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Lee Wallender

Glass Shower Door Shattered By Itself?

By July 29, 2013

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Glass Shower Door Shattered By Itself

I get a lot of nutty e-mails.† So, when I got an email from a reader who claimed that "our upstairs bathroom shower door spontaneously exploded in the middle of the night," I wrote back and asked if, perhaps, the door hadn't actually fallen from the frame and shattered on the floor, giving the impression that it exploded.† I couldn't believe that this had actually happened.

Close Up Shattered Glass Door

And let's just ignore the fact that even my innocent explanation is quite sinister.† After all, shower glass isn't supposed to fall from frames.† But even that would be preferable to what actually happened...

The reader provided enough details and photos to convince me that, yes, the door had shattered while in place:

The middle of it blew clean apart leaving glass shards inside†the frame.† We were awakened by a very loud explosion upstairs .† It was pretty scary.† My daughter who sleeps upstairs said that she heard two noises.† The first was like a big crack noise.† Minutes or an hour later the thing 'exploded'.

The unbelievable now made believable.

If this reader tries to make someone accountable--glass manufacturer or door manufacturer--I can already hear the run-around.† Glass people will say their glass was improperly fitted into the frame by the door people.† Door people will say that the glass itself was defective.

We've got plenty of documentary evidence that this reader is not alone, including an ABC News report.

Any readers have similar experiences on spontaneously-shattering shower doors?† Recommendations for seeking restitution from the manufacturer(s)?† If so, please post as a comment.

 

Comments

August 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm
(1) Harold says:

We had a similar experience happen to us but it was a new patio table with a glass top. We had purchased the patio outfit from Wall Mart the previous spring. We never heard any explosion, but one morning we noticed the
table top had literally disintegrated. The whole table top was in pieces
less than the size of a dime. Wall Mart replaced the top, but they said
they never had this happen before. There was no signs of any heavy
objects near the table.

August 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm
(2) Cathy says:

We also had this experience with a glass top patio table. One afternoon I heard the sound of shattering glass, and discovered the top of the table had spontaneously shattered into a million tiny shards. It was part of a Martha Stewart set we purchased from Kmart, and a web search revealed many other people had this happen to their tables, too. Neither Martha or Kmart owned up to a problem with these glass tops. I read they were made in China with a blend of cheap materials that are less stable than true tempered glass.

August 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm
(3) Cathy says:

We also had this experience with a glass top patio table. One afternoon I heard the sound of shattering glass, and discovered the top of the table had spontaneously shattered into a million tiny shards. It was part of a Martha Stewart set we purchased from Kmart, and a web search revealed many other people had this happen to their tables, too. Neither Martha or Kmart owned up to a problem with these glass tops. I read they were made in China with a blend of cheap materials that are less stable than true tempered glass.

August 7, 2013 at 2:12 am
(4) Tonya says:

Um I just walked upstairs for the first time since getting home from work and my shower door had also exploded. I found your post by a search as I could not figure out what had happened. I have a pic if you can tell me how to get to you…the glass sprayed out over six feet – this is very scary.

August 13, 2013 at 11:45 am
(5) andy greenough says:

My shower screen also did this only last night at 1.40am
I woke to my wife jumping out of bed and I could not believe what had happened as the screen has been in for 3 yrs

August 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm
(6) Ruth says:

I had a new one delivered today, on removing it from the packaging it looked ok, however as my husband held it, (not touching anything apart from his hands either side) the whole thing exploded in his face. No injuries but it has damaged his glasses (thank God for short sightedness)! However the really scary thing is how far the glass flew, it is everywhere, this happened at the bottom of the stairs, I have glass on the upstairs landing, under the fridge in the kitchen and halfway across the lounge, plus a couple of bit balancing precariously on top of my fusebox!!

September 14, 2013 at 10:39 am
(7) Sandy says:

This just happened to us! We were sleeping and crazy crash! The shower doer just shattered! Still can’t believe it and cleaning it up. Had to look it up because it was so strange. Turns out this isn’t entirely unheard of. Hope insurance will cover it or at least the glass company get us a new one! Woke us up at 6:30am :(

September 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm
(8) Claire says:

Shower screen just exploded in the middle of night, freaked out decided to sleep downstairs with dog! any explanation please?

September 27, 2013 at 7:36 am
(9) Joe says:

Likewise, I just entered a downstairs shower-room which is rarely – if ever – used, and found that the 4-year old shower door had completely shattered sometime in the last two weeks without us knowing. some glass remains in the three stainless-steel hinges it hung on. there have been no dramatic temperature swings and the door has not been touched in the last two weeks so this is a mystery. Anyone – any scientific ideas?

October 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm
(10) Angela says:

Mine just exploded /shatter out of nowhere. Its glass everywhere and i cannot understand the reason why?? I’m still shaking :(

October 18, 2013 at 7:31 pm
(11) Kerry says:

Our downstairs/basement glass sliding shower door exploded today! My son was doing schoolwork and I was upstairs when we both heard a big explosion. Thankfully he was not in the bathroom at the time. My husband didn’t believe it at first and we searched on the Internet and found other instances. We live in Colorado and today was our first snow of the season, I’m not sure if this would contribute since our house is heated. We are not replacing but putting up a rod and shower curtain.

October 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm
(12) Cheryl says:

This just happened to our 3 yr old Kohler Sterling shower door this morning. We were not in the house at the time of the initial blowout; I was dumbfounded when I walked in the bathroom and found the shower door with a large hole in the center and a pile of glass on the floor. It was still popping and crackling with chunks of glass falling out and continued to do so for over an hour until my husband got home and knocked the rest of it out. I found shards that had blown across the room behind the toilet and under the closet door. This is a serious problem that needs to be remedied…the outcome could be quite disastrous.

October 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm
(13) Greg says:

We had a spontaneous glass shower door explosion in SoCal this morning too, luckily no one was killed. There was no seismic activity reported at or around that time.

November 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm
(14) Robby says:

I was going to recaulk a friends bath tub. I wanted to remove the sliding glass shower doors. I carefully removed the outside door and began lowering the door to the floor allowing the door to lower to the top of my left foot before lowering it to the floor. Then all of sudden the door exploded in my hand causing minor cuts to my wrist. Small pieces of glass went everywhere. I couldn’t believe what had just happened after being so careful removing the door. I had never heard of anything like that happening until tonight. There was going to be a special report on the news about shower doors inexplicably exploding. However, due to technical problems they weren’t able to report the story. I then got online to look for this problem and here it is.

November 5, 2013 at 10:43 am
(15) Liz says:

I went to take a shower this morning and the bathroom was filled with glass. The shower door had exploded overnight. Crazy!

November 9, 2013 at 10:06 am
(16) Sar says:

Happened to me yesterday at 5:30a.m.

November 11, 2013 at 8:37 am
(17) David Beebe says:

Found myself leaping out of bed at 10:30P after hearing a tremendous crashing sound. Opted not to grab a weapon but investigated around the house and didn’t find anything. When I walked into the bathroom this morning I found the source of the crash to be an exploding glass shower door. Good thing the glass is tempered; i walked right onto a pile of it when I opened the door in my morning stupor. Unbelievable! Praise God that nobody was in the shower at the time. I’ll be removing the glass shower doors and replacing with anything else. Seems to be a new problem related to poor manufacturing practices

November 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm
(18) joseph oliva says:

hii im joseph oliva from malta and the same happen to me!!! I can t explaine the shattering?!tomorrow im going to mrcd malta to give explanation of what happen and hope to be refunded?!

November 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm
(19) joseph oliva says:

ca anyone explane pls what really happen when cubicles explode?

November 18, 2013 at 4:58 am
(20) Burgebird says:

745am this morning .. Massive explosion, thought the house was falling down… Then the sound of what I thought was falling plaster or maisionary … Looked out my bedroom window nothing there. My husband ran upstairs thinking it was me in our shower room in the bedroom .. But it wasn’t … Looked in the spare bathroom and the corner shower screen had exploded and there was a massive hole in the middle and glass was tumbling out like a waterfall … Thank god my kids weren’t in there… Really strange as no one had been in there since yesterday (used the loo) and the actual shower itself is only used for guests and hadn’t been used for at least 6 weeks.

November 20, 2013 at 1:26 am
(21) Rosemary Boyle says:

We had a shower door that exploded three days before our son’s wedding, with house guests coming. It was very scary! I keep info on products I buy so I had a phone number to call, except the manufacturer was in Canada! They called around my area and located one supplier and told me to pick it up if I needed it right away, which we did. There was no charge. Luckily, it got installed that day, but we were both shocked and lucky. Ironically, while we were at the supplier, telling them our story about the exploding showdr doors, the manager told us it happens in the warehouse where they store shower doors quite often. Just as he finished telling us this, we heard a loud explosion from the back room warehouse! It was another door exploding!

November 24, 2013 at 1:25 am
(22) David and Patty Jo Yount says:

We had a beautiful new marble bathroom installed in our home. Within one week, both sliding door exploded an hour after my shower. Our contractor put new ones in, but said it had never happened to him before. 3 years ago. We were just thankful that I was not in the shower when it happened. I swept up a ten gallon bucket full of glass.

Rev. David W. Yount

November 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm
(23) Kathy says:

My shower door exploded on November 3, 2013.
So weird to see all these happening, based on the notices here, in the same time period.
Definitely would like an answer as to why this happened. My door has been in about 8 years and is used infrequently as in a finished basement washroom.
Very odd!!

November 27, 2013 at 6:14 am
(24) James says:

Shower door shattered tonight scared the blank out of us look at the door closer and you could still hear the glass cracking looked like a gunshot hole that spread verry strange hope landlord don’t think we broke it lol

November 27, 2013 at 7:56 am
(25) N says:

My shower door shattered two nights ago while we slept. It was one of two sliding doors and was inside the other so most of the glass was in the tub and not in the bathroom. I got online and was relieved to find that it was a thing that happens. I’m sure my landlord thinks I’m lying.

December 4, 2013 at 11:01 pm
(26) Emily says:

This morning my Kohler shower door exploded out of nowhere. We were sleeping thank goodness and heard a huge boom, and when we walked in it sounded like popcorn popping all over the room and shattered glass was everywhere. Insane and so scary.

December 19, 2013 at 5:40 am
(27) Carol Thomas says:

My shower door just exploded yesterday in our main bathroom. This happened to us about 2 years ago in our en suite. It happened for no reason. Just makes such a mess. Very spooky.

December 28, 2013 at 1:49 pm
(28) Ernest says:

Walk-in shower door exploded this morning with no one home. Hinge and door stop still in the closed position but most all of the glass is in tiny fragments. Nearby walk-in closet had glass in places that made it look like the door was open but it wasn’t. Glass traveled pretty far under the closet door.

Now to figure out how to replace the thing!

January 4, 2014 at 1:45 pm
(29) Rick says:

Just happened to me too. Happened to my oven door a few months ago. Gonna remove and replace with a curtain I think.

January 4, 2014 at 10:01 pm
(30) Rmatzinger says:

Another one for the record. Shower right side panel -tempered glass. 7am awoke to a crash. Went in to bathroom and saw shards of long thin glass on floor and loud crackling as the panel was completely shattered and still popping loud. I immediately shut the door and put towels behind as I expected the rest to come crashing down any minute. It held together at about 90% for a couple of hours until my husband geared up and push it out so it wouldn’t fall /shatter unexpectedly all over. Scary feeling. Will I ever trust my shower again to relax. What if other panels are defective?
. I researched today and it said to check doors and edges regularly for any breaks or pings no matter how tiny. Not sure if it would have prevented any of us or not but I will do, It was installed in a remodel just 10 months ago.

January 13, 2014 at 11:29 pm
(31) Zola says:

I I am 82 and as a student nurse, way back, our wards were issued with useful “unbreakable” drinking glasses. They were withdraw after several incidents of spontaneous explosions

January 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm
(32) prema says:

I had this happen to me yesterday. My glass sling door in my shower exploded leaving glass everywhere. There was a loud boom. The bathroom door was closed to keep my small children out. No one was in the bathroom. I walked in to this horror. When I told my landlord about it he didn’t believe me. He said there was no was this could have happened. He said he doesn’t have money to fix it. He said he doesn’t want to be a landlord and he wants to sell the house. He’s tired of coming to my house because just two weeks before this my house was 45 degrees inside and my heat was set at 79 degrees so I ask him if he would fix the heating system because my children were cold. He’s fed up now. So I don’t know if my children and I will be homeless soon because my landlord doesn’t want to believe that glass spontaneously shatters.

January 15, 2014 at 11:28 am
(33) Toni says:

Jan 14, 2014 – I woke up at 6am from what sounded like a gun shot, or a loud explosion. Was i surprised to look in my bathroom and see one of the shower doors had shattered. There was glass everywhere, some of the glass still in tact, but clearly shattered. How can this happen? My husband had just taken a shower and left for the work, he did not find anything strange about the doors. I think he was lucky. I have pictures!

January 16, 2014 at 3:53 am
(34) SEM says:

This happened to me at 11:30 pm tonight — was lying in bed and heard a huge crash. I assumed it was my neighbors but got up and walked around — went into the bathroom and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that my sliding glass shower door was in a million pieces. I live in an apartment complex built in the 1950′s-60′s that’s in pretty great shape, couldn’t even wrap my mind around how the shower door had broken — I was looking around trying to figure out if something could have come in the window (which was only open an inch and we live on the top floor, so it would have to have been something thrown at a crazy angle).

My boyfriend looked this up on the Internet and while I’m not glad this has happened to so many people, I at least feel less crazy. I might print this and a few of the news stories online about spontaneously shattering glass doors so my landlord doesn’t think I’m making this up. Heck, if it hadn’t happened while I was home I would think I was making this up!

January 25, 2014 at 10:04 am
(35) Ray says:

I can contribute two further reports of spontaneously exploding shower glass in two different bathrooms in my house; In March 2013 whilst lying in bed I heard a loud crash which I was convinced was caused by some large flying object striking the roof of the house. On investigation it was the spontaneous exploding of one of the narrow side panels in a corner quadrant shower. Nobody around, no temperature shifts, no obvious cause. The unit was about three years old. One in a million we thought – then during Christmas 2013 whilst the entire family was at the dinner table there was a loud crash in the unoccupied upstairs. This time it was a different bathroom, a different manufacturer (Huppe) and it was one of a pair of curved sliding doors on a quadrant shower which had dramatically and spectacularly failed. As before, only three years old. I have zero confidence in both of these showers and eagerly await the opportunity to replace them with a safer alternative.

February 7, 2014 at 11:19 pm
(36) Peter says:

Yes, this happened to us as well. I thought of the possibility that it had fallen from the frame but since the shattered fragments were equally inside and outside the bath on which it was positioned, a spontaneous shattering and disintegration seemed the most likely scenario.

February 8, 2014 at 11:31 pm
(37) jen says:

Our shower glass wall shattered in a million pieces last night by itself. When we were cleaning up my husband was moving the heaving glass door it just blew up in his hands. He got a few nicks. The whole bathroom is covered in a million pieces. I’ll have to throw out the toothbrushes incase they have glass in them. It was a frameless shower.

February 10, 2014 at 2:37 pm
(38) Todd Zimmerman says:

We purchased a Kohler shower with glass doors…. Model # R702206-G54….approx 5/2012…about 12/2012 one of the doors exploded. We went to Lowes and they replaced the door…..about 2 months ago, another one of the doors exploded…do I keep going back for more?

February 10, 2014 at 10:52 pm
(39) Kaitlyn says:

Had this happen last night. I was cooking dinner and my son and I heard a big crash. Came into restroom and found my entire shower door broken into a million pieces on the floor with nothing standing. Had it installed one year ago and company refuses to replace it even though we have 5 yr warrantee. Rude supervisor responded and said I had no proof of defect. She told me the glass could not harm any human. Not even my year old daughter if she was standing in that shower. So irrogant. Do not go to imperial glass tx in Dallas. Ever!!!!!!!!!!

February 12, 2014 at 9:46 am
(40) Roland says:

My shower door shattered by itself at 2:30am last night. My dogs were scared by the sound of the initial pop. Then it continued to creak as if it were raining in the bathroom. It took me hours to clean it up. Though the glass was tempered it left shards that were impossible to see (my foot found some after I cleaned up). I’d like to note it was the door that had the towel handle that shattered. Maybe there is a trend.

2-11-14

Roland

February 17, 2014 at 1:48 am
(41) Karen says:

Yep same thing happened in my bathroom about 30 mins ago scared the hell out of me.

February 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm
(42) Fran says:

OMG……didn’t know this could really happen! A loud explosion woke us up at 3:00am this morning. We got out of bed only to find that the bathroom sliding door had shattered into a million pieces. It’s the inner door, so most of the glass is in the tub. Scary to think had this happened when I took a shower at 10PM just hours before. We took photos, and will leave everything as is for now. Our landlord accuses his tenants for every thing that goes wrong, and this saga won’t be any different. Glad to have you all as backup support! …….Fran

February 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm
(43) Margret says:

Just googled this as my shower wall shattered all over bathroom after I showered 2 evenings ago. Completely shattered after loud explosive noise propelling glass in all directions. Triggered by nothing at all. Bizarre experience! And expensive to replace. Wouldn’t have believed anyone if they told me this before. But, I see, not so rare after all,

February 18, 2014 at 7:23 pm
(44) Doug says:

My wife and I had removed our doors for cleaning. We were both holding the door, me on the inside of the shower, she on the outside. The door exploded in our hands – lots of small cuts, but nothing serious, and thankfully face and eyes were okay. I’ll never touch tempered glass again without safety goggles, long sleeve shirt and gloves.

February 21, 2014 at 10:16 pm
(45) Audrey says:

After the second frameless shower door exploding and cutting my hands as the glass dropped I am going to get shower curtains – doesn’t look as nice but at least won’t have to deal with them breaking – there must be something with these doors to have so many breaking for no reason.

March 4, 2014 at 5:28 am
(46) Jeff says:

last Monday at 3am one of the doors to my shower exploded at 3am. it was so loud freaked me out!! then tonight one week after the first incident i came home from work to find the second door had exploded while i wasn’t here. twice in one week now that’s freaky!!!!

March 6, 2014 at 8:04 am
(47) gaz says:

carried the panel upstairs fitted the gasket and lowered into the frame when an explosion and left holding the frame. suppliers are wanting to sell me the full cubicle rather than a single panel

March 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm
(48) Eliane says:

Yeap, I guess it is not an uncommon thing….. Some one said ” one in a million” ,,, well, after reading all of the comments, I realized there is a big safety issue here…. Last night about 7:30 my 12 year old daughter was taking a bath, she lightly pulled the inner door back a few inches to reach the shampoo and the entire door just burst! She was screaming for help as I run upstairs to find her covered in blood, mostly in her lower body, with hundreds of tiny cuts and lacerations and microscopic pieces of glass embedded all over her skin! She couldn’t move because there were millions of pieces of glass inside and outside the tub. I thru a rug inside the tub so she could step on and another rug on the outside so we could get her out She was crying, in a lot of pain and me and my husband started the difficult task of removing the tiny little pieces of glass from her skin.. It took us almost a half an hour, because you couldn’t really see the glass, you had to feel it! It was everywhere from the neck down to her toes. And try to remove it without pushing into the skin any further, it was a very delicate job. My husband got cut on his hand also while doing this. My poor baby, she just kept crying and bleeding from tenths of different cuts. We then took her to the emergency room and she got stitches in two of the lacerations on her lower leg..

Even after we came home, I was still finding little pieces of glass on her skin!

I’m calling the manufacturer and based on the quantity of recent problems, I think they should put a film around the glass in case it explodes; this way it wouldn’t hurt anyone! And if makes any difference, these shower doors were installed two months ago.

March 13, 2014 at 9:10 pm
(49) tony says:

My wife and I live in PA and built our house 4 years ago. We had hanging tempered glass shower doors installed. 4 weeks ago, one of my sonís shower doors burst. The cleaner stated he sprayed windex to clean the outside of handprints and the minute he sprayed the door it exploded. His hands and legs were cut up from the breakage. We called the installer and person who sold us the doors. He swore that the cleaner must have banged the doors or slammed the doors. The cost to replace $350.

Today (03/13/2014), the same cleaner was spraying the glass doors of my other sons bathroom and this bathroom door shattered as well. This time, however, were bigger and heavier doors. He called us and we came home, his hands were bleeding profusely and he was clearly shaken. He told us that he sprayed the outside and the door burst again.
I called the installer again. Of course, what did I get as an explanation? The house must have settled? What??? Then it was the cleaner must have slammed the doors? We have the remaining glass doors in those bathrooms as well as in all of our other bathrooms. I do not know what to do. Should we replace the broken doors? Do remove all of the glass completely? Are there other alternatives?
I have 4 young sons ( 10,9, 6, and 3) The thought of any of them being in the shower or around the shower doors when they explode is very scary to us.
Any help of advice you could offer would be great.
Tony
-

March 13, 2014 at 9:11 pm
(50) tony says:

My wife and I live in PA and built our house 4 years ago. We had hanging tempered glass shower doors installed. 4 weeks ago, one of my sonís shower doors burst. The cleaner stated he sprayed windex to clean the outside of handprints and the minute he sprayed the door it exploded. His hands and legs were cut up from the breakage. We called the installer and person who sold us the doors. He swore that the cleaner must have banged the doors or slammed the doors. The cost to replace $350.

Today (03/13/2014) , the same cleaner was spraying the glass doors of my other sons bathroom and this bathroom door shattered as well. This time, however, were bigger and heavier doors. He called us and we came home, his hands were bleeding profusely and he was clearly shaken. He told us that he sprayed the outside and the door burst again.
I called the installer again. Of course, what did I get as an explanation? The house must have settled? What??? Then it was the cleaner must have slammed the doors? We have the remaining glass doors in those bathrooms as well as in all of our other bathrooms. I do not know what to do. Should we replace the broken doors? Do remove all of the glass completely? Are there other alternatives?
I have 4 young sons ( 10,9, 6, and 3) The thought of any of them being in the shower or around the shower doors when they explode is very scary to us.
Any help of advice you could offer would be great.
Tony
-

March 16, 2014 at 7:47 pm
(51) Elizabeth Anderson says:

I am so glad hubby was home, master bathroom had a noise that sounded like someone was breaking in… it was the shower door !! Scarey ! And a mess … what to do now ??

March 20, 2014 at 10:18 am
(52) John says:

We were woken at 4:00am by two loud explosions. Our frameless glass shower door had shattered for no apparent reason. Glass primarily in the shower area but also spread all over the bathroom. The door was installed 4 years ago.

April 3, 2014 at 10:24 pm
(53) richard ulanowski says:

my sterling shower door exploded with the center blowing out half in the shower and half on the floor.
It happened on april 3rd 2014 at 10:30pm in our downstairs bathroom.
We here a crashing sound downstairs like something fell off a shelf or chairs falling down, but it was the shower door glass. We have had this door since March 5th 2011.

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