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Exploding Shower Glass Doors


When one man replaced the rollers on his shower door, he was astounded to have the door literally explode into thousands of tiny shards of glass. He was simply holding the door when the event occurred, causing numerous gashes over his hands and arms.

Experiencing the same phenomenon in a wildly different situation, another man heard a strange popping sound upstairs while having his coffee one morning. When he went up to investigate, the shower door was lying in 1,000 pieces across the bathroom floor, seemingly sledgehammered to smithereens.

If you can relate to these experiences, you are one of thousands of people who have had to go to the emergency room when their shower doors unexpectedly shattered. If you’ve suffered personal injuries, it may be worth a visit to a local attorney.

Why Such Danger?

 Why are shower doors posing such a danger? It’s all because of the glass they’re made from, with is federally mandated to be tempered glass. Usually, tempered glass is the glass of choice.

According to glass experts, “Tempered glass has within it a huge amount of energy.” Microscopic nickel sulfide inclusions often get trapped in the glass during manufacturing, and the glass weakens during normal temperature related expansion and contraction. Ultimately, a weakened area becomes vulnerable to even slight taps or bangs. Stored energy is bursting to get out, so a small nick can give that energy the release it wants, sometimes hours after the nick.

Midnight Explosions

Some individuals have been awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of cracking glass, followed by a loud explosion as the glass shatters and crashes to the floor. Most of these reports occur between 12:00-3:00 a.m. Some hypothesize that when the door’s edge is nicked during the day, the energy builds up until it ultimately explodes hours later. Some believe that framed doors are somewhat safer due to the protected edges.

Assigning Blame

 So who is responsible for a shattered shower door? Was the glass defective? Was the door incorrectly mounted? Those in the business claim doors are regularly tested, and point out that the tempered glass is much safer than non-tempered glass, in that the large, dangerously sharp shards that are produced when a typical sheet of glass breaks could cause much more serious injuries than the tiny bits of glass that cascade from a tempered glass door.

Nonetheless, serious injuries occur when these doors explode, including lacerations and embedded bits of glass under the skin. One window expert claims that imperfections in the glass—often microscopic– are the culprit. While shower door manufacturers note the incidents are rare, there is no question that they do, indeed, occur. And when they do, somebody has to pay for repairs, medical costs, and time away from work.

At the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton, our experienced team has your back. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a free, confidential consultation today.