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Do it Yourself?

Hi, Chris.

My father is 86 years old and of the generation that fixes the old instead of buying the new. He has torn apart a framed door with fixed glass panel on a 30 year old shower in his house. As we expected, he is having a hard time finding a silicone tubing drip seal for this door. Are they not available anymore? Or will he be forced to cave in to buying a brand new door for this shower, probably also needing to be custom sized for width?

Thanks for a quick response, because the shower can’t be used now that he has hastily torn it apart, thinking he would easily find replacement parts!

Hi Karen,

There are so many different manufacturers of shower doors that it would be really hard to tell you where to start looking for parts. If the door is 20 or 30 years old, there is no chance that the same parts are still available. There is also a good possibility that the glass in the door doesn’t meet modern building safety codes either. I’m guessing that what you are talking about when you say “silicone tubing drip seal” is the rubber gasket that goes in the aluminum channel between the glass and metal. There are a lot of types of gasket (and I mean A LOT!) and it would probably be possible to find something that would work, if you had a good supplier of gaskets (a local glass shop?) and a lot of time to spend sorting through them.

If your dad is dead-set on doing this himself, I would suggest using a tube of silicone sealant from the hardware store. He could use a caulk gun to pump the silicone into the aluminum channels, assemble the door around the glass, and wait 24 hours for it to set up before reinstalling it. It probably won’t look that great, but I’m guessing that your dad’s 30-year-old shower door isn’t very beautiful anyway. I always advise people that it’s not worth their time to try to fix their own shower doors. A professional can do it so much faster and more efficiently. On the other hand, if your dad doesn’t really have anything else to do, and no-one gets hurt in the process, what the heck! There’s nothing like a good challenge.

Thanks for writing,

-Chris

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