Acrylic Shower Install: Caulk and Other Issues

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Troodon

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Hello,

I recently had a Delta Classic 400 installed (or halfway installed) by a plumber.

ISSUE 1
The caulk he used was this (on the right):
IMG_8683.JPG

The caulk job is not good:
IMG_8671.JPG

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I'm going to re-do it. I noticed that the caulk he used, toting "easy water clean-up," is not recommended in the manual, which the plumber didn't look at. What Delta recommends (DAP 3.0, or Loctite PL Heavy Duty Sealant), I can't find. They also say, "If these can't be found, use latex/acrylic high performance sealants and caulks that are designed for plastic/polystyrene and do NOT use water cleanup. Other types have the potential of poor adhesion, shrink, and cracking over time."

Does anyone know what readily-available caulk I might buy to re-do this myself, and is it important to heed the manufacturer's recommendation?

ISSUE 2
The shower was glued by the plumber with liquid nails to the walls (sort of a thick siding material, as you see below), and not attached to the studs as is called for in the installation manual:
IMG_8647.JPG

(Yes, the hole was drilled in the wrong place. He's buying a new shower on his dime.)

What risks are incurred by attaching the shower to the wall as opposed to the studs?

ISSUE 3
Lastly, I noticed that the mixing valve he installed in the wall is not completely straight. The part to which the faucet handle attaches, the part that sticks out from the valve and will go through the shower wall, points a bit to one side. You can't see it in the picture above -- I saw it from the wall opened up on the other side, but it doesn't really come across in the image. The valve stem (or whatever it's called) is leaning toward the left in the photo as it extends toward the shower wall.
Screenshot from 2022-05-24 21-34-08.png

The type of handle that came with the shower is this:
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Is the orientation of the mixing valve a problem? Should I ask that he re-install the valve straight?

Thank you.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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1- The perimeter can be screwed to the wall at any time in this situation. It would be done to stabilize and prevent movement til the caulking at the seams cured and as a primary method of attachment to the structure. Is the nailing flange over or under the drywall on the new pony wall between the toilet and shower?

2- I looked up instructions for a delta 400 and it appears from my reading and understanding that the vertical seams rely soley on the caulk for a water tight seal. Best to use the recommended caulking. Order it online and have it shipped. The instructions did say to caulk the panels to the wall as well as screw them on the perimeter. I doubt you will get any panel off of the wall intact if you planned on re-doing the seams. I'm certain we all have made the mistake of drilling something not repairable where it shouldn't.. but it does need to be replaced. A client once told me.. "In Russia the saying is measure 8 times cut once. Everything made of stone." What is the plan to finish over the nailing flanges on the top and sides?

3- Yes, the shower valve should be level and plumb and straight. If I were the installer, I would place my branch tees from the 3/4 main a Lot further away from the valve so that I have more room to work. Maybe have someone hold onto the valve so that it stays properly oriented. As it is, its going to be tough to get that straightened out without burning down the house.. so have a spray bottle of water and a fire extinguisher handy.
 

Troodon

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Thanks for the thorough reply. I just got back from being at the cabin where this is, and meeting the plumber again to finish his horrible hack job. I could go on and on. Nearly every thing he touched ended up wrong. A few thousand dollars of misery.

I'll re-do the caulking, at least on the outer portion of the seams. I was able to find a store that had the DAP 3.0. I was thinking of carefully removing the visible caulk, leaving whatever's deep in there, and doing a nice seam with the new stuff. Any pitfalls there that I should be wary of?

The shower's installed over the masonite paneling wall, as you can see, but the flange is under the drywall on the pony wall. I'm not sure how to do the transition from the flange to the masonite wall. I made a thread in a DIY forum about it, since it might not be a strictly plumbing issue, but in short my options (as I see it) are: 1) just caulk it; 2) use a trim piece for the transition and caulk that; 3) use vinyl bead of some sort and transition with mud, primer, paint (and caulk).

The valve's not straight. The plumber insisted there was a piece missing in the trim kit, to cover the exposed stem valve. But he never read the directions, and I was unable to convince him that the handle was supposed to sit flush to the escutcheon, and that the valve was supposed to sit further back in the wall. I was also unable to convince him that the plaster guard (a round plastic support for the valve) was not just a packaging item but was actually required to be installed behind the shower wall in a case like mine, as per the manual. He bought a different trim kit to obtain the "missing" piece to cover the 2 inches of exposed valve stem. He charged me for that.

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Funny thing is, he also charged me $300 for the two 24" water heater connectors he used in the water heater install. What a coincidence that $300 was about the cost of the shower he had to buy to replace the one he drilled wrong.

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Your idea about moving the branches further from the valve is great. It would have allowed the valve to be moved back, too. If it ends up that I need someone else -- a real plumber -- to fix this, then I'll suggest that option to him. For now, I want to see if the shower can be made to work and not ruin the surrounding structure.

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Tuttles Revenge

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I think you could get some trim boards that match either the base or the door casing and kerf the side that will go over the shower flange is a pretty easy and nice looking option.

The valve should have been straight. no question. And the exposed portion behind the handle has been a long standing pet peeve of mine of Moen valves for a long time. Moen is switching over to their M-Core valves now which will solve that. He easily could have hidden most of that as you described. Some plumbers are very meticulous when it comes to this sort of thing and some are cavemen... looks like you got Lothar, King of the Hill People.
 

Troodon

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Thanks TR, yes you nailed that last part on the head. He's proud of his kingdom, and scorns things like reading directions, cleaning up after his work, and following manufacturer recommendations -- what he refers to as "fancy stuff." He did use one of my bath towels for some heavy grease cleanup, though, so maybe that's worth something! The worst person I've ever hired to do anything, bar none, by a mile, head and shoulders...

Anyway, I did apply some PVC trim to the left wall side this weekend, and will get some more to do the top edges.

The shower handle jiggles around, even with the little hex bolt fully tightened. I think he might have mentioned that he installed a new cartridge from a different kit for some reason. At that point, I was so numbed I wasn't registering anything he said anymore. This weekend I noticed part of a ripped foam gasket sticking out of the central hole in the big escutcheon. I have yet to test the shower, so I'll be keeping my eye on potential leakage from the back when I do.

IMG_9405.JPG


I spent hours over the weekend ripping out the caulk he blobbed in the seams, and plan to re-caulk it in a few days. Problem is finding a good caulk for acrylic surfaces. The one recommended by Delta (Dap 3.0) seems to have horrible yellowing problems, as I'm reading, and half the tubes come already too hard to squeeze out of the gun. So I'm researching a good alternative for acrylic. Any suggestions?

If the handle does leak, then I'm thinking of putting PEX in that entire section back there, so the flexibility of the material would allow me to move the valve back and install it more correctly. The valve is 1 5/8" too forward, and I have 2" space to move it back. Or I might buy another kit. Or do both, depending on what needs to happen.
 

Tuttles Revenge

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I couldn't even imagine.

There is likely a missing grommet / spacer for the handle.. likely down the drain and irretrievable short of a shopvac... hard to say.

The distance of the handle is within spec for that valve. The piece that he tossed would sandwich the shower wall and it would end up about the same distance IIRC. I never really did like the way Moen Posi Temp valves trimmed out. Their new M-Core valves trim out much diferently.
 

Terry

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The Moen handle attaches to a plastic holder. It's held on with a Phillip's screw, I would tighten that and then put the handle back on.
 

Troodon

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Thanks for the tips about the handle. I'll check out the grommet and plastic holder issues when I go up Thursday. I ended up finding Dap 3.0 white caulk, after a long search. We decided a potentially yellowing caulk is better than leaks, after reading some other threads on the forum concerning acrylic tubs and showers. It is a cabin after all, so we just want stuff to work. Thank you for your help, I will update!
 

Jeff H Young

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oh its just kind of a hunting shack or whatever. was thinking its a home. should be mostly cosmetic but your "Plumber" was a bit rough
 
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