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Discuss How to solve leak in bath screen hinge? in the Plumbing Forum area at

  1. Dbas

    Dbas New Member

    Hi all, it's our first time having a bathroom redone. We're excited it's nearly completed, all except a leak in the bath screen hinge. We've asked for this to be looked at, and someone has come back twice to fix this with an excessive amount of sealant, but water still seeps through. I attach a picture below, the blue arrows are the two places where water comes through.

    What else can be done? I think if we ask for the plumber/joiner to come back, he'll just add even more sealant (at this point the whole perpendicular corner has sealant on already), but it doesn't seem to solve the leaks.

    I'm sure the contractor just wants the bill at this stage, but we're a little reluctant to pay it with a wet floor after every shower in a brand new bathroom. This probably is a common problem? Any advice is most welcomed on how to solve the leaks!

    thanks in advance.





  2. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Firstly I have to say the silicone is a mess around the bath screen. Clear silicone is the right choice for around the chrome door, but it should be in correct places and kept to a minimum bead and done very neatly, so as to be virtually hidden.
    It might require the whole lot to be removed, cleaned carefully of silicone using a silicone remover and refitted by someone that knows what they are doing, or at least can read instructions. Do not pay all the bill until that is sorted.
    Do you have the installation instructions for that door, or the door brand and model? I ask this because the instructions should state clearly where silicone should be applied and where not. Try to look into this and if any problem still with it or with the installer, then contact manufacturer for advice, giving them those photos also.
    The silicone should normally be on shower screens -
    Vertical joints - profile to wall inside and outside
    Vertical joints - door frame to profile usually inside (and possibly outside from bottom a few inches)
    Horizontal joints - because it is a swivel door, then just the outside of profile and frame, plus where profile meets bath and wall at bottom.
    In other words, - any outer seals and all horizontal. If water was to penetrate any of the frame, you want it to be able to get out at the base, but towards the bath side.
    But check the MIs
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    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  3. scott_d

    scott_d Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Did you supply the screen or the people fitting the bathroom?
  4. Dbas

    Dbas New Member

    Thanks for your reply, @Best@Best I found the MI online, and the seal should go on the vertical joints as you described.

    When the plumber installed the bath screen, there was initially a hole at the bottom (blue square in 2nd pic), it seems from the MI that there would be one in the bottom rubber seal. (Strange?) The joiner came a few days later to sort out the skirting, and was asked by the contractor to seal this hole. He cut the top of the rubber seal to push the whole bottom seal towards the metal hinge, hoping to close the gap, (it has since contracted back in the pic). The plumber was sub-contracted by the main contractor to do our bathroom, the main person now fixing our screen is the joiner.

    So the solution would be to ask for all the sealant to be removed and the screen refitted? I wonder whether we would need to buy a new bottom seal or can the current one be refitted?

    Regarding payment, the final invoice has been sent out to us, with payment due mid May. I'm not sure whether someone will be sent to sort out this problem before then. Can we hold off paying the whole bill in the meantime or will we get into trouble? We made the mistake of paying our floor guy after the floor was laid in the rest of the flat and he never came back to hang a door as agreed! I don't want to make the same mistake here and give part payment -- can I do that?

    Thanks @scott_d@scott_d -- we sat down with the contractor to discuss what bath items we wanted, and the contractor bought them from Victoria plum in front of us.




    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  5. JCplumb

    JCplumb Plumber

    You have your answer above and it is confirmed in the instructions. ''Silicone on outside edge only'', that way any water getting in the frame will run into the bath.
    As a plumber I know that already and wouldn't have siliconed it anything like you see in the photos you have provided.
    Your joiner will be learning a valuable lesson as a result of you coming on here and getting the right advice, he should be paying you plumbing tuition fees :p
    If it's not right then there is no problem in witholding final payment until it is right.
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  6. JCplumb

    JCplumb Plumber

    Oh and the seal at the bottom, they're normally cut in a diagonal so that there's an extra little triangle shaped flap pressing and curving against the hinged pillar part.
    You might get the odd tiny drip through when done properly, certainly not the flow you currently appear to have.
    Might even be worth getting a quote from an actual plumber and telling your builder that one option would be to deduct the plumbers price off your final bill.
    If I was on a job and a non-plumbing part of it was perplexing me, I'd be happy for the right trade to come in and sort it properly, I want my jobs to be right and don't want my name tarnishing because of badly finished work.
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  7. Dbas

    Dbas New Member

    Haha, thanks for your input @JCplumb@JCplumb
    The contractor does have a few plumbers, but they were on other jobs at the same time that our work was carried out, so I think a different plumber was brought in just to do ours... which may be the reason why it has been the joiner who is sent back instead to fix the screen (he is a part of the contractor's team). Just a guess, I have no idea how the work is divided, but I do feel a little sorry for the joiner who has popped back twice now and doesn't seem to know what else to do but add more sealant each time!

    The contractor himself was a plumber by trade though... I suspect he probably already knows what you're telling me o_O
    Thanks for your help though really, I'm glad to have some idea of how things should be.
  8. Harvest Fields

    Harvest Fields Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Hold the payment until the door is sealed correctly. Any plumber that has done more then one of these screens will know that you only seal the external edge. Also make sure that if a new bottom seal is needed that you do not pay for this, the company doing the work should do. I also agree that the amount of silicone that has been added to the screen in the hope it will seal the leak is hideous. I would make sure that they tidy this up also.
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  9. Allgoode

    Allgoode GSR

    Sealant on internals a no-no.
    Sealant also messy which shows no care/knowledge.
    I have had showers drip at pivot point before and found packing under pivot with silicone grease/Vaseline cured that. Have to lift door a couple of inches off and pack out.
    Looking at the install I would remove & start again to sort issue out having removed all traces of old silicone sealant. Replace seals that have been cut with new & should be sorted out,
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  10. Dbas

    Dbas New Member

    Thanks @Harvest Fields@Harvest Fields and @Allgoode@Allgoode
    It's reassuring to see the general consensus is to remove and redo. The contractor is coming to take a look tomorrow, and hopefully he'll be able to resolve the issue by redoing the sealant himself.
    Thanks for all your input.
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  11. Dbas

    Dbas New Member

    An update:
    The contractor came and redid the sealant, but water still leaked. Then, using a spirit level, he found that a corner of the bath was dipping (towards the wall). It was in fact just part of the bath corner that wasn't level (where the blue arrow is in the pic below), and not the whole corner . This was enough to cause water to pool in that corner of the bath tub though, and then spill out.

    He will be back with the guy who fitted our bathroom. It seems we have two options:

    1. Remove the row of tiles that are directly above the bath tub and prop that corner up with a wooden piece below the bath, then redo the tiles.

    2. Don't remove the tiles, but just push that corner of the tub up.

    My concern though: if we are propping this corner up - forcing it up effectively -so that the whole bath is level, after a few years would the other end of the bath sink down as a result? Our bath is an acrylic one, not the sturdiest of baths, but I gather acrylic is quite common.

    Should we add a third option: change tub to a steel one?

    I'm sure the bathroom fitter would suggest the quickest solution, understandably. But I would prefer a long term solution, instead of having problems crop up again in a couple of years from having a quick fix now.

    Any advice?

  12. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Still should not have been water getting past the shower screen frame. Water could obviously get past the rubber seal strip at bottom if water can pool below it.
    Plastic baths can be moved slightly - say 3mm, if they had to be. Would need supported somehow - bracket, timber or whatever and also if bath edge had been glued to wall using silicone it would have held it in place
  13. Dbas

    Dbas New Member

    Thanks @Best@Best If that corner was propped up by a wooden piece for example, over time, would the other corners lift up too, you reckon?
  14. Best

    Best Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    No, any part of the top edge of ordinary light plastic baths need supported. Just propping up that corner won't move the other corners normally.
    There is a few mm of flex in the top of light plastic baths. If you do go to prop up that edge, you need the shower screen removed and any silicone between bath and wall panels before you begin. Needs wooden baton screwed to wall. Timber and floors move or dry and shrink
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  15. Gasinspect

    Gasinspect Member

    Interesting, we have same problem at home! I think in fairness can be a design problem, how do you seal a metal to metal or plastic to plastic hinge? unless you have a good o-ring in the joint. I struggled with ours, taken apart and re-done a few times, together with a mate who is a top-rate tiler. I like the idea above of silicone grease, that sounds sensible, although I can see that needing to be re-done over time. We found the rubber seal moved and distorted after a while, probably the weight of the glass door. Designers make a thing look pretty, but not always practical and poor installer has to struggle. Has the product been assembled and tested in real conditions before putting into production? I wonder.
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  16. Dbas

    Dbas New Member

    @Gasinspect@Gasinspect Our fitter just came back yesterday, and I agree with you about the design problems, the hassle to rectify them is a headache.

    So it turns out the offending corner is dipping about 2mm. We currently have a wooden batten wedged underneath, and then fitter said he will change this for a piece of CLS timber. I found out the other corners of the bath are not actually held to the wall by brackets, but just by a double seal. I'm not sure how long-lasting this will be. There's no timber width or lengthwise supporting the bath either.

    The fitter said because the bath is so flimsy (he reckons it's about 3-4mm thick), the corner where it is dipping is probably due to the weight of the bath screen. That outer corner also has a bulge (pic below) which is rather unsettling.

    I seem to be getting contradictory answers, like -- the bath is so thin and flimsy, that it is dipping and bulging. On the other hand, it is not so flimsy that it will crack or move over time, nor does it need further support at the corners... but the fitter had repeatedly stressed the poor quality of this bath. Will one piece of CLS timber really be the solution?

    Some questions:

    1. To prop up with CLS timber, the fitter only needs to remove the 1 and 1/2 tiles above that side of the bath and not the whole bottom row of tiles on all sides?

    2. The other corners of the bath are held to the wall by a double seal. Are they really not going to move?

    3. Should we change to a 6mm thick acrylic bath?

    Regarding #3 the bath: the fitter is convinced that the problem is the quality of bath -- either because it is so thin, or it has a manufacturing defect (which he said would be a hassle to get Victoria Plum to exchange). We bought this bath on the advice of the contractor, we asked him about the quality and durability of the bath, and he repeatedly assured us that this bath wouldn't give any problems. Had he advised us to pay slightly more for a thicker acrylic bath, we would gladly have done so! Can we tell the contractor and insist -- the bath is unsuitable, and we will pay the difference for a sturdier bath? It will definitely be difficult to get him to agree, as who then would be responsible to pay for the workmanship? And if we strip off the whole bottom row of tiles to change the bath, there's no telling how the plasterboard behind will hold up. But we certainly don't want the headache of having more problems with the bath in the near future!

    Advice is much, much needed. Thanks in advance.




  17. Gasinspect

    Gasinspect Member

    I once did a job where Rentokill were doing some rot treatment, they said it was showers over baths that kept them in business. So you are not alone. Romans had the right idea, bathhouse and latrine outside!
    I hope it is not plasterboard, that is a recipe for trouble. You need aquapanel or similar.
    Other than that, batten should be ok, some acrylic baths have a batten frame under the lip.
    I saw one place where they ended up with a shower curtain inside the bath screen, they had so much trouble.
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  18. Dbas

    Dbas New Member

    Ah @Gasinspect@Gasinspect , it's definitely plasterboard we have around the bath, and in half the bathroom actually (where tiles were added). Does plasterboard not withstand the moisture?
  19. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    If you going down the route of changing the bath go with a steel one
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  20. Gasinspect

    Gasinspect Member

    No, soaks it up like a sponge and crumbles to nothing. There is moisture resistant plasterboard, but even then if in shower area should be aquapanel. Have a look on YouTube. Good source of ideas and methods.
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  21. Allgoode

    Allgoode GSR

    Hi again.

    Several ways to fix but screen should definitely be removed first & see if bath corner pops up the 2 - 3mm.

    I always support around the bath at wall edges with battening in addition to the bath mounting frame as shown in yours pics.

    Bulge may be the wood support as fitted or the screen could be pressing down on bath corner edge.

    Screen needs to come off first, end of story. Then re-assess & move forwards.

    Bath / shower walling always hardi backer board or aquapanel, never had a prob but I always seal any joining edges & use specialised solution as well.

    I don't use plasterboard but have stripped out quite a few developers bathrooms/showers after only a couple of years due to material failure & poor workmanship, enough said. (Fitters paid on job rate with developer supplying materials)


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  22. Dbas

    Dbas New Member

    Thank you for all the input.

    A question about installation:

    Our bath is 3-4mm acrylic, and is held up on legs with a double seal at the wall. No timber battens, no brackets. The fitter assures us this is secure and enough support. Is this normal practice? I notice a few people on this forum use either timber or brackets.

    With the dipping and distortion of the bath, I'm going to politely but strongly request extra reinforcements for the safety of using the bath. Are the fitter and contractor obliged to comply with my requests?

    Thanks in advance.
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