recall ever seeing a shower head installation with mounting screws like you have. What did this look like originally?
    – jwh20
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 10:31
  • I have just added another photo to show what it was like originally! Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 11:09
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    Try twisting that piece, looks like plastic, at the end of the arm counterclockwise with a needle nose pliers to see if you can remove it....
    – JACK
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 11:50
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    What country is this? Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 22:58
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    Get the new parts of the same type and follow the instructions. Before you purchase one measure how far the tube protrudes from the wall to the nearest mm. You might have to know this to get a new shower arm that works with this tube length. Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 23:43

3 Answers 3


I'm not sure you did break anything off.

What's bugging me about your top picture is the pipe looks awfully thin-wall... too thin-wall to hold a thread. So I don't believe that is iron pipe.

What clinched it for me was seeing the video you linked, which plainly shows a COPPER pipe, with use of an O-ring to establish seal to the shower head.

So I recommend you pull that remaining plastic piece off. Then, get a kitchen scrub-sponge (such as 3M Scotchbrite), and working wet, clean/polish the metal parts of the pipe coming out of the wall. I bet it cleans up to a nice copper color. Now you'll know what you are looking at. Copper pipe is not threaded.*

All that cleaning isn't just for discovery or show. The pipe needs to be pretty clean for the O-ring seal to work.

* Except for a very thick-wall variant which is iron (BSP) pipe that happens to be made out of copper or brass, but that's rare.

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    I agree, the wall equipment does not appear to have broken; can't speak about the rest of the unit... Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 19:02

Generally what you have with a showerhead installation looks like this:

From: https://lda.lowes.com/is/image/Lowes/DP18-174556_NPC_HT_Install_A_RainShowerHead_SCI_1_1?scl=1

So the pipe that you broke the threads off should be threaded into the shower elbow that is attached to the wall behind the tile.

Using a pipe wrench you should be able to unscrew the pipe nipple that is sticking out. You probably want to remove the piece that appears to be plastic before doing this so you don't break it.

There is the possibility that the pipe will break off in the wall and there is probably not much you can do if it's corroded into place but generally it should unscrew if it's been properly installed.

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    I don't know what a "BSP" is. Please clarify. But PLEASE use the correct tools. A pipe wrench is not that expensive and will save you a lot of time and trouble. Using the wrong tool can easily cause additional damage and lead to expensive repairs.
    – jwh20
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 14:57
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    Almost certainly.
    – jwh20
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 14:58
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    BSP is 'British Standard Pipe (thread). It comes in several sizes - 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" are common. Used extensively in Europe as well as UK. Never seemed to reflect the actual dimensions of anything, to me!
    – Tim
    Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 15:02
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    @jwh20 what you have pictured is how this is generally plumbed in the USA. It is done differently in other countries. Emily may assume there is no problem inside the wall, unless she would make one by trying to use a wrench on that tube coming out of the wall. She could polish the end of the tube with non-abrasive scouring powder and a soft rag, then install the new arm according to directions. Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 23:05
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    Do not attempt to unscrew this tube! You would almost certainly deform the tube. It is possibly soldered inside the wall not a threaded connection. Even if it is threaded as in the US, there is no need to unscrew it at this point. Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 23:18

So I have found a direct replacement for this sort of pipe fitting - it’s an Aqualisa easy fit shower arm. The only problem I have now is the old parts are ever so slightly too big, I assume because they’re old and more modern = more compact. I just need to remove the one piece of plastic around the copper pipe. From looking at the new fittings, it has teeth inside - I have asked a question on this, on a different thread to keep it tidy. Thank you so much for everyone’s help!!

If anyone is interested: Remove plastic fitting with teeth from copper pipe

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