Why glass shower partition shattered few hours after installation?

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Posted by: from Toronto
2/27/2015 at 8:09:44 PM

I would like to share an experience in Toronto that happened to me on my Job site. Glass partition was installed (Tempered Glass) on site at 12:00 noon looked great cleaned up site after install and all went. No one at home, no kids, no pets, no Nanny that could have touched or chances of accident could have happened. One key is with me on door lock box.

In the evening around 6:52 got text message from home owner with pictures that the glass partition installed is all shattered in pieces ?????? I just pulled over and cant believe. Jaw dropped !!!

I had to replace the glass and installed again in three days. The glass company is very reputable and I am doing regular business with them had no problems so far. Glass company owner said that he has never experienced such a situation in his 14+ years of experience in Toronto. This was shocking news for him, for home owner and for all of us.

Question was, why it happened and who bears the cost for clean up, new glass replacement, cost for any other damages to the finished surfaces just in case if it would have occurred? What if any one was injured? etc..... Luckily Nothing happened.

I personally believe and could guess that it could be the extreme temperatures as on that day it was - 21 outside and inside it was +19 (as no one is at home). The glass could not handle it. All three sides it had space to expand and contract. Hold by three brackets in ceiling with 1/2' gap no top.

Just sharing a NEW experience to work in extreme temperatures and different materials on site. May be helpful to others if dealing in similar contracts and situations.

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Brian from Next Restoration in Rockwood
Date/Time2/27/2015 at 10:08:20 PM

I would like to know as well. My comments are glass does become extremely brittle in severe weather conditions and the least littlest tap on the glass will produce a hair line crack. Not noticeable at the time and following the installation the least little stress could cause this.

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Date/Time2/27/2015 at 11:03:55 PM

Here's a good article I found. I've always known Tempered glass to only break from hitting the edge. My guess was it might have come from the manufactures with an imperfection, or it was damaged during delivery.

(Tempered glass breakage is closer to the bottom.)

Hope this helps.

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Patrick from War Bunnys Carpentry in Beaumont
Date/Time2/28/2015 at 1:45:14 PM

I've actually seen this twice. Both times were almost the same conditions.

In one case it was a shower stall. It was a hot day in a new construction. The result of the breakage was found to be caused by a metal filing in the track and the glass expanding due to the heat.

The second was during a demo of a store front. My workers were wearing gloves and one worker's gloves had dried epoxy on them when he grabbed the glass it exploded. Our thoughts were the epoxy scratched the glass causing it to shatter. It was hot outside so air conditioning was on full.

Hope this helps. But I believe it's the nature of tempered glass and is more common than we think. Human error does play a big part in tempered glass failure.

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Date/Time3/11/2015 at 1:40:46 PM

Hi Nitin,

Sorry for your troubles.

If you believe the homeowner had no involvement with the breakage, then I imagine it would be a compilation of errors:

Glass was VERY cold when installed, due to low temperatures AND wind chill on the back of the truck. Might have been outside all night.

There may have been an imperfection in the glass. This happens often.

There may have been some minor binding in the hinge or minor debris in the track. Also holes and hardware don't always align perfectly.

If the glazier installed and he does lots of business with you, he should replace at his cost, or largely at his cost. Happens in commercial construction often, as not all imperfections are discovered before installation.

Hope this is of use. No real way to prevent it from EVER happening again.



Why glass shower partition shattered few hours after installation?

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