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I replaced my shower arm with one that has a universal 1/2" male end so I could install a Culligan water filter showerhead. I did a fair amount of research beforehand and made sure to teflon tape the ends in the direction I would be screwing so as not to unravel the teflon while screwing. On the outer end of the shower arm, there is a tiny leak that, after about 10 seconds, forms a single drop that falls from the head and then repeats after another 10 seconds. I have tightened it as much as I can, and it seems harmless, but I have no idea.

Will it get worse? And is there anyway to know if I am leaking on the other end, inside the wall?

  • It's leaking where the shower head attaches? Is there a washer inside the part that attached to the pipe? Can you include some photos? – Tester101 Oct 17 '15 at 3:44
  • actually, in disassembling and reassembling to get pictures, i appear to have resolved the leak! – user4853 Oct 17 '15 at 4:15
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    If there's mineral in the water, minute thread leaks often are self-healing. – Fiasco Labs Oct 17 '15 at 4:34
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Of course it could get worse, but does it really matter? The leak is inside of your shower area and should not be a cause of huge concern.

That portion of pipe is normally not under pressure except when the shower valve(s) is opened, and then only subject to back-pressure created by the restriction of your shower head (unless you have installed one of those "shut-off" type devices upstream of your shower head; which I do not recommend using, BTW).

Your second question, "is there anyway to know if I am leaking on the other end, inside the wall?", concerns me a bit. If you have reason to believe that the shower-arm thread connection inside the wall is anything less than perfect, you need to take action. Pull away or remove the trim flange (sometimes called an escutcheon) which covers the hole in the wall where the shower-arm passes through and inspect the threaded fitting with a flashlight. Chip away additional material from around the shower arm if necessary to get a good look (don't chip too much, make sure the trim flange will still cover the hole). You need to ensure 100% that there is no leak inside the wall.

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    Emphasis: if you have reason to believe the connection inside the wall has problems. That would be a very uncommon place for an issue to occur; it's almost certainly a soldered joint rather than a threaded connection. – keshlam Oct 17 '15 at 16:24
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    @keshlam, I believe the OP is referring to the shower-arm connection at the wall, which is pretty much always threaded and cannot be seen from outside; bad place for a leak. That's why I do not like shower heads or other shower accessories that effect a positive shut-off, they pressurize this connection. Sadly, the thin-walled, cheap foreign chrome-plated brass shower arms commonly offered at "big-box" stores have made this connection a common suspect. I have seen them cracked and broken at the thread just from tightening a bit too much. +1 for if though, don't fix it if it ain't broke. – Jimmy Fix-it Oct 17 '15 at 17:50
  • @jimmyfixit: good point' I'd forgotten that. Odd choice, unless there's an expectation that the arm will be replaced often. – keshlam Oct 17 '15 at 18:32

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