New Plastic Tub problems

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by sapling, May 5, 2008.

  1. sapling

    sapling New Member

    Messages:
    12
    I recently hired a contractor under the table to do some work... For all you new home re modelers never do this as there is no contract involved so they can do shotty work.
    So I bought one of those Plastic tubs Acrylic? With the wall surrounds.
    How here is where the trouble begins. As there is a lip around the shower where typically you can set things or water should drip off of back into the tub it was installed poorly.
    Right beneath the shower head and faucet the piece actually dips. That entire side of the tub allows water to sit in there and oh wait it gets better. As it accumulates from someone taking a shower it begins to then overflow not into the tub but yet on my tile floor. Its wonderful...
    Now I only hired them because i didnt want to spend the time doing it myself as I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of work but now I need to fix this problem.

    I have come up with a few things that might work but have a few issues with each of them. I am looking for suggestions and advice only please no that sucks posts....

    1.) The first thing that came to mind to fix this is to take a 2x4 or 4 that are taller than the tub currently sits and tap them into place to force the plastic to rise up some. I do have access to get here as I have one of those plastic plumbing panels that allows me to get to the water shutoffs easily.
    1a.) The issue I find here is as its plastic there is a high chance of breaking or cracking the plastic or something worse. The plastic is not that sturdy and had it just been installed properly I would not be in this mess.

    2.) I then thought what if I found a way to make the outside tub wall. (The piece thats connected for when I enter and exit the tub) slightly higher than it is with something such as an end cap. Basically my thought was make this a little bit higher which would cause the water to run off back into the tub through this method.
    2a.) My issue here is one what do I use and two what if it looks like crap...

    3.) The final thing I could do which I refuse to do is do the entire project over for the tub half of the room. Remove the drywall and make this thing higher all over as there are several spots water can sit. The water sitting doesn't bother me as when I get out of the shower I know its there and I just make a sweeping motion to get the majority of the water back into the tub.
    3a.) The problem with redoing the work is I just paid this guy 1600 dollars to do the work and I am not going to get the money back so I dont want to feel like a total chump redoing the work that is already in place. Not to mention that it wont be easy to redo all that work.



    Please suggestions on how you would tackle this and if there is a product I can buy and install please feel free to let me know.

    For the record I installed this product from lowes just so you know what it looks like and wont suggest something that will clash and look crapy.
    http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=184816-332-39224&lpage=none
    Its the Aquaglass Eleganza tub and walls.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Well, the forecast is not good. If you could post some pictures of your installation, we could possibly opine. The unit you chose is not bad, and actually not that hard to install per instructions!

    Let us have a look at some photos. But, you have to live with this for another 15~20 years. It is possible that you might have to suck up the loss and redo it. But first, please give us some photos. _There are some really talented guys here, and if there is a way to fix it , someone will tell us.
  3. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The issue that you have is not entirely from shotty workmanship. Every acrylic/plastic tub/shower unit IS NOT perfectly flat. It will have deviations of flat and square. The fact that it was purchased from a big box store says something about the quality and or quality control of the units.(big box stores tend to carry second best in my opinion)

    First course of action is to find out if the tub was installed level.
    Was any cement or mortar bed used in the base installation?

    Depending on the flexability or rigidity of the tub material, the supports (to jack the edges up) may cause more harm than good. The acrylic/plastic tubs are not designed to carry any major weight along the edges (unless the tub is moulded with a hard corner or brace). placing supports (not to carry weight) may help, but with the right tension. If the tension is too great, cracking can happen.

    Redoing the work may only be your perfect option, taking into consideration the deviations of the material of tub used. It may not be level in the end, but the water should drain back into the tub
  4. sapling

    sapling New Member

    Messages:
    12
    What about this...

    One thing i forgot that comes to mind now is what if I use a shower door. You know the tub shower doors... Wont that solve my problem as well because then the water cant go that direction. Obviously water can still sit but anyone have any other reason this might not work or be a good solution? Just trying to come up with as many possibilities as I can so I can take a good plan of action?
  5. krow

    krow Plumber

    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    There is absolutely no reason why a shower door should not work, Just keep in mind that you may get mould growth where the water is pooling. The door will keep the water contained, assuming it it installed properly and siliconed.

    It won't solve your problem, but it will keep it contained.
    Last edited: May 5, 2008
  6. sapling

    sapling New Member

    Messages:
    12
    I understand

    Yes I agree it wont solve the problem because the only true way is to redo the bathroom. However I am planning to rent this pad out and buy a new one... SO for that matter I suppose renters trash places anyway so I expect to have to redo the bathroom when I decide to sell in a better housing market. So I am honestly just trying to limit the damage now so its easier to fix later. I expect the problems are only starting and without redoing this the proper way I am screwed. I am going to continue to look for a cheaper solution as I really dont want to spend 200 dollars on a shower door. Hopefully though if I do I can reuse this when I remodel again for selling the condo.
    Mold is a problem in this place already however I have a new problem which I will post in a moment in another location.

    Thanks for the advice guys. Just wanted to know what you all thought so I could make my best choice.
  7. brownizs

    brownizs In the Trades

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Springfield, IL
    You do know that you are supposed to have the Tub level, and use Silicon to keep the water from getting in between the sections, don't you? The reason for the water getting in between the Tub & Surround, is because there is no Silicon there.
  8. SuperDaddy

    SuperDaddy New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    New York
    I hope the installers didn't use any type of mortar for a base. I just installed this identical tub and surround, and it has a thick styrofoam base (nearly the entire length of the tub), and the directions clearly state not to use any mortar or cement or thin-set for a base. The tub base is supposed to be flat on the sub-floor, and not "set into" anything. (I was worried, at first upon installation, about the styrofoam being noisy, but luckily it isn't. Its quiet and gives the tub floor a solid feel).

    Also, I cant recommend lifting the tub by the outside skirt area. It is very thin, and flimsy. The only support it gets is from a styrofoam piece that is adhered to the base, and the bottom of the skirt wall. This is the only way it gets any rigidity.

    And to comment on other posts (not necessarily the one quoted above), yes, sealant was supposed to be used in between the panels and the tub. But since the OP didnt install the tub, he/she may not know if it was done. I put a bead of sealant in between the panels and tub during installation, and after installation as well. I don't have pooling of water anywhere.
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,268
    Location:
    New England
    In the scheme of things, few tubs come with a flat support base designed to sit on a flat floor. If yours has one, then no, you do not need to bed the tub. If it does not, and most do not, then yes, you will do yourself a disservice if you do not figure out some way to support it. The exception is probably a cast iron tub which is strong enough to support itself, although you need to be careful about anchoring the ledger boards so they don't droop eventually and allow the tub to shift.
  10. sapling

    sapling New Member

    Messages:
    12
    misunderstanding

    This is not the case there is silicon everywhere. What is happening is the water builds up because it was installed incorrectly. It slowly sits on the tub splash edge and because it has such a large dip the water manage to then go over the outside tub edge...

    Wall here____-O-_____ Water goes this way onto the floor.

    Now I did find something that will help as the water build up is minor and it manages to dry out quickly...
    Tub shower splash guards they seem to be what I was looking for.

    I dont know if it had the styrofoam base your speaking of or if they used mortal I do know what had happened in the install was...
    The tub itself in the instructions I found online says due to the plastic sitting for a while make sure to float it x amount. I forget how much they said. Screw it into multiple beams and finish installation. After the install takes places fill with water during the caulking phase and this should also allow the plastic to bend more giving you the outer edge you need.
    They half did the work so they just put it on the hard concrete floor and drilled it in directly giving me this lip that can hold water.

    There is silicon caulking everywhere sealing all parts and edges including the edge to the floor where the tile sits.
  11. brownizs

    brownizs In the Trades

    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Springfield, IL
    Only way to fix, is to pull the tub, and reinstall correctly. Most likely you warped the tub during the install.
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,048
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    tub

    One way to fix it would be to take that tub out and get one that does not flex when you put water in it. It is difficult to follow your description of where the water is accumulating and draining off, but unless it is a VERY poor installation, you cannot just jack the tub up without damaging the walls sitting on the rim. Here, if it was really a bad installation, and not just a bad tub, AND you had used a licensed contactor, the state licensing board could make the contractor redo it properly, or suspend his license and have someone else do it.
  13. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'm curious of the details of this under the table job...

    Is it a situation where you called a company to do the work then when a plumber came out you hired him on the side to do the work for cash without the company knowing.

    Or,

    A company came out and agreed to cut costs by no contract, no taxes etc.

    Just curious...
    Greed often gets the best of us!
    I for one like to avoid temptation and be above board 100%.
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