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Un-waterproof-able Shower Hob

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  1. #1
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    Default Un-waterproof-able Shower Hob

    Hi All,

    Thought I'd put this conundrum out there to see if the collective wisdom of the Internet can solve it

    I have a semi-frameless shower screen, sitting on a (Hebel) hob that is tiled. Water is pushing/soaking through the grout, flowing beneath the tile and on top of the water proofing before leaking out through the grout again on the outside and then onto the floor. My builder thus far has been mostly helpful in trying things but of course is reluctant to spend any more than he has to in order to get the issue resolved. I should stress, this is still an "open" case and he is still assisting but I'd like to see what other options I have.

    In Photo 1, I've highlighted where the water is coming out. This is only one location; basically each grout line has water seepage.
    20150304_093503.jpg

    In Photo 2 (which is actually really gross when I zoom in this much), I've highlighted where the water might be soaking into the grout and also the strip of grout that was replaced with silicon (one attempt to resolve the issue).
    20150304_093517.jpg

    A few things worth mentioning...

    Yes, I'm (now) aware the shower screen is on the wrong side of the hob and this is likely to be 90% of the root cause. For a number of reasons, moving the shower screen to the inside is not possible in this instance. Also, the hob tiles do sit at a slight angle back into the shower to promote drainage.

    It's safe to assume the waterproofing is intact and undamaged. The leak would most likely be different if it was under the waterproofing. I also inspected the waterproofing when it was done and nothing has been done since to indicate it could be damaged.

    The shower screen has _no_ penetrating screws into the hob (thus damaging the waterproofing and/or damaging the Hebel hob), I've confirmed this with the installer. Additionally, whilst the visible silicon along the base looks a bit dodgey, there is a full silicon strip underneath and there is no water leaking from the top of the outside of the shower screen frame so I'm confident that's not the source of the leak.

    The tiler has used a penetrating sealer on the grout on the hob. This is apparently meant to make the grout unpenetrable, however it has done nothing to stem the flow.

    The only idea left at the moment is to remove the shower screen. Remove the tiles off the top of the hob and relay tiles using multiple silicon beads instead of tile glue. This would mean any water that did get through, would not be able to flow outwards as each bead of silicon would essentially act as a dam. That's the theory put to me by my tiler and it sounds like it would work but there is push back from the builder as obviously there is a reasonable cost involved in doing that.

    So my questions to all of you are would that last scenario likely work? Or, does anyone have any other suggestion that could solve this problem? I'm open to pretty much any ideas at this point (short of ripping up the bathroom )

    Appreciate any thoughts.

    Cheers,

    Gavin

  2. #2
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    Hi Mate
    The grout needs to be scraped out an replaced with epoxy which is very common nowadays.
    Cheers

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by REBSS View Post
    Hi Mate
    The grout needs to be scraped out an replaced with epoxy which is very common nowadays.
    Cheers
    Interesting. I hadn't heard of that before but I'm Youtubing videos on it and basically my tiler has done everything they say not to do. It's gonna be costly but I might look at getting the entire shower floor redone.

  4. #4
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    I'd assume that the tiles are sitting on top of the waterproofing on the Hebel hob, providing an easy path for the water to soak out - it needs a raised waterproofing lip to the top (or even above, if it's hidden under the shower screen frame) of the tiles.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails tiles.jpg  
    DIY electrical house wiring details suitable for Australia - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Username View Post
    I'd assume that the tiles are sitting on top of the waterproofing on the Hebel hob, providing an easy path for the water to soak out - it needs a raised waterproofing lip to the top (or even above, if it's hidden under the shower screen frame) of the tiles.
    Yep, got it in one. So potentially dumb question, what would that extra lip be made of?

  6. #6
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    It's usually an aluminium angle that is held on (either to the concrete or the waterproofing membrane) with Sikaflex 11FC. If it's possible to hide it under the shower frame, have it sticking up 3-4 mm above the surface of the tiles.
    DIY electrical house wiring details suitable for Australia - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)

  7. #7
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    All info I wish I knew before doing this bathroom :/ Between the aluminium angle and the epoxy grout, this shower would be sealed up tighter than a fish's behind

    Now just have to decide whether I kick up a stink and try and get it fixed under warranty or just take the hit and pay to have it changed.

  8. #8
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    I had a shower, with hob, tiled about a year ago as in diagram one (ie. no lip). And no leaks. The lip seems overkill, but that's only me.

    There may be some sort of capillary action going on, that could just as easily persist with a lip too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErrolFlynn View Post
    I had a shower, with hob, tiled about a year ago as in diagram one (ie. no lip). And no leaks. The lip seems overkill, but that's only me.

    There may be some sort of capillary action going on, that could just as easily persist with a lip too.
    For what it's worth, we had no leaks at all until into the third year. I suspect it's a combination of the capillary action just working away slowly and the grout aging gradually.

  10. #10
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    The problem is that a lot of tilers just don't understand waterproofing - I had to have an entire bathroom floor taken up as the tiler had used the waterstop angle as his level to screed the cement bed to - so of course the tiles sat on top of it and bridged across the waterstop angle, letting the subfloor get more and more wet.

    And of course, you've got the sill area on the inside of the shower rather than having the frame flush with the inside of the hob, giving much more area for water to pool on.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails waterproofing-detail-2.jpg  
    DIY electrical house wiring details suitable for Australia - http://goo.gl/9d33T (PDF file)

  11. #11
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    Before you spend anything on a fix of any sort you really need to establish for sure just how the water is getting out.

    A very simple test is to lay some cling wrap over the waste outlet and fill the shower to a level just the hob and without any water getting onto the suspect tiles on top of the hob.

    Let it stand for 10 minutes and maintain the water level throughout the test.

    If no leaks. Close off the shower head with a cap available at the green shed, turn both hot and cold flow on and wait for 20 to 30 minutes to see if the leak is in the plumbing.

    A good indicator to the first point of exit for the water is to lay some dunny paper around the outer edge of the shower (or screen) if suspect.

    The epoxy fix done by a specialist will work and you get a warranty, but it's not cheap and the screens would have to removed and refitted.

    A good Waterproofer will always put a slight fall on the top of the hob before adding the membrane, the Tiler then uses a little more glue to level the tiles knowing the water will drain back into the shower base. So if you do end up lifting the tiles keep this in mind.

    Good luck and fair winds.
    Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.
    http://www.wet-seal.com.au/waterproofing/locations.html

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Username View Post
    The problem is that a lot of tilers just don't understand waterproofing
    Yeah, I'm definitely learning that...the hard way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldsaltoz View Post
    Before you spend anything on a fix of any sort you really need to establish for sure just how the water is getting out.
    I'm positive the drain is ok. Only because there was an issue with it and they had to dig out the tray and re-do it. Zero water has gotten out there since.
    I'm also pretty positive the plumbing is ok because if there were leaks there, I'd expect to see damage on the outer wall or definitely water going through the floor boards. Neither of which is happening.
    I can predict with accuracy when and where the water will come out now. Every shower is the same. First point is the first 45 corner, at the bottom of the hob, through the grout. Second is the next tile over, again the grout line at the bottom. The only way water can be there is flowing over and down the hob between the waterproofing and the tile. This thread has confirmed that for me and it's exactly what my tiler has said (he's just reluctant to spend anything more than necessary to fix it).

    Seems to me that regardless of the fix, the shower screen needs to get taken off and then refitted afterwards so if I'm going to do that, I may as well do the job 100% correctly and employ as many of the strategies mentioned in this thread as possible.

    You all rock, so impressed with the knowledge and willingness to share

  13. #13
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    A couple of years ago I was asked to report on leaking showers, there were 8 of them leaking only months after completion. The building had just i00 apartments.

    The first 6 were easy, carpet wet at the bathroom doors, Waterstop angle not properly installed and all leaking just enough to cause a little mold staining.

    The next on was a leak in plumbing from the floor above, that took of finding, the clue was that the shower only leaked on one side and only leaked during the day when no was home.

    The last was a nightmare, a small leak on the first 45* corner. It was only after demolition that the leak was confirmed as a leak in the plumbing.

    The water was trickling down the back of the wall, then getting between the wall sheet and into the hop, from it travelled along to the first corner and was coming out under the tiles and running back to hob and leaking through the grout.

    Two problems caused this.
    The leaking plumbing is a given and has nothing to do with the the waterproofing.

    The first problem was that the part of the hob in contact with the back wall only had sealant applied to the top and both sides of the hob, leaving the Hebel stone hop exposed to the wall.

    The end of the hob should have primed and coated before installing.

    The second problem was poor housekeeping, because when the membrane was lifted off the floor there was a lot of very wet dust. a simple swipe with a hand brush would have avoided this problem.

    And last but not least an old Queenslander, every time the owner had a shower a small wet patch appeared in the middle of the bedroom doorway about 2.5 to 3m away?

    After rolling around in dirt and cat dropping with only 400mm clearance for almost 30 minutes, I finally spotted the leak, back tracked it to the wet/plumbed wall of the shower, confirmed with a stick camara. It seems the water from the plumbing was tracking inside the old tongue and groove timber floor.

    Bottom line. Never assume you know where the water coming from or going to without a full and though inspection. It could save you hundreds.

    Good luck and fair winds.
    Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.
    http://www.wet-seal.com.au/waterproofing/locations.html

  14. #14
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    So I've stumbled across this mob: Fix Leaking Showers With Shower Sealed Shower Repairs - Brisbane, Gold Coast to Byron Bay. They're coming out next week to do an inspection and work out what the problem is and how to fix it. Fingers crossed they can. I'll report back after they've been (and hopefully fixed the problem).

  15. #15
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    This looks like the Epoxy treatment, not inexpensive, I hope your man is ready to stump up the the not inconsiderable cost.

    Good luck and fair winds.
    Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.
    http://www.wet-seal.com.au/waterproofing/locations.html

  16. #16
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    They're quoting on their web site an average cost of $385 to $525. If that's what it takes to get it permanently fixed, then so be it. I don't have any faith that my current tiler can rectify the issue and I've already spent far to much of my own time on this issue to keep chasing it with them so hopefully, this will be the final fix

  17. #17
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    Yes that should do the trick, as long as they supply you with a written warranty it should be fine.
    Good to you have finally got it sorted.

    Good luck and fair winds.
    Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.
    http://www.wet-seal.com.au/waterproofing/locations.html

  18. #18
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    12 year warranty and it's their core business so one would hope it works

  19. #19
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    A very good result.
    well done.
    Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.
    http://www.wet-seal.com.au/waterproofing/locations.html

  20. #20
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    the bloody screen in installed incorrectly on the hob, it should be on the inside edge flush with tiles, thus preventing the leak

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