I am trying to change my shower arm, and have come into some trouble. The current pipe has a fitting like the one pictured stuck on it - I’ve pulled and pulled but it will not come off, I assume the teeth are stuck into the pipe. Any tricks as how to remove it? There is nothing between the pipe and the fitting I can use to release it.


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4 Answers 4


On how to remove the old fitting.

Grab the fitting in your fist and slowly rotate your fist around the pipe while pressing the fitting against the side of the pipe. You are applying the side pressure at the base where the teeth are located. What you are trying to do is flatten the teeth so the teeth are no longer sticking out. A few rotation of your fist with pressure along the side of the pipe should be enough to flatten those teeth. You should be able to do this with the old and new plastic fitting.

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My other suggestion would be just leave the old one on and use it, which you have thought of.


Use heat. Soften the plastic enough to easily deform it.

An electric heat gun -- basically, and industrial-grade hair dryer -- is useful for lots of things. One thing it's useful for is getting an object so hot that it'll burn your fingers if you touch it, so proceed with caution and wear appropriate gloves.

Use the heat gun to warm the plastic part from all sides. Take care not to damage other surfaces -- but your tile should be quite heat resistant, so it appears this will be pretty easy. After a minute or so the plastic should become soft and pliable. It'll happen rather abruptly. When it does, you'll be able to easily do a variety of things to it:

  • insert a long object like a screwdriver between the plastic and the pipe, stretching the plastic
  • cut the plastic along the axis of the pipe in two or three places, peeling the plastic off the tube somewhat like peeling a banana
  • pry around the flange at the wall

If the plastic softens enough especially there at the wall flange where the teeth are the teeth will be able to move in the plastic. If you pull while it's soft like this the teeth may change angle so that they're no longer preventing the part from being removed.


Literal blood and sweat (but not quite tears) later - the additional tube is off the copper pipe. I rang the shower company, those teeth were in there to stay - they told me the only way to get it off was to cut it.

I won’t go into exactly what it involved, but it involved me standing on a suitcase in the shower (too short to reach), with a borrowed saw followed by nail scissors.

The original toothed tube will be staying on there until the house gets knocked down, or I move, whichever comes first.

The next step would be making holes in the tiles to attach the new shower piece to the wall, but that will be done by anyone but me.

Thank you everyone for your help today. You’ve been invaluable. If you ever see me on here again, tell me to leave 😂

  • So the existing holes in the tiles are not in the right place for the new part or the holes are too small in diameter? I believe that this type of shower head absolutely requires that the wall end be securely attached to the wall by screws. If not, when the water is turned on it will leak unacceptably and the shower head may be forced off by water pressure. Jul 20, 2021 at 22:33
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    Tell you to leave? You got the job done without losing any body parts. You're a hero! Jul 21, 2021 at 8:26

As the saying goes when you have dug yourself into a hole and want to get out, the first step is to stop digging. Stop and think at this point. Do not do anything more without careful consideration and consultation.


There must be an established procedure for removing the white plastic part. You may be yet able to remove the old part with the new one in place and then push the new one fully on.


Do not use any knife or saw on the old plastic part in a way that could score the copper tube. This could prevent the O-ring from sealing. Try to find out how experienced and capable people remove this plastic "locking flanged bushing".

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