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Unread 10-10-2022, 04:08 PM   #1
pmcenroe
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How to find the leak?

My shower is just over 2 years old. Construction is sheetrock with Kerdi which warps the engineered lumber '2x4' curb and extends out to the corners of the alcove. I did not wrap the Kerdi beyond the corners (probably should have!). The threshold on top of the curb has cracked near the right side of the enclosure - it seems like the curb has pushed up about 1/8 - 3/16" in this area. The silicone caulk for the glass had pulled away. I noticed water leaking out and found that the silicone caulk for the shower glass had pulled loose from the wall and a crack in the threshold. I let everything dry out for a week, took out the old caulk, put in new caulk, let it cure for a week and I still have a small leak.

I took a piece of tissue paper and found the only wet spot was just under the curb, right at where it meets the wall. You can also see that the grout along the corner of the shower is cracked.

I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to find the leak, what to do differently next time, and also how I might correct the problem once the leak is identified. Please find uploaded photos.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Unread 10-10-2022, 05:04 PM   #2
Davy
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Hi Pat, welcome back. You would have to remove the glass and the marble that's on the curb and look for clues. That's what I would do.
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Unread 10-10-2022, 07:02 PM   #3
Just In Tile LLC
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Pat, on this side of the screen it would appear you have great prep work and waterproofing. Only thing I can think of being an error would be the waterproofing didn't get done well somewhere or the glass company penetrated through your amazing prep when setting the door and caused a way for water to get in.

We see all the time glass door installs wreck waterproofing, but like Davy has pointed out further investigation would help narrow down which one it is.
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Unread 10-10-2022, 08:56 PM   #4
Snets
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It's absolutely not necessary to drill through a 5/8" or 3/4" piece of marble to mount one of those CR Laurence bottom clamps - all it is doing is keeping the glass from moving side to side. a tight fitting plastic anchor in a hole 75% into the marble, cut off flush at the surface is all that clamp needs.

Hopefully you find the leak, good luck!
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Unread 10-11-2022, 06:56 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick feedback! I did a little more checking yesterday. With my bifocals on I noticed a couple of small holes in my caulk job in the corner of the glass/curb/wall. I ran the hand shower on a low flow right at that corner for 15 minutes and no water. I'm going to repeat that test later today but with the hand shower going right on the wall bracket for the glass.

The curb marble threshold is about 1/2" thick. it doesn't get much water normally. I found a picture of the install work (attached). You may not be able to see it from the photo online, but when I zoomed in there was no hole drilled in the marble. I guess they might have put one in on an angle when they installed the bracket?

Davy, I think in the end I will have to remove the glass and the marble and replace the piece closest to the wall anyhow due to it being cracked and also I think the upward force could be putting a strain on the glass (I could tell when I stripped the caulk that the glass had moved upward compared to the side brackets by about 1/8".

I' going to be doing a shower in my basement later this fall. It will be over concrete, no curb, with a linear drain across the 'front' of the shower and then the shower glass in front of that. In this case how should I instruct the shower glass installer with regard to the floor and wall brackets?
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Unread 10-11-2022, 07:03 AM   #6
Dan Marvin
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It's hard to troubleshoot from a picture but here are some potential issues we see:

It looks like there isn't the required 2" overlap of the Kerdi at your curb and potentially other areas as well. It appears that Kerdi-fix or some type of caulk may have been used instead.

Wooden curbs should have a solid backing over them which I don't see here. If the Kerdi was applied directly to the wood and water penetrated through the membrane, the wood will swell which would give you the raised area you reported.

If the Kerdi does have penetrations from the glass panel hardware, they need to be waterproofed properly. You can contact our customer service at 888 472 4588 for how this can be done successfully.
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Unread 10-11-2022, 08:35 AM   #7
John Bridge
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Hi Pat,

Is your bathroom floor wood or concrete?

In a properly done Kerdi shower a grout failure won't cause a leak. Is your leak at the end of the curb? If so, water might be leaking to the outside, or it might be creeping under the door.
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Unread 10-11-2022, 08:53 AM   #8
cx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat
Construction is sheetrock with Kerdi which warps the engineered lumber '2x4' curb and extends out to the corners of the alcove.
Think that word should be wraps rather than warps, Dan, but it appears he's got drywall on the wood curb before the Kerdi.
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If the Kerdi does have penetrations from the glass panel hardware, they need to be waterproofed properly. You can contact our customer service at 888 427 4588 for how this can be done successfully.
Now that Schluter is participating here, Dan, it would help if you'd put that kind of information here on the website so others can benefit from the information. I, for example, would be very interested in hearing how Schluter would treat after-tile holes in the waterproofing membrane on shower curbs.
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Unread 10-11-2022, 09:11 AM   #9
michael48
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Just a shot in the dark, but have your checked the screw penetrations on the side mount, or the silicone seal around it?
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Unread 10-11-2022, 10:10 AM   #10
pmcenroe
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Hi Dan:

Thanks for your review!

For the '2" at the curb and other areas' - do you mean I should have extended the Kerdi 2" out onto the floor and also wrapped it around the left and right sides of the enclosure?

I don't have a good picture but I did put drywall on the inside and top of the curb....I can't remember if I added any to the front side of the curb. I've attached a photo that shows the 'outside corner' on the left side of the curb - I'm sure I put one on the right side and the corners of the steps. This photo shows the 24 hour 'shower pan' test that I conducted.

So far no sign of any water damage to the ceiling below this.

John, this shower is over Warmboard on the second floor of the house. The curb is angled and when I use a tissue to check for moisture on the underside of the outside of the curb I don't detect anything until I get to that right corner.

Michael, that will be my next test (trial #3). I ran the hand shower so it went on the bottom bracket for 15 minutes for trial #2. No leaks detected.
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Unread 10-11-2022, 12:19 PM   #11
Dan Marvin
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Yes, extending the waterproofing 2" past the corner keeps the waterproofing continuous. We do make pre-formed corner pieces for this. There is lots of illustrated information in our shower installation handbook. Page 28 shows you an illustration of how to tie in the curb, either with the pre-formed corner piece or with Kerdi-band. There is also information that should help for your curbless installation with the linear drain as well.

CX, we would prefer to have people call to discuss how to address penetrations since there are lots of different types of fasteners and hinges on the market that may impact the recommendation.
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Unread 10-11-2022, 01:49 PM   #12
pmcenroe
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Michael, your prediction seems to be correct. I did test #3 with the hand shower on the wall bracket and within 1 minute I had water dripping out. It seems like it has gotten behind the tile or behind the Kerdi.

Dan, I tried to phone the number you gave - it was for 'Westwood Villa Apartments". The correct number is 800-472-4588. I put in a call and the customer service rep. has elevated the case to the field technical manager who should call me back within 24 hours.

It seems like I will need to fix the waterproofing on this bracket and I'll do the others at the same time. Hopefully the fix won't require any disassembly of the tile or anything behind it. In the mean time I'm going to contact the shower glass installer to see what they know.

Once I fix it up I'll retest and let everyone know how it goes.
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Unread 10-11-2022, 02:27 PM   #13
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Glad you found it, hopefully the fix is easy! On a side note, I know next to nothing about glass shower brackets, but it seems to me that the screw penetrations should be on the outside of the glass or maybe not?
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Unread 10-13-2022, 08:48 AM   #14
pmcenroe
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I heard back from the shower glass folks. $135 to come out and have a look. I'm still waiting for the call back from Schluter customer service. If I don't hear anything I'll probably take the wall bracket off, load the holes up with silicone and re-attach.
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Unread 10-13-2022, 10:02 AM   #15
pmcenroe
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I just got a call from the Schluter rep. and he will visit a few weeks from now so that is good news!

I took the bracket off. There are three screws (#6?) about 2" long going into plastic shields (not sure how deep). I know they are long enough to be going through the Kerdi, drywall, and the engineered lumber behind that.

I put silicone caulk in the holes (they are pretty small - see photo) and put it back together and caulked all around the bracket both on the glass and the wall. The only other pathway would be between the bracket and the screw heads. To seal that I'd have to put silicone on the face of the bracket which would be less than pleasing aesthetically.

While using the other side of the shower this morning I noticed that there is a bit of a drainage pathway from the 'step' and then down the wall right over the bracket (see yellow arrows on photo). The step itself is slightly pitched downward from the back of the shower toward the glass as well - that was not intentional on my part but in the future I would make sure it is level in that direction or slightly elevated on the glass side. This explains why the bracket would be subject to a lot more water than it would normally get - all the water collecting on that wall is funneled to the bracket.

I'll do the #3 water test tomorrow after the silicone cures up and see if I've solved the problem. If so I'll repeat what I did on the left side of the shower just to be safe. If not, I'll wait for the Schluter rep to show up and be ready to make good on my promise to him that I would 'be prepared to remove tiles to discover the root cause of the problem"
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