Home > Shower Questions from Visitors > A Reason to Weep…

A Reason to Weep…

Hi there,

I just had a look through your blog and realized that you are the man to answer this question.
I have got a simple aluminum frame shower door and enclosure that is attached to the wall with ‘u’ shaped aluminum channel.
Progressive leaking over 5 years has had me on my knees this Sunday morning ripping out the surrounding rotten tiling and timber.
Standing on a chair and shining a little torch down the channels from above I can see the water filling up inside the channel at the base when the shower is on.
Even though I know it would be the best course of action I do not want to rip put the whole unit as this will be a major operation.
I am considering a serious DIY intervention, or as we describe it here in the UK ‘a bodge job’, and I wanted to run it past you to see what you think, and give you a giggle.

Dry out the base of the channels with a heat gun.
Drill some discreet holes in the lower section of the chanel.
Using either top quality silicone or water cured expanding foam FILL UP the aluminum channel from the base up.
Just keep on pumping the gear in with a mixture of vengeful cursing until I find myself whistling Dixie, all delighted with myself.

I realize that this sounds like the work of a crazy person, call it unconventional. I think it might just work. What do you think?

Kind Regards
Carl Smyth

London, England

         

 

Hi Carl,

You sound like you are on the right track. If you are willing to disassemble the entire enclosure in order to solve the problem, then there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to completely resolve the issue once-and-for-all. The best solution, one that you have already cited, is to drill holes at the bottom of the aluminum channel that will allow the water that gets into it to “weep” back out into the shower. This is something that can be done in place, but you need to be very cautious not to nick the edge of the glass in the process. With tempered glass, the edges are the most vulnerable, and even a comparatively small impact there can cause the glass to explode into a million tiny fragments.

One important thing to remember about weep holes, is that they need to be large enough in order to work. The rule of thumb on this is that a ¼” round hole is NOT big enough to allow the air and water enough room to displace each other, and will not be effective. The best way to approach this is with multiple, oblong shaped holes, that are wider than they are tall. Once again, if the glass is out of the channel you can “drill-baby-drill” all you want! If the glass is still in there, be very careful. Filling the entire channel with caulk of some sort may or may not work, but anything you do in conjunction with the weep holes is a winning strategy.

Best wishes for much success!

-Chris

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