tub spout pipe too short

How Do I Extend My Shower Spout

Every homeowner’s worst dread is discovering that their newly gained property has a plumbing flaw. You’ll need a keen eye for detail to detect the issues concealed in plumbing, for instance, the bathtub spout pipe being too short. 

If the bathtub spout pipe is too short, you have two options for extending it. The first method involves welding a section of extension pipe and a coupler to the spout pipe. The second approach employs a pipe-fit drainage fitting; rather than a welding torch and coupler. They each have a unique set of benefits and drawbacks- and distinct phases for the procedure.

If your tub spout pipe is too short, don’t worry. This post expounds on the two methods listed above to help you decide which one is best for you. 

How To Extend A Bathtub Spout Pipe

It’d be disheartening to realize that the tub spout pipe at the back of your bathroom tap is too short. It can cause leaks, which would eventually create several other problems. 

That explains why professionals recommend you resolve the anomaly the instant you diagnose it. 

The pipe-fit method requires gathering materials, cutting the pipe, and attaching an extension pipe. On the other hand, welding requires assembling appropriate materials and tools, making the extension pipe ready, and welding the pipes together. 

Both pipe-fitting and welding are effective remedies for a short tub spout pipe. However, one could be preferable to another based on circumstances. 

Let’s dive deeper into the two solutions. 

1) Welding Approach

This method requires you to solder copper pipes together- meaning they won’t come apart effortlessly. The welding approach provides a dependable long-term option for extending your tub spout pipe, eliminating the worry about working on them in the foreseeable future. 

However, welding pipes could be bothersome if you want to undo the copper pipes to make adjustments. 

The soldering method requires a portable propane torch having a regulator tip. If you’ve never used a piece of welding equipment before or aren’t comfortable using it in your bathroom, you might feel intimidated; many can understand it. 

Therefore, it’s advisable to learn how to handle one securely first or pay someone to undertake the tasks for you. 

Here are the steps involved in the welding method:

a) Assembling Tools And Materials

To begin with, you’ll need a length of pipe for extension, a coupling component, a portable propane torch featuring a regulator with an integrated igniter. If the torch doesn’t have a built-in igniter, you will need to use a striking tool. 

Additionally, ensure you have a pipe cutter, a flux to ready the copper pipes for welding, a lead-free solder, an emery cloth, and a safety kit. Safety is paramount. 

b) Prepare The Extension Pipe

Start by cutting the extension pipe to make the pipes ready for soldering. While measuring, keep the length of the connecting piece in mind because it contributes to the entire length. 

You can employ a handsaw or a tube cutter to do this task. If you opt for a handsaw, ensure you file and polish the pipe’s edges because they will be a little rough. 

After cutting the pipe, the operation will call for a flux and emery cloth. Take the emery cloth and wipe both ends of the extension pipe and the tub spout pipe. 

Don’t forget to clean the interior of the pipe. The sparkling of copper pipes signifies you used emery cloth sufficiently. 

Apply a uniform layer of flux to the ends you would like to join using a brush. Connect the extension pipe to the coupler, and finally, the coupler to the wall pipe. 

c) Weld The Pipes Together

Due to the high risk in this stage, research extensively on everything required to execute the work properly or hire an expert to help you out. Before undertaking this task, ensure you put on all the essential protective gear. 

Cautiously light the propane torch and solder the joint formed by the coupler and the extension pipe. Melt the soldering slowly onto the meeting point while moving around the pipe’s outline. 

Repeat this step at the joint formed by the coupler and the tub spout pipe. 

Let the soldering cool for at least a minute before proceeding to the second section. Also, allow the soldering to cool after finishing the operation. 

See also How to fix tub spout not flush with wall

2) Pipe-fit Approach

The pipe-fit method needs far less effort than welding. It demands less knowledge, less time, and fewer materials than its counterpart, thus making it valuable for inexperienced homeowners. 

Since the pipe-fit method does not incorporate flames, many homeowners consider it safe to execute. 

Moreover, it is easy to disassemble a pipe-fit if necessary. Sadly, it implies the method lacks permanency and comes short in security, unlike welding. 

a) Assemble Materials

This approach requires only a pipe-fit, a pipe extender, and a mechanism to cut and smoothen the pipes. It is far less complicated than the lengthy list of goods required for soldering. 

However, because the pipe-fit approach is less secure, ensure that you install it as precisely as possible to avoid leakage.

b) Cut The Pipe

When estimating the extension pipe, remember to factor in the dimensions of the pipe fit. For this procedure, you’ll need the services of a handsaw or a tube cutter. 

Ensure you file and polish all rough edges on the pipe before doing any attachments. 

c) Attach The Extension Pipe

You will need elbow grease for this stage. Start by inserting the extension pipe into the pipe-fit and locking it in. 

Connect the opposite end of the pipe-fit to the tub spout pipe. Once again, ensure it’s safe and locked. 

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How Long Should The Tub Spout Be?

The general rule is a tub spout should be at least 1 inch long and no more than 2½ inches long. The type of tub spout, whether threaded or slip-on, also contributes but not significantly. 

Next, it’s all about the faucet you’re connecting to the pipe. If the pipe’s length falls within that range, get a tap with corresponding specifications. 

How Do You Fill The Gap Between Tub Spout And Wall?

It is sensible to have a slight gap between the tub spout and the wall after installation. You can use caulk to bridge this gap. 

Caulk serves to fill the space you’re concerned about and, more significantly, block water from entering the wall. It is critical because of the extensive damage that water entering your walls may inflict. 

See also What is the standard tub spout pipe length

Final Thoughts

Now that you know the remedy for short tub spout pipes, you can either weld or pipe-fit to correct the problem. Pipe-fitting is easier because it needs few materials and less expertise. However, it fails the permanency test. 

Soldering gives you a long-term solution for your trouble, except for the tons of effort to undo the pipes if you want to make adjustments. Newbies to this endeavour should employ pipe-fit since it’s easier and safer. 

You will need to balance the benefits and drawbacks of each approach to choosing which one is ideal for you.

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