Usually, a shower valve and all the pipes that connect to it go behind the shower wall. If one of these pipes is not installed properly the shower valve with not work optimally. Therefore, if you want your shower faucet to run normally, you have to ensure everything is well installed.
Since the shower pipe runs in the shower wall, installing it can be an uphill task. However, with this guide on how to install shower pipe in wall, you will have a seamless process of installing your shower pipe.
So, without much ado, let’s get down to business and see what you need for this kind of shower installation. Later, we will look at how to install shower pipe in wall.
What you Need to Install Shower Pipe in Wall
The following are the most essential material and tools you need for successful installation of shower pipe in wall:
A drill: Since the pipes are to be installed behind the bathroom wall, a lot of drilling will be needed thus a drill will come in handy.
Drill extensions: For precise drilling in some tight spots, you will need to use different drill extensions.
Copper tees: You need copper tees in order to have a seamless installation of pipes behind the wall.
Pipe cutter: To effectively cut the pipes during the installation process a pipe cutter will be an essential tool for this project.
Adjustable Pipe Wrench: For efficient tightening of the nuts, you will require the help of an adjustable wrench.
Plumbing tape: When installing pipes behind a shower wall or any other wall, plumbing tape is required.
Fittings: You will need different types of fittings for the successful completion of this project.
- Propane torch
- Lead-free solder
- Soldering flux
- Copper pipes
- 2-by-4 blocking lumber
- Three ½-inch male copper or brass male sweat adapters
Apart from these tools and materials, you will require to have safety goggles and a pair of gloves. This is because you will be handling tools and ensuring your safety is essential.
How to Install Shower Pipe in Wall
When planning to install a shower pipe in your bathroom wall, it is advisable to do it when:
- You are remodeling your bathroom and you have unlimited access to the pipe construction
- behind the wall
- The bathroom is being built
On other occasions, you will require to drill into the shower wall and make a huge mess in the process. Therefore, it is best to install shower pipes when the walls are already open for you to have a hassle and mess-free installation process.
Regardless, here is the installation process.
Locate the Water Supply Pipes
The first thing to do is locate both the hot and cold water supply pipes. This is because the whole process revolves around connecting your new pipes to the water supply line so that you can have your shower valves are functioning perfectly.
Fortunately, this isn’t a hard nut to crack since the main water supply pipe is often located near the showerhead. However, the hard part of the whole process is drilling into the wall in order to reach it.
Turn off the Water Supply Valve
Once you have drilled and reached the water supply pipes, you can turn off the main water valve to the bathroom. Certainly, you wouldn’t want to cut the pipe that has water running in it as it will flood and mess your bathroom and the drywall as well.
Therefore, locate the shut-off valve and turn it off to stop water flowing through the pipes in your shower. Once you have shut down the water flow, you can then proceed to cut the pipes.
Cut the Pipes
Get your pipe cutter and make a few cuts. Start with the main pipe because you will require to attach fitting onto it for easy connecting to the newly installed pipe to the showerhead. Don’t make a big cut on this pipe, just make a small cut that is enough for a fitting to be installed without a hassle.
After you have cut the pipe, measure the pipe opening as well as to measure it with the fitting. The cut opening should be able to accommodate the fitting when inserted there.
Use the Fittings
Like we have mentioned above, the idea is to insert the fittings into the hole that you cut on the pipe. Well, use the fittings that conveniently fit in the space you made. If you require a fitting that connects two pipes with a female ending, consider that one. Conversely, you can use a different type of fitting depending on your choice.
The end result is to connect the pipe to the main water supply pipe that you cut. So, keep this in mind when choosing your fitting.
Connect Pipes with the valve
Prepare the valve that you intend to connect to the pipe. The preparation process requires you to check the endings of the valve and they are often female ports. Therefore, you are supposed to prepare the male sweat adapters for seamless connecting to the valve.
Use the propane torch to melt the pipe enough to connect to the other pipe straightaway. Often, this is the trickiest part of the shower pipe installation, therefore, it is recommended that you execute this process with a lot of care and patience.
After you have done the connection, use the plumber tape and wrap it around the joint where the connection is made.
Install an Elbow Pipe
Once the new pipe is in place and well connected to the valve, you may want to make a few adjustments before installing an elbow pipe. The installation of and elbow pipes should be done exceptionally considering the fact that you want to have a properly functioning shower head.
Once you have installed an elbow pipe, the installation is almost complete. Now, you can install the tub spout. All you need to do now is to check for any loose parts of whatever is not well installed. Once you are satisfied that everything is installed accordingly, test the pipe by opening the water from the shut-off valve.
Clean the Bathroom and Check for Leaks
Installing a shower pipe in the wall will definitely create a mess and it is best for you to clean it up. It is necessary to clean since you wouldn’t want to leave a mess that can result in other kinds of problems in the long run when the shower is in use. Besides, it is standard procedure to clean after you are done with the installation process.
Also, remember to turn on the valve to allow water to follow into your bathroom pipes. Once the water is running in the pipes, check for any leaks from the newly installed pipes. If you find any leaks on the joint, use the adjustable wrench to tighten up more to stop the leakages.
Signs of a Shower Leak Behind Wall
Shower leaks in the wall don’t always become obvious. Often, your investigating skills are as vital as the plumber. Even if you can’t see a leak internally, it may show up. If your shower is located on the first floor of your basement, there is some water dripping out of the ceiling onto the floor.
Leaks are difficult to detect. The movement of waters is fascinating. It might blow up walls and run along beams or on posts to another spot. So, it’s important you keep your plumber on task. Usually, water splatters in showers are a telltale sign of leakages.
Find Out Where Your Shower Leaks
If you have a leak behind the wall, the shower door may not be visible. So, you should try either thing. Sometimes if you are having trouble installing a panel to the sidewall behind the bathtub, it will give you a quick way to identify or fix the water pipe in the bathtub.
Set the panel aside for inspection. Windows are usually cut in the drywall to view water pipes in most homes. This is a simple solution considering the water damage which might arise if your leak does not get sealed.
Fix the Leaky Shower Valve
It’s easier to repair leaking shower valves to prevent water from getting into the shower. When you open the valve in your shower, the warm water comes in and mixes up to the desired temperature. Most brands of shower valves use the same installation method. Hot, cool showerheads, and hot water in tubs. Except for the water drain valves that redirect water back to the showerhead are usually pull-stops inside the tub spigots. When valves from the cylinder stems are leaking water can be turned off and replaced.
Installing a shower pipe in a wall is a job that is relatively time-consuming and requires and extra effort and patience to get done. For this reason, most homeowners find it difficult to install a shower pipe behind their bathroom wall and opt to hire a professional plumber to get it done.
Nevertheless, we have explained the process of installing a shower pipe in the wall. So, if you didn’t know how to install a shower pipe in wall, this guide can help you get it right without a hassle. However, if all this seems complicated, our plumbing advice is don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber to help!