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Unread 12-27-2005, 04:44 PM   #1
John_H
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Lead versus plastic shower pans

Our lead shower pan has evidently failed. It was installed 3 years ago. The shower is leaking steadily into the apartment below. That apartment was empty for more than a year, so we had no complaints until a new tenant moved in.

It seems possible the original installation failed immediately, or within about a year, but in any event, here we are. A total re-do.

This time, of course, we want to do it right.

I notice lead shower pans are variously described on the net as "outdated" or sort of old time, but then I also noticed they can carry a lifetime guarantee. Plastic shower pans seem to be offered with a finite guarantee. Given the choice, how to proceed? Lead again? Or vinyl?

Also what could have gone wrong with the lead pan installation? Not sealed at the corners, maybe? Not thick enough? Surely, after just 3 years, it isn't corroded clear through?

Many thanks for your insights.

Regards, John Harris
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Unread 12-27-2005, 04:53 PM   #2
jadnashua
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One of the pros here commented that he has replaced numerous lead pans because of leaks, but never a plastic one. Read up on the shower construction in the 'liberry' link above. An alternative to the traditional shower construction would be one of the systems by www.schluter.com (kerdi) or www.wedi.de . Each of these has some advantages over a standard constrution, but the traditional one works fine, too.
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Unread 12-27-2005, 05:21 PM   #3
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Hello Jim,
Thank you for your help. Here is a link I found describing the construction of the lead pan.

http://www.allenplumbing.com/showerpan.htm

They are offering a lifetime guarantee on lead, and 5 years on vinyl. Maybe the replacement of lead pans would be a more common procedure, since they are more often found in old houses. I will study the library. Best, John
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Unread 12-27-2005, 05:59 PM   #4
Splinter
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What could have gone wrong? A number of things.. Someone pierced the pan while installing the mud floor, a poor solder job on the corners, improper installation of the clamping ring perhaps? I doubt the lead corroded after three years unless someone left a corrosive product on the pan by accident.. Or maybe... slim chance here, but maybe the flux wasnt wiped clean from the solder joints and it corroded the lead....

Anyway, the biggest reason for not using lead anymore is that its real difficult to install it over a preslope. Any you want that preslope under the liner!


I build my showers now with Kerdi... can we bend your ear for a little while about it?
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Unread 12-27-2005, 07:49 PM   #5
John Bridge
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Hi John, Welcome aboard.

Lead is dead. PVC has been around longer than I have, and I've been around 34 years.
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Unread 12-27-2005, 08:59 PM   #6
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Chloraloy (CPE) shower pans were the first of its type to hit the market(before PVC) it was indroduced in 1964 and carries a life time warrenty.It will take a tighter fold (to avoid the radius at he up turn) ,that is a common place of failure with some other membranes do to the mortar bed cutting into the membrane(PVC) when it shrinks..It also has the lowest perm rating of ANY MEMBRANE in the industry..
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Unread 12-27-2005, 09:33 PM   #7
Davy
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Sounds like the lead pan wasn't put in right and leaked from the beginning. You'll probably be able to figure out where it leaked when you tear it out. Use the PVC or CPE of Erics.
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Unread 12-28-2005, 09:26 AM   #8
John_H
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PVC is poly vinyl chloride, but what is CPE? Chlorinated polyester?
Chromium something? Polyethylene?

Thank you again for your help. John
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Unread 12-28-2005, 11:24 AM   #9
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Thumbs up

You almost had it!!!---Chlorinated Polyethylne (CPE)a non-plasticized elastomer..
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Unread 12-28-2005, 05:46 PM   #10
John Bridge
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I agree that CPE is good stuff. No question.
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Unread 12-28-2005, 06:27 PM   #11
flatfloor
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Cincinatti plastic envelope.
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Unread 01-03-2006, 11:43 PM   #12
jmar
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HI I'm new here and this question I have might have been answered before, but here goes. I installed a prefinished pvc shower pan due to leaks and figured an EZ way out ,but my wife Now would like it tiled(travertine). I was told that all I had to do was scuff the polish and I could set the tiles right on the pan. Then I was told to Redgaurd the pan for better adheresion( if that's a word). I thought redgaurd was to form a waterproof seal? Any help I'm going at it after work .
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Unread 01-04-2006, 07:47 AM   #13
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Hi Jmar... There's probably a way to do it with epoxy but I dont think you'll find anyone here recommending it. The acrylic bases can flex too much and the tile doesnt care to move like that. Also you have the height of the drain to consider. It's non adjustable in these pans, so it would be recessed below the level of tile.
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