Exploding shower screen

I am wondering can anyone hlep me here, I had a new shower fitted in August last year which has a curved panel and a straight panel, about 3 weeks ago in the morning when no one was in the bathroom the curved panel exploded, the noise was like a gunshot and when we went to look there was hardly a bit of floor that did not have shttered glass on it. Once we started cleaning up we discovered the glass had taken chunks out of our wooden floor tiles and also cracked our wash hand basin. The company who supplied the shower seems to think it was not possible that this should happen! tried to tell me it must have been caused by an earthquake!!! I live in Scotland we do not get earthquakes! Can anyone help me give this guy some answers so I can get a new screen out of him! it is under guarentee and he seems to be stalling!
Thanks in advance

Guest User
Fri, 23/03/2007 - 20:58

Hope you took photos of it. I suggest you possibly contact your local council building authority, health and safety inspectorate or the trading standards agency and ask them for their advise and guidance. Ask the supplier/installer to put it in writing that he suspects you have earthquakes in Scotland. Also ask him who manufactured the glass or where he originally purchased it from and then contact that company for their advise. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Guest User
Fri, 23/03/2007 - 21:22

Thanks, I will try trading standards on Monday and see what they say, I read on here something about NiS causing glass to explode could it have been something like that? I never saw any flaws in the glass of any kind when it was put in. I was just so glad no one was in the shower at the time as the damage was unreal, I have 2 children and dread to think what would have happened if one had been in the shower at the time. I have lots of photos and they clearly show that no one could possibly have been in the bathroom when this happened as if they had been they would have been in casualty!This company are making me out to be the liar and its really annoying me and I do not want to back down on this as know no one in my house did any wrong!

Guest User
Tue, 27/03/2007 - 22:51

Firstly, do not assume that serious injury would automatically occur if a person were in the shower at the time of the “ explosion”. I have been in very close proximity to a large number of toughened glass breaks and only received minor scratches or no injury at all. Nevertheless it is possible that serious injury could occur and exposure to such an unexpected fracture would be very frightening even if no injury occurred.

Secondly, if the circumstances of this spontaneous fracture are as you say, and there is no possibility of an impact, accidental or deliberate, then the break may be due to:

a) A delayed fracture caused by significant edge damage, although this is unlikely as such fractures occur at the time the edge is damaged or very soon after. (Are you sure any exposed edges were not accidentally damaged shortly before the break occurred?)

b) Glass to metal contact between the glass and the frame. Was there a gasket material between the glass and the frame? If not then a spontaneous fracture could result.

c) Foreign particle in the glass. These are usually a substance called nickel sulphide, but could be other materials. You would not see them in the glass, but they do occur and can cause spontaneous fracture in toughened glass.

An examination of the fragments, by an expert would have been able to determine the cause of the fracture but ALL the fragments would have needed to have been retained.

Finally you can approach the supplier and try to claim nickel sulfide caused the break, but they are likely to want proof, and without the fragments this is impossible.

Linda Howell
Tue, 28/10/2008 - 19:59

Saturday 25th Oct 08. During last saturday evening the right hand door of our guest en-suite quadrant shower cubicle exploded. glass fragments everywhere .I telephoned the manufacturer to be told that this happens quite often and that the glass must have been damaged in some way. Firstly it was installed over two years ago is rarely used as this is a guest bedroom and was cleaned thoroughly the wednesday prior. There was no damage prior to the explosion. I took photos and kept the glass in a container. I suggested they send someone out to inspect it, they apparently dont do that. The manufacturer also said the guarantee does not cover the glass!!!! although when I have read the terms and conditions it does not mention that glass is not covered. To say I was frightened by the noise of it and the consequences had someone been using the toilet or indeed had my grandchildren been taking a shower as they were only a few weeks before, I cannot see how anyone could not have been cut by the hundreds of tiny glass particles. When a car windscreen goes it stays in place, this did not it exploded out everywhere. I have written to the company chairman, copied to the directors and the customer services department and hope that someone can ease my mind about shower screens and the liklihood of it happening again.

Linda Howell
Tue, 11/11/2008 - 18:45

I have had an inspection by the manufacturers of the shower cubicle and they say that it takes a lot to break the glass but on occasion it does happen. In my case they say that it was probably faulty glass and under the terms of the guarantee are prepared to replace it. Although this is good it is not an answer as to why it happened like it did. I will continue to worry whenever anyone uses the shower.

Guest User
Mon, 01/08/2011 - 14:58

Last week I had a similar experience. There was a huge crack like a loud gunshot and the curved glass bath/shower screen had exploded into tiny fragments. The bathroom was fortunately not in use - I note that other explosions have led to hospital attendance etc - but serious injury to eyes etc would have otherwise occurred. The fragments were everywhere. The company that fitted it has ceased trading. It was fitted in 2007 and there was no trauma to it, or misuse of any kind. The local centre said they had no experience of anything similar, but internet searches suggest that this is not a rarity.

Guest User
Tue, 27/09/2011 - 21:03

This has happened to us this evening! again thankfully no injury, but the force of the explosion has embedded some of the glass in the shower base!!

Any helpful comments gratefully received :)

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