What are the Different Types of Shower Head Arm?

Anna B. Smith

There are three primary types of shower head arm: the high rise arm, the extendable arm, and the hose. The high rise arm bends at an upward angle at the shower wall before channeling the water out, over the stall. Extendable arms make use of movable joints that allow the spray head to be moved side to side and up and down in the stall area. Shower hoses provide the greatest amount of movement flexibility, allowing users to detach the head and move it to any location permitted by the hose length. These items are generally sold separately from the shower heads and are available from most local home improvement stores and through the Internet.

Shower heads are connected by their arm to water pipes located within the wall.
Shower heads are connected by their arm to water pipes located within the wall.

The shower head arm is the piping that connects the spray nozzle to the water piping in the wall. Most head assemblies are sold in packaging that provides a standard solid pipe with one downward bend. This type of piping forces the water downwards into the head and is usually not adjustable.

A shower head.
A shower head.

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A high rise shower head arm, occasionally referred to as an "S" arm, raises the spray nozzle up and out from the wall at a great height. It is similar to standard piping in that it is not adjustable once installed. The bend in the piping first directs the water upwards, and then out perpendicular from the wall where it terminates in the spray head. This type of arm may be useful in situations where water piping terminates at a low point in the wall, or for tall individuals who prefer an overhead water stream to one that may instead be available at eye level with the standard attachments.

An extendable shower head arm typically features one or more joints throughout the arm assembly. These hubs connect multiple straight pipes that allow the head to move away from the wall. Depending on the joint connectors, this movement may be side to side, up and down, or both. This is useful in bathrooms with a large showering area and bathing benches which require the spray to reach greater distances than a standard sized showering stall. When the user is finished with the shower, he can refold the arm like an accordion so that it fits snugly against the wall.

Individuals who require complete flexibility in their shower head arm may prefer to use a hose. This piece of equipment may be constructed from durable yet pliable plastic and covered in metal joints. They are available in any color metallic finish, such as chrome, brushed nickel, and oil rubbed bronze. The shower head may then be detached from the wall completely and moved in any direction the user desires. This is ideal for situations in which bathers are unable to stand in the shower and need to divert the flow of water so that it reaches the entire body.

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