Im trying to change an old shower arm. When I thought I managed to do it, I realized the actual thread was inside what I removed and since then I’ve been unsuccessfully attempting to loosen it. I have a 12 inch pipe wrench and I feel like im applying some force but I can see the arm the pipe is threaded to moving when I apply pressure so im worried I’ll break it. I’ve been applying Pb blaster throughout the day and trying again every hour or so without success.

I don’t want to torch it because I feel a draft and I’m worried about creating a bigger issue.

Is there anything else I could try or it’s time to call a plumber?enter image description here

3 Answers 3


Two wrenches at the same time. This helps minimize side to side movement.

  • Might need a bigger hole in the wall or an oddball wrench, but valid if you can get a wrench on the fitting in the wall.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Oct 11, 2022 at 22:37

Try this: fill a sandwich size ziplock with ice. Tape it to the shower arm. Wait an hour. Use your wrench to get that pipe off. NO chance of setting anything on fire.

  • Might as well add some salt to the ice, and wrap with a towel to insulate it.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Oct 12, 2022 at 2:23

I would consider trying a "torch without setting your wall on fire" approach.

Use a flame protecting heat shield mat (find them near the torches at a hardware store - black high-temperature insulating fabric) to cover the hole in the wall.

Apply the torch to the pipe, from the end, depending on conduction of heat along the pipe to actually heat the joint inside the wall you are trying to break loose, NOT attempting to apply the flame to the hole in the wall at all.

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