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 Post subject: New shower leaking...
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:03 pm 
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We are in dispute with a bathroom fitter who fitted our new shower (tray, enclosure, wetwalls, shower & plumbing) that has been leaking since a week after it was installed. We would very much appreciate your comments.

The details:

- A new corner rectangle unit that replaced a quadrant unit.
- Tray rests on adjustable legs.
- Walls are standard studs with plasterboards over.
- We provided all the materials apart from the plumbing supplies (shower was moved from one wall to the other - ~1m in total).
- We removed the old shower, inc the old plasterboards on the two walls that were water damaged. Fitter fitted the new plasterboards once he had the plumbing in place.
- He also fitted classi Seal strip to the tray at our request - we wanted to make sure that the shower would be 100% leak-free as the old one always leaked from that area.
- The tray is approx 10mm away from the wall on one side (due to the corner being not 100% square I assume).
- The wetwall is also 10mm thick, so is effectively in the air, with only a minimal point of contact with the (slightly rounded top of the) tray. There is no overlap between the two whatsoever in that area.
- In order to fit the wetwall there he had to rip the Classi Seal strip away from the tray near that corner so that he could force it behind the wetwall. So the Calssi Seal is all but worthless.
- A diagram of a side view of that corner is attached at the bottom. I'll be happy to share photos if needed.
- Within a week of him fitting it the silicon seal between the wetwall and the tray in the corner (15-20cm) failed, and is now clearly detached from the tray. The shower is now leaking from there.
- The wetwall are of the currugated/hollow plastic type, so can flex a little.
- Upon closer inspection we also noticed that despite the instructions that came with the tray he did not screw the 3 accessible tray legs to the floor (floor tiles over ply over floorboards). probably too late for it now as inaccessible, resulting in the tray only being held in place by the silicon between it and the wetwall/enclosure track.

His suggestion to fix the problem was to put more silicon in the offending corner. We think that this is the equivalent of "papering over the cracks" (literaly) and it will sonner rather than later fail again due to the way that he fitted it.
When we pointed out the gap between the wall and the tray to him he argued that the reason that there is a gap is because we insisted on the Classi Seal (1-2mm thick - gap in 10mm…), hence not his fault. When I suggested that he should have recessed the tray (+ seal) under the plasterboard in the centre to ensure that there isn't a gap between the wall and the tray in the corner, allowing the wetwall to rest on top of the tray all around, he argued that one should never cut the plasterboard above the tray as it would weaken it and it would lose its interity, resulting in it flexing above the tray, causing the grout to crack (it using tiles) or the silicon to fail (if using wetwalls). I suggested that if he felt that the support behind the plasterboard was not sufficient, then he could have fitted a few noggins above the tray before fixing the plasterboard in place.

What does the panel thinks?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:44 pm 
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15 to 20 cm silicon seal ? are you sure it's not 15 to 20 mm ?
Though even 15mm is a bit big for a sensible seal with silicon.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:14 pm 
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Can you post up some photos of the actual job?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:19 pm 
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Sounds like you "fitter" is talking crap. If there is flex in the board, just add another noggin in
Why they use plasterboard in a shower area is beyond me! Aquapanel, hardie backer all the way.
You could use a after tile bath seal. I have used them on a bath and a shower and they are not bad actually. Silicone gap, then silicone in sealer.
A whole pile of silicone like what you have will just get moldy eventually even if it doesn't leak


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:23 pm 
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wine~o wrote:
15 to 20 cm silicon seal ? are you sure it's not 15 to 20 mm ?
Though even 15mm is a bit big for a sensible seal with silicon.



Sorry, maybe I didn't explain myself properly. I was referring to this:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:35 pm 
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steviejoiner74 wrote:
Can you post up some photos of the actual job?



The grey "thing" on the tray is the glue that was holding the blue rubber upstand to it...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:37 pm 
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DIY_Johnny wrote:
Sounds like you "fitter" is talking crap. If there is flex in the board, just add another noggin in
Why they use plasterboard in a shower area is beyond me! Aquapanel, hardie backer all the way.
You could use a after tile bath seal. I have used them on a bath and a shower and they are not bad actually. Silicone gap, then silicone in sealer.
A whole pile of silicone like what you have will just get moldy eventually even if it doesn't leak



The reason we didn't feel the need to use aquapanels on the walls (apart from the cost) was because we were using wetwalls rather than tiles. The grout around the tiles can sometime crack and let water through. With wetwalls, a single sheet of plastic that water cannot penetrate, the only way water can reach the plasterboard behind it is at the bottom, where it meets the tray. This is why we used an upstand around the tray to eliminate that possibility as well (or so we thought... ;-( )


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:56 pm 
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Plasterboard is just fine behind wetwall. If it’s fitted correctly and sealed properly you’ll get not problems.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:07 pm 
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steviejoiner74 wrote:
Plasterboard is just fine behind wetwall. If it’s fitted correctly and sealed properly you’ll get not problems.



But when the seal breaks as in the OPs case you now have the issue of soggy PB! I have this exact problem I posted it on another thread. My shower is leaking and has been for years, slow trickle. Took the boxing off, the PLY floor was wet, fungus growing but the aquapanel although wet, still structurally intact. Saves me retiling

I see no reason to use PB in a wet area given cement based boards are available and installation time not much more


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:35 pm 
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DIY_Johnny wrote:
steviejoiner74 wrote:
Plasterboard is just fine behind wetwall. If it’s fitted correctly and sealed properly you’ll get not problems.



But when the seal breaks as in the OPs case you now have the issue of soggy PB!


Would never have been a problem had the wetwall, tray and upstand been fitted properly.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:10 am 
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is the corner not square and therefore creating the gap and where the fitter has had ti rip off the classi seal?

tbh ive put classi seals on every bath and shower ive fitted for about the past 10 years with no problems at all. if i had encountered a problem with a non square corner id have rectified it somehow. or cut the boards a bit so the tray slips beneath enough.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:44 am 
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fin wrote:
is the corner not square and therefore creating the gap and where the fitter has had ti rip off the classi seal?


I think that this is exactly what he did.

fin wrote:
tbh ive put classi seals on every bath and shower ive fitted for about the past 10 years with no problems at all. if i had encountered a problem with a non square corner id have rectified it somehow. or cut the boards a bit so the tray slips beneath enough.


Exactly what we told him that he should have done. He argues that you should never do that as it compromises the strength/rigidity of the plasterboards...
He now says that the reason for the gap is because of our insistence that he would use the classi seal. We haven't discussed using it when he came to have a look at the job. I bought it later at a friend's recommendation, and asked him when he came to do the job to use it. He said that he never uses it himself, but agreed to do it.
I suspect that he now try to use this to cover his cock-up.

What do you think?

Remember, there was no plasterboard on the walls when he started, so adding a couple of noggins above the tray would have been a 5 minute job if he was so worried about it.


Last edited by j_cocker on Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:55 am 
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i mean the plasterboards just to be clear not the shower wall boards.

or if i had of been able to i would have corrected the wall so that the boards go down almost to the floor as usual and then the tray against them. should be no gap and the classi seal should fit nicely into the corner. its a good product when used correctly.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:58 pm 
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j_cocker wrote:

The reason we didn't feel the need to use aquapanels on the walls (apart from the cost) was because we were using wetwalls rather than tiles. The grout around the tiles can sometime crack and let water through. With wetwalls, a single sheet of plastic that water cannot penetrate, the only way water can reach the plasterboard behind it is at the bottom, where it meets the tray. This is why we used an upstand around the tray to eliminate that possibility as well (or so we thought... ;-( )


Which is what happened to mind (drying out as I type!)
i do understand the logic, I kindof take the belt and braces approach to things and have a system whereby to minimise any potential damage. i.e. treat timbers, tank walls, upstands etc. They shouldn't get wet but as you see in your case, someone comes along and upsets the original plan ;)

In any case thePB is there now and you have a gap that needs to be addressed. Why not just use a corner trim, it might be the easiest way out. Not ideal but would solve the problem I'd imagine


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:04 pm 
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DIY_Johnny wrote:
j_cocker wrote:
In any case thePB is there now and you have a gap that needs to be addressed. Why not just use a corner trim, it might be the easiest way out. Not ideal but would solve the problem I'd imagine


...because there is also no protection from a leak in the area where the enclosure profile meets the tray and the wetwall at the bottom. I can only assume that he put a lot of silicon behind the profile at the bottom, but with water in the track every time the shower is used it is only a matter of time before it starts leaking from there as well considering that there is hardly any contact between the wetwall and the tray. Your solution will not address that at all.

We believe that this is a poorly executed job on his part, and it is therefore he who should put us in the position that we would have been had it been done correctly in the first place (or pay whatever is needed for somebody else to do that).


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