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I recently asked a plumber to fit a new shower. For some reason he used a large lump of silicone to support the middle of the shower:

Shower supported by silicone

Is this acceptable? Is it safe? Whenever I move the shower handle the whole shower flexes and the pipework moves back and forward. See this video:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7AFK9NIKSRNa0RGdmU2a3diR1E

I don't know why he did this. The shower is supposed to look like this:

enter image description here

Edit: Here is a link to the shower's instruction manual http://wickes.scene7.com/is/content/travisperkins/Mixer-Showers-Wickes-Classic-Manual-Mixer-Shower-Adjustable-Riser-Kit-Chrome-White~T3274_190463_TECH_0

  • Is the central support firmly attached so there is no movement when the handle is manipulated? If so, it is OK for the hot and cold lines on the outside to not be rigidly clamped to the wall or to framing behind the wall. In the video you show that the left line (presumably the hot supply) can be pushed in and out, but in normal operation does this occur? – Jim Stewart Jan 30 '18 at 14:04
  • No it's not secure at all. When I was taking a shower and I was moving the handle to adjust the temperature the whole shower was bouncing up and down. – Zinedine Zanzois Jan 30 '18 at 14:13
  • I believe that lack of rigidity in the central support is the problem, not the hot and cold supply lines. I think the supply lines are supposed to be unsupported so they would not be under stress. The central support should be affixed to the wall to give rigidity. The central support should be attached to the wall by screws into holes or there are some some European systems for attaching using a special adhesive. This latter system is marketed even for grab bars for which failure could lead to severe injury. – Jim Stewart Jan 30 '18 at 14:21
  • For adhesive held grab bars see homedepot.com/p/…. The advantage of this system in Europe is that one can install these bars in a rental unit where the landlord would not approve a renter drilling into, for example, a fancy granite shower. They are said to hold securely but are removable without a trace. – Jim Stewart Jan 30 '18 at 14:30
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    A few questions: a. is the mixer mounted on the outside of the wall? it looks like it's mounted through the back of an older hole for a concealed mixer? The mixer itself should be completely external. b. were there a lot of spare parts? although the pipes themselves should be secured to the timbers, they should also be secured with mounting plates that come with the shower. It looks like these were omitted, with only the cover plates installed. c. what model of shower is it? you should be able to find the manual and see how it SHOULD have been installed. – Niall Jan 30 '18 at 14:39
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Is this acceptable?

No, if you paid money for this installation, it is unacceptably poor work.

The central part and where pipes enter the wall should be covered by decorative rings. The central valve body should be firmly secured to the structure of the wall. Any visible silicone sealant should be no more than a thin bead to prevent water penetrating the surface.

Is it safe?

No, water can leak through there and cause hidden rot or mould to develop.

  • This is a type of "bar mixing valve" which is an external mixing valve similar to types which have been popular in Europe, but are only recently being used in the US. Presumably the central member behind the valve is strongly attached to the wall (probably with screws into plastic anchors in holes in the wall) so that normal manipulation of the handle does not move the supply lines. Presumably the center attachment member is just a physical support. Is this right? The great benefit of this type of valve is that the entire valve can be replaced without opening up the wall. – Jim Stewart Jan 30 '18 at 14:14
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    @Jim, I've edited the answer accordingly, but I'd also expect the pipework to have far more rigidity than shown in the video referred to in the question. – RedGrittyBrick Jan 30 '18 at 14:35
  • I agree this is poorly installed, and your answer is correct. The plumbing should never be the support, and a blob of silicone won’t do it either. – Tyson Jan 30 '18 at 14:42
  • The bar mixing valves I have seen described do not have a central attachment point but rather are only held by the two supply lines. In that case the supply lines MUST be rigidly clamped to the wall or to the structure inside the wall. The model in this case has a central member which caused me to speculate about. My comments are based on speculation. – Jim Stewart Jan 30 '18 at 14:46
  • The piping on both bar mixers and this exposed mixer should doubly secured. ie. the pipes themselves secured to studs/block/whatever before tiling and secure with mounting plates that come with the mixer. Both have been omitted here. Even with bar mixers, the mixer should never be supported by the pipes, but by the mounting plates. – Niall Jan 30 '18 at 14:51

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