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Drop Ear Elbow Install [4 Easy Steps]

Thinking of joining your pipes and securing them to a wooden wall? Then installing a drop ear elbow is a must. You can either get help from a plumber or save some cash by doing it yourself. 

You don’t have to be an expert to do this. We’ve brought you the most straightforward guide for your problem. 

What’s the guide for drop ear elbow installation?

You can install a drop ear elbow in just four steps. Firstly, the steps include picking a proper tube and preparing it. Secondly, you have to seal it or solder it horizontally. Measuring the height of the installation spot comes third. And finally, you will have to fasten the drop ear elbow properly.

This might not be enough for you to do it on your own. We have all the details you need to install your drop ear elbow.

Want to know more? That’s great. Keep reading to learn the details!

Things to Keep in Mind Before Installing A Drop Ear Elbow

Plumbing may be an easy and regular job for many but a nerve-wracking task for others. Before taking this task up, you must keep a few things in mind. This will help you to avoid mistakes. We have everything you need to consider before installing a drop ear elbow.

Type of Tubing

You have to decide which type of tubing you are going to use. This can save you a lot of time as well as hassle. 

If you pick a PVC tube, keep in mind that there are different PVC pipes. Pick one according to the application and durability. And if you choose a copper tube, ensure the quality and size are on point.


Measurements are a vital element here. Make sure to measure the angle of installation. Measure the height of the structure. Also, be sure to measure the size of the pipes as well as the framing.


The last key point is framing. Pick your framing wisely. If you’re installing on an old frame, cut the edge carefully. Otherwise, you can’t ensure a firm installation of the drop ear elbow. And if your home is new, make a proper plan before framing the wall under the ductwork

Now that we know what we should be on the lookout for let’s move to the steps!

Step by Step Guideline For Drop Ear Elbow Installation

Installing a drop ear elbow is not as difficult as it may seem. Especially with our step-by-step guide is easy to follow. 

Necessary Equipment

Before you begin, ensure you’ve got everything you need in hand. Here’s what you’ll need-

  • Safety gloves
  • 90-degree drop ear elbow
  • 2” SS screws
  • Screwdriver or drill machine
  • Soldering iron
  • Copper tube or PVC tube
  • Galvanized or plastic pipe nipple
  • Measuring tape
  • Teflon tape or pipe thread compound
  • Adjustable wrench

Step 1 of 4: Prepare The Tube Or Pipe

Preparing the tube of choice is an important step. If you’re picking a copper tube, wipe it with sandpaper. This will help you get rid of bumps and uneven edges. Then cut it according to the required length and wait for soldering.

If you choose a PVC pipe, you must ensure no cracks. Then cut it to the desired length and add Teflon tape or pipe thread compound to the pipe after that, attach a galvanized or plastic pipe nipple to the line. 

Finally, tighten the attachment using a wrench until tight and snug. 

Step 2 of 4: Solder Or Attach The Pipe

This step depends on what type of pipe you have chosen. If you’ve picked a PVC pipe, just insert the pipe nipple in the elbow and tighten it.

But if you have picked the copper tube, you’ll have to solder it to ensure a leak-proof joint. Don’t worry; it’s easy.

First, insert the copper tube into the drop ear elbow. Then lay it down on a high surface horizontally. Now heat the joint and solder it. The horizontal position makes the soldering process much more manageable.

Worried about the soldering iron? Don’t be! Here are some great products for you to choose from-


Now let’s jump into the next step!

Step 3 of 4: Measure The Height of Installation

Take a measuring tape and measure a length of 78-80 inches from the bathroom floor. Mark it up, as this will be where you’ll fasten the drop ear elbow. 

Ensure the distance is no less than 78 inches off the bathroom floor.

Step 4 of 4: Fasten The Drop Ear Elbow

This is the very last step of our plumbing journey! Take your drop ear elbow to the marked spot. Now fasten it to a solid frame using the screws and the drill. 

Pay special attention to your frame in this step. If not, you might ruin your tile or wooden frame. And if that happens, you will have to spend extra time retiling your shower. Or replacing the wooden board.

That’s all we got. I hope our directions were easy to follow.


Question: Can I use a plastic drop ear elbow instead of a lead/bronze one?

Answer: Yes, you can. But make sure the drop ear elbow is made of high-performance thermoplastic material. This will ensure durability. And help you to avoid the hassle of reinstalling from time to time.

Question: What is the perfect height for shower drop ear elbow?

Answer: The perfect height for your shower’s drop ear elbow is around 78-80 inches. Size any less than 78 inches is simply too short and against industry standards.

Question: Can I install a tub spout to install a drop ear elbow?

Answer: Yes, you can use a drop ear elbow to install a tub spout. Because, unlike PEX, drop ear elbows can take the weight of your tub spout.


Congratulations! Now you have a proper guideline for drop ear elbow install. I hope you will try it out yourself. And if you face any further problems, it would be wise to contact a professional.

This is all for today! Good luck with your plumbing work!