Hansgrohe thermobalance problems

janwadOctober 23, 2010

A while back when planning my new shower, discussions here led me to pick a Hansgrohe Thermobalance II valve and trim.

I'm so unhappy right now with it. It took 2 visits from a plumber to get it working.

The first problem is that the screw holes are not accurately made. I found another discussion about that on the net, so I know I'm no the only one. The screws tend to go in part way and lock in place. We finally had to cut one off.

The biggest surprise is that this expensive, heavy, all metal, well made trim comes with a big escutcheon plate that is held on by velcro.

Yup, velcro. When I wrote an email to Hansgrohe complaining about how I was disappointed I'd have to caulk it to get it watertight, they said it was designed to not be caulked.

Does anyone else seriously think that their plumbing should be sealed with stick on bits of velcro? I hate the look of external rings of caulk.

The inexpensive Moen on my other shower looks a lot better to me now. And my plumber just says 'told you so'.

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Janwad, I recently had a Hansgrohe Thermobalance III installed, and we're quite happy with it. I was also surprised when the cover plate seemed a little loose, and my contractor told me it was velcroed in place. I'd guess Hansgrohe has determined that screws and screw holes aren't ideal for wet locations because they can drip or get frozen or stripped preventing access years down the road, so they use velcro. It's not as if this is some cheap plastic product where they're trying to cut corners to save a buck; it's clearly an intentional design decision. No screw on or snap-in plate is going to be waterproof, either. (And I'd say that any plumber who says "I told you so" about your choice of Hansgrohe over Moen is simply a plumber who is used to dealing with Moen and other typical consumer-level products rather than higher-end products.)

I told my contractor that the thing I didn't like is that the plate seemed a little loose, and he agreed to run a thin bead of silicone around the inside of the top of the plate, which holds it securely in place, but leaves the bottom open for water -- which inevitably gets behind the plate -- to escape. It now feels completely solid and works fine. The slight amount of silicone is all-but-invisible unless you stick your eye right up to it -- I obsess over esthetic details, and I don't see it at all when I'm in the shower. I'm sorry you don't like the Hansgrohe, because I really like mine -- and would choose it 1,000 times out of 1,000 over our old Moen! -- but I wouldn't let the velcro which is hidden completely out of sight bother you as long as it works. Consider some silicone instead of caulk.

-- Eric

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 1:15PM
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I've got a Thermobalance too and was also initially surprised at the velcro for the escutcheon. But it has been a nonissue. We used Kerdifix to fill any gaps around the pipe and so we know that everything is snugly watertight back there as far as the pipes are concerned.

As Eric said nothing is really going to be waterproof anyway for an esctucheon of that size especially considering that there are more than likely going to be grout lines going through the area.

Ours has been in two years. Also agree that I'd question a plumber who can see and feel the HG and still think it compares with the Moen. Our problem was that our plumber needed to read the directions with the Hansgrohe and didn't particularly want to.... also he decided to install without doing a flush and so we had some problems with drips until we opened it up and cleaned it out.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 4:40PM
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I have used hansgrohe in the past. I just siliconed the plate to the wall on the top 3/4 of the plate leaving the bottom open.
The build quality and functionality of hansgrohe is unmatched...

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 5:25PM
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I know this is an old thread but the problems described with the Hansgrohe faucet are familiar. My shower faucet (Solaris) has now been installed for nearly 8 years with no problem whatsoever in that time.

If the faucet is installed according to Hansgrohe directions there will be no problem. I too experienced a plumber who didn't want to read or couldn't read. He cross threaded the screws and I had to cut the bolt off to fix it. I then told him to vacate the premises. Hansgrohe sent me a set of new screws, no cost.

If the roughin is installed correctly there can be no water leaking into the wall; impossible. The velcro is a non issue as well. It simply holds the esctucheon (cover plate) in place. That plate is for aesthetics only, not to seal any water out so no caulk is necessary. In fact the water drains behind it and down the wall.

I have all Hansgrohe fixtures in our house and in nearly 8 years have been completely satisfied and they still look beautiful and feel great.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 2:58PM
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I too have found plumber problems. They don't like to read it seems. Not only with Hansgrohe but with my Kohler overflow installation. The instructions clearly said "silicone" the rubber gasket in place. Plumber said "oh its rubber it wont need it. The next day with my flood test I called him back to report water running out of the overflow and into my crawl space! Fortunately it wasn't a second floor bath. There was an issue with the plumber not wanting to read my Hansgrohe installation instructions too. I stood there and read and then re-read the instructions to him and insisted that he do it according to the instructions. He wanted to cut off my plaster guards in my wall mounted faucet system. I said "no". I am very happy with his plumbing aspects, just not his fixture installation aspects.

As I read the instructions for installing the Hansgrohe rough in for my new shower, there is no way it is going to leak. There are several water proofing steps inside the wall and under the tile that look very good. I don't know about velcro at the escutcheon, as I don't have my set in yet.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 7:35AM
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