Every homeowner's nightmare is finding out that there is something wrong with the house that they just purchased. A good example of this is plumbing. There's so much of it that's hidden that it can be very hard to tell if there's a problem! One specific place where there could be a plumbing issue is with the bathtub spout pipe. We have taken the time to research bathtub spout pipes to help you find the best way to fix yours.
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
If your bathtub spout pipe is too short, then you can extend it two different ways. The first way is to weld a coupling and piece of extension pipe onto the spout pipe. The second method uses a pipe-fit plumbing fitting instead of a coupler and welding torch. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. Both methods also have their own set of steps for the process.
- Gather tools and materials
- Prepare the extension pipe
- Weld the pipes together
- Gather materials
- Cut the pipe
- Attach the extension pipe
It can be very frustrating to find out that the pipe behind your bathtub faucet is too short. This can lead to leaking which can lead to countless other problems. That's why it's good to diagnose and fix the problem as soon as you notice it. Both of the methods outlined above will get the job done. However, one of them may be better depending on your individual situation. Make sure you keep reading below to learn both methods in detail so you can pick the best one for your needs.
You will actually be soldering the copper pipes together. This method will give you the best long-term solution for needing to extend your bathtub spout pipe. For this method, you'll use a small propane torch with a regulator tip. Since you are welding the pipes together, they cannot be undone easily. This is great if you never need to work on this pipe again, but can be frustrating if you do have to in the foreseeable future.
Using a welding tool can also be understandably intimidating if you haven't before or aren't completely comfortable using it in your home. So it's best to first learn how to use one safely or hire someone to do the job.
1. Gathering Tools And Materials
First, you will need the coupling piece and piece of pipe for the extension. You will also need a small propane torch with a regulator that has a built-in igniter. A striking tool would be necessary as well if it does not have a built-in igniter.
Next, you will need flux to prepare the copper pipes for soldering together and a pipe cutter. The last materials you need for this job are an emery cloth, lead-free solder, and of course protective equipment. Safety is always the top priority.
2. Prepare The Extension Pipe
To get the pipes ready to be soldered, you first have to cut the extension pipe. When measuring, be mindful of the length of the coupling piece as well since that will add to the overall length. For this job, you can use a tube cutter or just a handsaw. If you use a handsaw, you'll have to make sure that you file and smooth the edges of the pipe since they will be a bit rough.
After the pipe is cut, you'll want to use the emery cloth and flux. Use the emery cloth on the ends of the extension pipe as well as the bathtub spout pipe. Make sure to do the inside of the pipe as well. You'll know that you've used the emery cloth enough when the copper pipe shines. Next, using a brush, cover all of the ends that are being joined in an even layer of the flux. Lastly, push the extension pipe into the coupler and then the coupler onto the wall pipe.
3. Solder The Pipes Together
Since this part can be very dangerous, make sure to either hire a professional or thoroughly research everything necessary to do the job safely. Make sure that you have all of the necessary protective gear on before starting. After that, the first step is to carefully light the propane torch.
Place the soldering where the extension piece and coupler meet. Then slowly use the propane torch to melt the soldering onto the joint while going around the entire circumference of the pipe. Next, repeat that process where the coupler meets the bathtub spout pipe. Make sure to wait at least a minute for the soldering to cool in between soldering the second section and after the job is done.
Here is a great visual guide for learning how to solder copper pipes together:
This method requires a lot less than soldering does. It takes fewer materials, less time, and less knowledge. This is why it is a very useful method to know for more casual do-it-yourself homeowners. In general, it is also much safer to perform since there is no torch involved.
Using a pipe-fit is also fairly easy to take apart if necessary. This, unfortunately, means that it is not permanent and not anywhere near as secure as the soldering method.
1. Gather Materials
All you really need for this method is the pipe-fit, the pipe extension, and a way to cut and smooth out the pipes. This is much simpler than the long list of supplies needed for the other method. However, this method is not as secure so you have to make sure to install it as properly as possible to prevent any leaks.
2. Cut The Pipe
Now it is time to cut the extension pipe. Remember that the length of the pipe-fit will play into the overall length while measuring the extension pipe. You can use a tube cutter or a hand saw again in this method. Just make sure that if there are any rough edges on the pipes that they are filed and smoothed before attempting any attachments.
3. Attach The Extension Pipe
When it comes time to attach the pipes, all you need is some elbow grease. If you are using the pipe-fit shown above then the pipes will fit into it. Other pipe-fits go inside of the pipes, so be aware of which kind you have. First, push the extension pipe into the end of the pipe-fit and make sure it is secure and locked in. Then, push the other end of the pipe-fit onto the bathtub spout pipe. Again, make sure it is secured and locked.
More Bathtub Spout Pipe Extension Questions
Now that you know how to get the job done with two different methods, it should be much easier to fix your plumbing issue. However, it's good to have all of your questions answered before picking a method and starting the job.
How Long Should The Tub Spout Be?
The overall rule is that it should be a minimum of 1-inch long and a maximum of around 2 and a half inches long. Whether it is a slip-on tub spout or threaded tub spout can also play a factor but not by much. After that, it really just depends on the faucet you are attaching to the pipe. Make sure that if your pipe is in that range for the length, that you buy a faucet with corresponding measurements.
Do Tub Spouts Come In Different Sizes?
For the most part, tub faucets come around 5 inches long. There are variations to that such as adding 1/4th, 1/2, or even 1/8th inches onto the 5 inches. Some adapters can help if you have a slip-on or screw pipe and the opposite kind of faucet. These will add a little length to it overall as well.
Can PEX Be Used For Tub Spout?
PEX pipe should not be used in this situation. While it may be good for the temperature of the water, it cannot do the rest of the job. PEX is not strong or sturdy enough to hold up the bathtub faucet.
How Do You Fill Gap Between Tub Spout And Wall?
After you install your new tub faucet, you may notice a small gap between it and the wall. This is to be expected. The most appropriate way to handle this is with caulk. Using caulk has a dual purpose in this situation. It will fill the gap that you're worried about. More importantly, it will also stop any water from getting inside of the wall. This is very important because of the endless amount of damage water in your walls can do.
If you find yourself needing to extend the length of your bathtub spout pipe, then you can use two different methods. Soldering the extension and coupler onto the existing pipe is the most secure and long-term solution. However, using a pipe-fit is a lot simpler and safer for newcomers to this project. The pipe-fit method just isn't as secure. You will have to weigh the pros and cons of both methods to find one that works the best for you!
To gain more knowledge on your bathtub make sure you click on the links below!