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Unread 01-07-2017, 01:54 PM   #1
deeder
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Tec Power Grout failure

Just finished a bathroom remodel. The shower was used for the first time yesterday and today I get a call saying the grout is coming off.
I ran over to look at it and sure enough the grout is just disintegrating! I can scratch it out with my fingernail. I checked the main floor too and it's the same way, not just the shower.
Do you think this is a failure from Tec or is there possibly something I could have done wrong? I use this stuff on 98% of my jobs and have always sworn by it. I've heard of similar problems with Power Grout but I've used it 100's of times without issue. I rarely get callbacks but when I do I want to make sure I don't get the same one again, so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Has anyone here dealt with Tec customer service, I wonder how well they stand behind their products as this is going to cost me at least two days to fix?

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Unread 01-07-2017, 10:40 PM   #2
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Never seen that before, Duane. Not with any type of grout.

I can't help with you with Tec's customer support, never had to call them. If you can give some specifics on how you mixed and used the grout, maybe we can pinpoint the problem, unless it was actually the grout. Maybe it was just a bad batch.
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Unread 01-08-2017, 08:54 AM   #3
deeder
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Kevin, the fact that someone with your experience hasn't seen this isn't very reassuring!!

I mixed the grout with a 4 ring paddle (that's what I've always called it anyway) and slow speed drill. It was a little loose compared to what I normally have it but not as loose as I've made before. Let it slake 5-8min then remix.

One thing I noticed: I usually grout half the shower walls at a time as Power Grout will setup too quick for me to do the whole thing. After grouting the two walls and washing, I use the Ramondi wash bucket, I went back to the grout bucket and it was still just as loose! This had to of been a good hour or so after mixing. So I grouted the remaining walls and washed, went back to the bucket and it was still loose (yes, I accidentally mixed too big of a batch)!! So I put the remaining grout on the floor.
I did some other tile work in this house a couple years back and I remember the grout, Power Grout again, setting up on me way too fast, like within 10 min of starting to spread.

Now nearly all my jobs are in the country using well water, has anyone heard of water impurities messing with grout? Didn't have any problems or anything unusual with the thinset (Ardex x5).
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Unread 01-08-2017, 09:16 AM   #4
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Perhaps I better stick to selling chamois because I have never seen it in over 40 years. Not enough experience either I guess.
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Unread 01-08-2017, 12:24 PM   #5
Lazarus
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I'll just add that, whenever I'm in a home with well water, I'll invest a few bucks in some distilled water from any food store....both to mix and to wash the grout. Some well water I've seen smells like sulpher and minerals...which, on a couple of installs, I found it can do odd things to some grouts, so I just don't chance it...
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Unread 01-08-2017, 12:56 PM   #6
Kman
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Yep, there can be a lot of trash in some well water. You just never know, and the safe thing to do is what Laz does and get some distilled water. $10 out of pocket can save you a lot of headache.

I will say this: I rarely use grout that is mixed with water any more, but when I do I measure it carefully. Just too much risk involved of over-watering.
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Unread 01-08-2017, 01:04 PM   #7
Floorit
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Duane,

First, there have been other threads on problems with Power Grout that you may want to search for. I believe some issues have been remedied with sealer, but it looks like you may be beyond that.

That being said, I use a lot of Power Grout and have not had any similar issues.

IMO though, my first assumption would be that you got it too wet while cleaning it. My reasoning in that is when I first used Power Grout, I had just washed down the walls of the shower with a sponge to clean them before grouting. I would not have considered them very wet, but the grout would not stick in the joints at all. I had to dry it all off before it would stick. Never had that happen with a "normal" cement based grout.

I also have a wash bucket and I know that mine holds way too much water in the sponge to use with this product. I use a well wrung out sponge, make one pass on each side of the sponge and then rinse. And repeat. I've found it actual is much easier to clean than I would have expected.

I guess after all that, what I'm trying to say is that I don't believe this grout is very excess water friendly and less water is better from my experience.
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Unread 01-08-2017, 02:44 PM   #8
koihito
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I had something similar 15-16 years back with Hydroment. In the end it turned out the grout had almost no cement in it. Bostic paid for the re-grout.
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Unread 01-08-2017, 03:05 PM   #9
Tool Guy - Kg
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Tec stands behind their stuff. Talk to Glenna at customer service. She's been with Tec a long time and will be helpful. (800) 832-9023 Office opens tomorrow at 7am CST, but don't know Glenna's hours.

I've also visited Tec's plant/lab/customer service in Palestine, IL and know that they retain samples of every batch of product they produce. A complaint will be investigated seriously. They will pull a sample from your batch to see what problems, if any, are present.

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Unread 01-08-2017, 03:34 PM   #10
deeder
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Thanks for all the feedback guys. I will definitely get some distilled water for the regrout. Or maybe bring some from my own well as I know that's good.

Tonto, thanks so much for the number and contact name with Tec. Nice to know there's someone there decent to deal with, seems like most manufactures I've dealt with always try to blame the installer first then see where it goes from there.

Will keep y'all informed as to how Tec handles this as I'm pretty certain it isn't installation error.
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Unread 01-08-2017, 04:58 PM   #11
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I also have had zero issues with Powergrout.I really like the color consistency and how fast it dries
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Unread 01-09-2017, 01:33 AM   #12
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If it isn't the well water, that looks like it was mixed too wet, and too much water used to wipe off. Did it stick to your finger before first wipe, and also grout buckets can easily over saturate this grout. Maybe try mixing small batch with water used and distilled to test well water theory.

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Unread 01-09-2017, 01:43 AM   #13
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Also, did grout cure for 7 days before use?

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Unread 01-09-2017, 05:52 AM   #14
tilemanct
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All these new grouts are water sensitive. They also fire off faster than a standard cement grout. Cant mix a large quantity if you're a one man show. With mixing you have to add water slowly and have patience. They seem to repel water at first and trick you into adding more water. That's where the patience comes in as you mix. They act just like the thixotropic thinsets.
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Unread 01-09-2017, 06:58 AM   #15
fhueston
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You should be able to take a sample and have Tech test it. That should tell you what is going on. Also did the customer possibly use the shower before the grout had time to cure?
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