Introduction: Plastic Welding a Cracked Shower Base
One saturday morning the wife goes downstairs while i step into the shower,shortly after she runs in saying there's water pouring through the ceiling or to be more precise through the door frame directly under the shower.I thought at first the pipe was leaking and looked around the joints before discovering there was a crack running round the plug hole in the shower base.
This wasn't good news because getting the plumber in, it turns out the builders had cut into the plasterboard under the tiles to accomodate the shower tray(the house is 17 years old)and this meant taking off the tiles to get the old one out and new tray in and probably breaking some,as these can't be matched it meant re-tiling all the shower and probably the ensuite to match,so as this comes at a bad time money wise i simply siliconed it -a few weeks later i forgot and stood on the plughole and heard a crack,which meant the split had got bigger. In the meantime i had seen the utube video of a guy in Vietnam mending a plastic wheel with a soldering iron and wondered if i could do the same with the shower base,with nothing really to lose i decided to try it
Step 1: Tool
the tool of choice is my gas powered soldering gun with knife shaped broad tip.I had practised on a scrap plastic cover and knew that the repair isnt pretty but it can be strong unfortunately the best way is to weld both sides but due to the accessibility i couldnt really get to the underneath very well.Anyway i cleaned the crack up and ran the hot iron sidewards round the crack creating a V shape,then turned the blade and filled the V in by rubbing the plastic back into it.Sorry i have no pictures of me doing that but to be honest its better in a video,the object is not to go mad and apply lots of pressure-the hot iron will do the work with the lightest of touches-its advisable to well ventilate the area.
Step 2: Cleaning Up the Weld
i did manage to dab part of the crack underneath and decide to clean the upper weld to make it look better and feel smoother-a bit of rubbing with emery cloth and you can see its starting to look better,this probably weakens the joint a bit but in this case aesthetics won the day
Step 3: Finished Article
I continued to rub down until it was smooth and then siliconed in the plug waste spreading it thinly over the crack to ensure waterproofing while putting a load underneath to seal underneath as well.The result while not pretty is stronger than silicon alone and while im trying to keep off the plug hole -i hope it will last till money get a bit easier