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Glass shower panel, shattered to pieces
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# 1
mellymeep
Old 02-11-2009, 1:39 PM
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Default Glass shower panel, shattered to pieces

On Sunday morning I had an accident with the glass shower panel in our bathroom, I was getting out of the shower and leant on it, pushing it outwards the way it wasn't supposed to go. Because of this the panel completely shattered into millions of tiny shards, I've been reading about panels like that and was just wondering if there is anyone knowledgeable on this subject to advise me what it should of actually done?

I've sustained quite a lot of injuries because of it, including a wound in my foot that needed stitches because the wire frame fell on top of it and sliced it open. We contacted our landlord this morning and he made no hints towards him paying for it to be replaced, I understand that it is my fault, and I am willing to pay for a new one, but if it was a fault with the glass that had been installed, or if it wasn't the right type then I am worried that the same thing might happen to others in the building as all the flats are installed with the same appliances.

I wasn't sure what board to put this on, so if its in the wrong place if someone can suggest where to get it moved to I would be grateful
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# 2
mellymeep
Old 02-11-2009, 2:38 PM
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And also if anyone has any clue how much it will actually cost to replace, just a rough estimate would be helpful because I have absolutely no idea about these sorts of things
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# 3
andrew-b
Old 02-11-2009, 2:40 PM
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Ouch...hope all your injuries heal up quick. With that amount of shards of glass around sounds like you've been fairly lucky to have got away with the injuries you have (assuming the foot injury was the major one) and could have been a whole lot worse!

When you say shower panel you do mean a panel above the bath ?

Not really sure where you stand with this but i would have hoped it would be covered under the landlord's building insurance. In my mind shower panels, doors and enclosures should be strong enough to withstand leaning on them and general knocks etc. They should always be made of a safety glass though. Don't suppose you can tell now but do you recall if there was british standards kite mark imprinted on the glass? Was it marked with any brand name?
Were there any obvious signs of damage to the glass before this...chips or cracks etc that may have caused a weakness in it? How thick was the glass..if you still have the broken glass i'd very carefully (make sure you don't cut yourself!) measure the thickness...
Whatever it gets replaced with i'd try and ensure the replacement has a more substantial metal frame to it and thickest glass possible (for example Twyford shower enclosure that i have is 6mm thickness as standard), check it has a kite mark with relevant british standard etched on the glass and installed as per the instructions to the letter. For your peace of mind maybe you'd be better off with a shower rail and curtain? Either way i'm sure you'll be extremely careful what you lean on int future!

Anyway glad your more or less ok!

Andy

Last edited by andrew-b; 02-11-2009 at 2:42 PM.
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# 4
mac2009
Old 02-11-2009, 2:53 PM
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If it shattered into millions of tiny pieces, then it was definitely toughened (sometimes called safety) glass. That is exactly what it is meant to do and undoubtedly saved you from much more serious injury. If it was not toughened, it would have broken into much larger and sharper shards that could have caused very serious injury indeed.

Whilst it is called toughened (and it is indeed much more resistant to breaking than regular glass) it is not indestructible, as you have discovered.

Sorry, not sure how much it would cost to replace as they vary so widely in price depending on design and size - just a regular panel to use with a shower above the bath are about £50 in B&Q.
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# 5
moonrakerz
Old 02-11-2009, 3:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew-b View Post
Whatever it gets replaced with i'd try and ensure the replacement has a more substantial metal frame to it and thickest glass possible (for example Twyford shower enclosure that i have is 6mm thickness as standard), check it has a kite mark with relevant british standard etched on the glass and installed as per the instructions to the letter.
The trouble is with BS/EN is that it only covers the physical construction of the glass NOT where it is used.

"BS EN 12150-1:2000 specifies the tolerances, flatness, edgework, fragmentation, and physical and mechanical characteristics of monolithic flat thermally toughened soda lime silicate safety glass for use in buildings"

A lot of shower screens and panels at the budget end of the market are only 4mm glass. As you so rightly say, get 6mm glass - or even 8 !
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# 6
mellymeep
Old 02-11-2009, 3:26 PM
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Thanks for the replies guys yes I meant it was an above the bath panel and yeah it did shatter into millions of pieces, but they were really sharp on the edges which is what caused most of the scratches on me, which is what confused me because I thought safety glass was supposed to break into more rounded "pebble" like shapes? I'm just glad I got away with minimal injuries, as you said it could of been much worse had it cut any arteries or got into my eyes!

I don't recall seeing a kite mark, there was a manufacturer sticker on the bottom corner but I can't remember what it was, as its never happened to me before I didn't think to note it down when we moved in! and the glass pane completely disappeared into the bits so I can't check now. It was pretty thin though, so I'm guessing it wasn't any more than 6mm thick. I'm assuming every other flat in the building has been fitted with the same so I might go knock on my neighbour and ask if I could possibly check there's. I don't want it to happen to anyone else because it was pretty traumatic!

The landlord unfortunately wants us to replace like for like, so we're not allowed to install a rail for a material curtain and it will have to be another glass one. I will certainly be much more careful in future that's for sure.
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# 7
mac2009
Old 02-11-2009, 3:33 PM
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As the other poster said, thicker glass will be more resistant to breakage, but it is also heavier.

Another option if you are still worried is to use polycarbonate (plastic) or laminated glass. Laminated glass is extremely difficult to break into pieces because if it is broken, everything is held together by a layer of plastic sandwiched between the glass. It is used in car windscreen and high security applications for this reason. It also tends to be thicker (at least 6mm).
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# 8
andrew-b
Old 02-11-2009, 3:47 PM
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I saw thinner around 3mm i think when i was looking for shower enclosures on a budget.. this was partly the appeal of Twyfords shower enclosures as they were one of the cheapest for 6mm thick glass. Having a tendency to fall over (without being drunk! ) and hang onto things to help me up i wanted my enclosure to be at least 6mm with a bit of a frame to it. Much thicker than 6mm then i think the weight of the glass starts to become an issue and so with a shower panel the fixing to the wall will be a bit more important.
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# 9
Kiran
Old 02-11-2009, 3:55 PM
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If you do want the info on the screen can you pop round to one of the other flats and have a quick look at theirs as you say they were all kitted out the same? If you don't think you did anything out of the ordinary and what is expected in the day to day use of the screen I would be inclined to ask the landlord to replace it.

Last edited by Kiran; 21-11-2009 at 8:45 AM.
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# 10
andrew-b
Old 02-11-2009, 4:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mellymeep View Post
The landlord unfortunately wants us to replace like for like, so we're not allowed to install a rail for a material curtain and it will have to be another glass one. I will certainly be much more careful in future that's for sure.
guessed this would probably be the case...bearing in mind your probably gonna be a bit scared of the same happening again what if you were to install a rail and curtain now and not install a glass replacement until the time comes when you decide to move out.

Not too keen on advocating this..but how much do you stand to lose on the deposit on your rental of the property if you don't replace at all? Then it's the landlords responsibility to sort out and pay using your security deposit (assuming it covers it!). I think it should be upto the landlord to replace even if you do end up footing the bill as it is part of the fixtures and fittings of the property.

The worst that can happen with shower curtain and rail is rip the curtain or pull the rail down! At a flat we used to rent we had a telescopic sprung-loaded type of shower rail (from Argos) ..i did pull the whole thing down once though!
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# 11
andrew-b
Old 02-11-2009, 4:14 PM
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Just looked up the cheapest 6mm twyford shower panel from place i bought my enclosure:
£160 including delivery..expect you can get cheaper but gives you a rough idea. Then you need to add on fitting costs..i'd ask the landlord to take responsibility for that though so that you can't be held responsible for the fitting of it.

Telescopic rail and shower curtain: £9.99.
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# 12
mellymeep
Old 02-11-2009, 4:22 PM
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That's what I was actually thinking of doing Andrew, I'm going to send a nice letter to the landlord asking where exactly we stand, and if he thinks maybe a claim to the building managers would be helpful as it was certainly out of the ordinary for that to happen with just regular use. I've got photos of the mess it left, and my injuries. I don't want it to get nasty or anything, but if there's the chance that I don't have to pay for it then I want to take that route. I've just found one of the shards and assuming it hadn't smashed in half it is about 4/5mm thick. I've left a note for my neighbour with my phone number to see if I can pop round to check her shower pane for the kite mark and the manufacturer label.

I'm guessing if we leave it until we move out, the landlord could probably take our entire deposit to replace it, as it is quite a professional looking bathroom. We paid £250 plus half a months rent in lieu when we moved in. And obviously he will most likely pick out the most expensive labour to get it replaced :rolleyes: I have contacts who are builders so I could probably get it done for a reasonable price, it would just be the cost of buying a new pane that might break the bank. I'm only a student with a part time job!
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# 13
paddypaws101
Old 02-11-2009, 6:10 PM
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I have replied over on the pet thread...just wanted to check what other comments you have had here.
The more I think about it...the more I believe your landlord should be falling over himself to put this right, without any expense or further stress on your part. Does landlord realise you ended up in hospital?
If there is a management company involved in the flats you want to notify them as asap...if these shower screens ARE faulty the next accident could be a fatality.
If you don't start getting more favourable responses then there are lots of adverts on the telly 'Had an accident? Not your fault? ' I think you and the cat both seeking medical attention would get their interest pretty quickly!
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# 14
mellymeep
Old 02-11-2009, 6:48 PM
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He's generally pretty nice, I mean he lives in London and we're in Leeds, so I think he just has these flats as a little earner where he doesn't really have to bother much. I'm not sure what he exactly said cos it was my fiance on the phone to him, but he didn't make much fuss over implying he would be paying anything towards it.

I'm going to try contact a neighbour tomorrow and see what shower frame they've got (cos I'm assuming they are all the same) and the building manager, because he is always around as there are flats still being finished on the top floors of the block. I don't want it to get nasty that's all, or for them to think that I'm trying to scam them out of money, I genuinely do think it wasn't my fault and definitely wouldn't want this happening to anyone else.
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# 15
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Old 02-11-2009, 7:08 PM
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I had my glass shower enclosure do exactly the same thing a couple of months ago - really scarey. Most of it broke into tiny pieces, but there were still some large sharp shards which my friend cut herself on. It was replaced through my insurance with no problems, but through the buildings insurance, not the contents, as it's fixed to the wall. The person who fitted the new one said that the old one had been put on at a slight angle, so put extra stress on the glass which is probably what made it shatter. It's impossible to prove this was definitely the cause, so that's why I went through the insurance.
Good luck with it! I had to force myself to go back inside it when the new one was fitted, but I'm fine with it now!
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Old 02-11-2009, 8:43 PM
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Mellymeep....ok so he is pretty nice, that's good. Right now the accident is no-one's 'fault' ( certainly not yours ) if someone else were to get hurt in the same way, or if it happened to you again...well that is another matter! You were not mis-using the bath panel....so it is NOT up to you to replace it. He may or may not be able to claim to insurance to replace it, not your problem. His dispute would be with the developer not you. He DOES have a duty to provide a SAFE replacement. Maybe your OH under palyed your injuries...a visit to hospital requiring stitches is a serious matter. I don't think you sound like the kind of person to try and abuse the situation, but as I say...at the moment he is not in a very strong position legally whereas YOU ARE.
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# 17
mellymeep
Old 03-11-2009, 8:28 PM
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This is a photo of the after math, as you can see the shower shattered completely into pieces. (I wouldn't click it if you're queasy over blood by the way)

http://11.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ks...xsq5o1_500.jpg

I'm guessing that is actually what it should of done? We're going to get a hold of the building manager tomorrow and get some input from him, because we really want to get to the bottom of why it happened, and if we could avoid having to pay for it that would be great.
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# 18
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Old 20-11-2009, 11:01 PM
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You admit you "pushed it the wrong way" and it broke !!!

Toughened glass is fairly brittle and will do that every time so there is NO fault.

Would you expect your landlord to pay if you dropped something and broke a floor tile ?

Dont you have insurance you can claim from ? I thought it was compulsory to have insurance when you rent a property.
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# 19
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Old 22-11-2009, 3:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raymond View Post
You admit you "pushed it the wrong way" and it broke !!!

Toughened glass is fairly brittle and will do that every time so there is NO fault.

Would you expect your landlord to pay if you dropped something and broke a floor tile ?

Dont you have insurance you can claim from ? I thought it was compulsory to have insurance when you rent a property.
I agree entirely. I just don't understand why so many people seem to have the view that landlords bear all the responsibility and should always foot the bill for everything that may happen to their tenant. It seems to stem from a view that all landlords are "loaded" and all tenants are "poor" and so the tight landlord should just pay for any damages caused by - or misfortunate that befalls - their tenant. :rolleyes:
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# 20
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Old 22-11-2009, 4:48 PM
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Quote:
The landlord unfortunately wants us to replace like for like, so we're not allowed to install a rail for a material curtain and it will have to be another glass one. I will certainly be much more careful in future that's for sure.
Why not get a cheap tension rod and curtain from Argos or B&Q and have the screen replaced when you vacate ?
.....................I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...
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