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  1. #1
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Folding Shower Seat

    I was fortunate enough (haha) to be able to attend the CE class for my plumbing license today. The instructor told a tale that maybe HI's should consider adding to the list of FYI items when encountered. He was a plumbing inspector for the city.

    It involves a folding seat in one piece handicap accessible shower stall. It seems that the seats are rated for 250 pounds and a 300 pound guy sat on the seat...the seat broke...he hit his head and died. Needless to say lawsuits popped up everywhere. I have only seen one folding seat in a shower but the next time I do I will put in the report that most seats are rated at 250 pounds and this should be taken into consideration when the seat is used. May not help but it can't hurt.

    He also had a list of 2011 code changes that I will post some of them later on for general information.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Folding Shower Seat

    The only time I have seen a folding seat in a shower it has been a portable freestanding product that isn't part of the shower.

    Are you describing a built-in, attached folding seat? Otherwise, I don't comment on removable furniture that, I would presume, goes with the seller, not the house.

    Dom.


  3. #3
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Folding Shower Seat

    Yes...this was built into a one piece shower stall. Not freestanding..


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Folding Shower Seat

    Folding shower seats have been around for a long time.

    Not unlike grab bars they require attachment and reinforcement to wall blocking and/or steel plates which are theselves properly installed and supported to withstand the forces involved.

    There are folding seats which have hinged supporting legs and those which do not.

    Common to encounter in ADA accessible roll in showers at "accessible' hotel rooms, in hospital facilities, rehabilitation and nursing care facilities, an accessory, like grab bars, which have been installed in HOMES for decades, as assistive devices. An ADA Compliant shower compartment folding shower seat need only meet a 250 lb. load capacity to meet the ADA. Any capacity higher than 250 lbs. is elective.

    Obviously the described was not properly installed to and supported by supportive blocking & framing correctly, and/or the use exceeded the manufacturer's capacity rating. It is more common than not to find self contained shower compartments to be installed incorrectly, not sufficiently secured, supported, reinforced, and/or attached. Typically common to not find "regular" tubs installed incorrectly, esp. support framing/blocking as well. Rarely do you even find new toilets plaster filled bases to support and prevent rocking or travel - unfastened shims are the usual in res. these days.

    Even modern built homes can be easily stressed by the live load stresses of bariatric occupants.

    Limits frequently found, and always with cavats regarding correctness of installation and supporting framing, blocking and/or plates; include: 225 lbs, 250 lbs (ADA minimum capacity), 300 lbs, 350 lbs, 400 lbs,++ etc.. Generally, anything exceeding 225-250 lbs in DME (durable medical equipment) or accessibility products is "heavy duty", 325/350/400 lbs+ may cross-over "heavy duty" depending on height adjustments the type of equipment and/or "commercial", "hospital grade" status and enters or approaches the arena of "bariatric" equipment.

    Almost always supported blocking. minimally 2x10" 2x12 crippled/jack leg or continuous blocking and support from floor structure or plate up to and above the mounting zone is specified as minimum recommendations, sometimes further supported, and/or 12 ga.+ steel plate sometimes more depending on depth and type of wall and load capacity. It is also determinative as to if the manufacturer claims the fold-down shower seat complies with ADA, is home-use, commercial use, hospital grade, and if "bariatric" ranges.

    Below in the quote box, is an example of actual installation notes regarding instructions for a fold-down ADA shower seat which complies with ADAAG 4.26.3 which specifies structural strength of grab bars, tub and shower seats, fasteners and mounting devices.; that has been (as declared by manufacturer): "folding shower seats have been designed and tested to withstand 400 lbs.* of load capacity when properly installed." *This load capacity is not minimally required ADA minimum is 250 lbs. - the actual capacity varies by manufacturer and model.


    Typical installation:
    The typical shower wall surround may be a 2x4 wood stud frame, covered with gypsum drywall, tile board or plaster. The shower wall finish is usually ceramic tile. These materials alone are not adequate to support the fold down seat unless you can mount into existing wood blocking or wall studs. You can use a 1/8th-inch masonry bit, drill through the tile grout to determine if studs are in place.

    Strong wall support is required:
    Installation of the wall mounted folding shower seat requires wood blocking in a typical stud wall. This is not a problem in new construction. We suggest installing continuous 2 x 12 wood blocking between the studs, starting from the floor plate up to at least 24 inches above the shower floor. Remodeling an existing shower can be more involved. If the shower backs up to an interior wall, consider removing the wallboard and installing the blocking from the backside. If not, it may be required to remove and replace a portion of the existing shower wall tile.

    Anchoring hardware requirements:
    Once the wood blocking is in place and the wall finish has been installed, mounting the folding shower seat is simple. Position the shower seat at the required height, normally 17-19 inches above the floor. Use a marker to mark the flange and wall bracket screw locations. Use a punch and hammer to carefully nick the tile to prevent the drill bit from wondering. Use a masonry bit and drill through the tile. All anchoring hardware must be carefully selected to insure proper installation.

    OUR SHOWER SEATS ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS THE MOUNTING HARDWARE CHOSEN AND THE WALLS ON WHICH THEY ARE MOUNTED.

    IMPORTANT INSTALLATION NOTE:
    The actual "in use" load bearing capacity of any shower seat, however, will be limited by the strength of its mounting surface and installation hardware. We recommend that shower seats be installed using 2" minimum thickness "in wall" solid wood backing material with #10 x 2" stainless steel, phillips-head, machine screws, fender washers and nuts. Or using a wall embedded, minimum 12 ga. (2.8mm) steel anchor plate with #10 x 24 stainless steel machine screws. in conjunction with the wood backing for tiled shower walls. Please contact the factory for further mounting recommendations.

    Under no circumstances should any shower seat be mounted to drywall, sheetrock, plaster, fiberglass, acrylic or other similar "hollow" wall surfaces without appropriate wood or steel backing material.



    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 08-07-2011 at 11:34 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Folding Shower Seat

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post

    (....Lots of needless H G Watson text should be inserted here) .....
    .

    ADA transfer seats are a different item. But you knew that, because you're a "Home Inspector".

    Thanks for your "input".

    Dom.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Folding Shower Seat

    Now that's funny


  7. #7
    Mike agnello's Avatar
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    Default Re: Folding Shower Seat

    H.G. Watson -how many pages were your inspection reports?
    Even your location was long winded and filed w unnecessary and useless information.
    Too bad that post was so long and most people won't read it. There was actually a few sentences that had useful information.
    Thanks Dom. I would have never given a shower seat a second look.


  8. #8
    Bruce Grant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Folding Shower Seat

    Been in the construction and renovation business forty years. Bought, renovated and resold over a dozen homes, every one to a higher standard. One of the things that separated me from the herd then was my willingness to read all the instructions on material information sheets. It kept me from making mistakes in installing products wrong. Also saved my business from several major lawsuits that other builders got wrapped up in. One with a siding install and one with steel roofing in particular.

    Now that I am a full time home inspector I haven't changed. I still read all the information, and that includes the information in the posts I chose to read, and my clients get the benefit. For those inspectors who skip through a post rather than read it for understanding I have no sympathy should they when they get summonsed to court for something they missed. In fact I will end this with the hope the inspectors who take the short route are all in my neck of the woods.

    Kudos to the posters that provide all the information they can. I can winnow out what is relevant to me or my client and that is a lot more useful to me than having too little, or half the information...

    Bruce Grant
    Done Right Home Inspections
    www.muskokahomeinspection.ca

    Last edited by Bruce Grant; 08-08-2011 at 06:39 AM. Reason: address correction

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Folding Shower Seat

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino

    Quote Originally Posted by false quote by Dom D'Agostino making erroneous and stupendous remark

    (....Lots of needless H G Watson text should be inserted here) .....
    ADA transfer seats are a different item. But you knew that, because you're a "Home Inspector".

    Thanks for your "input".

    Dom.
    First of all, apparently you don't know what the heck you are talking about!! You claim a distinction with a difference, for which THERE IS NONE.

    INSTALLED folding seats in a compartmentalized shower compartment.

    The 2010 Guidelines, 2004 ADAAG, 28 CFR part 35.151, (trailing back to before 1992), ANSI standards, etc. have Residential applicability in certain circumstances; Items such as shower compartment seats, grab bars, etc. marked, sold, and installed merely as being ADA or ADAAG compliant are only minimally required to withstand 250 lbs of force when INSTALLED correctly as directed. IF THE USER MAY OR WILL SUBJECT TO MORE THAN 250 lbs force it is up to the USER to assure that the installation/equipment can accomodate; "stronger" or greater capacity ratings exceed the minimally required STANDARDS.

    The Design forces minimum required regarding structural support for both grab bars and INSTALLED shower compartment (standard roll-in, alternate roll-in, or TRANSFER TYPE) seating (which includes that which is folding or not) has been and remains as follows: withstanding 250 lbs of horizontal OR vertical force (which does not necessarily equate to a maximum user weight of 250 lbs!).


    609 Grab bars.

    609.8 Structural Strength. Allowable stresses shall not be exceeded for materials used when a vertical or horizontal force of 250 pounds (1112 N) is applied at any point on the grab bar, fastener, mounting device, or supporting structure

    610 Seats (be they removable bathtub seats, installed transfer seats, or installed, folding or not, shower compartment seats):

    610.4 Structural Strength.Allowable stresses shall not be exceeded for materials used when a vertical or horizontal force of 250 pounds (1112 N) is applied at any point on the seat, fastener, mounting device, or supporting structure.

    Anything above or beyond regarding capacity is voluntary.

    You'd also "have a clue" regarding Shower Compartments (608) containing same.

    2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Folding Shower Seat

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    The only time I have seen a folding seat in a shower it has been a portable freestanding product that isn't part of the shower.

    Are you describing a built-in, attached folding seat? Otherwise, I don't comment on removable furniture that, I would presume, goes with the seller, not the house.

    Dom.
    "Dom": you don't even read the original post; you admit that you have had no experience; and you obviously have no KNOWLEDGE in this area!

    Yet you PRESUME and CONTINUE to make IGNORANT, disparaging and unprofessional comments.

    Mr. Duffin said:

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin original topic post Titled FOLDING SHOWER SEAT

    It involves a folding seat in one piece handicap accessible shower stall. It seems that the seats are rated for 250 pounds and a 300 pound guy sat on the seat...the seat broke...he hit his head and died. Needless to say lawsuits popped up everywhere. I have only seen one folding seat in a shower but the next time I do I will put in the report that most seats are rated at 250 pounds and this should be taken into consideration when the seat is used. May not help but it can't hurt.

    Distinctions Mr. Duffin relayed from his CE participation, quite specifically, and correctly - and which in your own ignorance, you failed and continue to fail to grasp, EVEN when he directly responded to your question here:

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    Yes...this was built into a one piece shower stall. Not freestanding..

    Note to J. Duffin - great topic.

    I would recommend this to ALL home inspectors, pertaining to accessible design (as a SUMMARY reference), especially when inspecting those residential units under construction/alteration and/or offered for sale under circumstances which are mandated to comply. The introduction also includes the dates and references regarding prior legislation and effective dates. You'll find loads of references to residential as well.

    2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design



    Above produced by the US Department of Justice, September 15, 2010; 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 08-08-2011 at 09:50 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Folding Shower Seat

    Yet you PRESUME and CONTINUE to make IGNORANT, disparaging and unprofessional comments. You claim a distinction with a difference, for which THERE IS NONE.

    O.K.

    I'll pardon your use of the English Language, as it appears you have some additional classes to attend. Don't give up, you can learn it if you try. We are all here for you. You have demonstrated great success and I believe you can succeed. Keep going...

    Yes, it's true, I make remarks that you find disparaging. Please defer your questions to a local Home Inspector in your home town. Your concerns are noted. Thank you for your input. Keep trying, the Inspection News Community is routing for HG.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Folding Shower Seat

    Folding Shower Seats ADA Compliant - Adaptive Access

    Folding shower seat mounting instructions:

    Adequate wall support is absolutely necessary! Installation of the wall mounted folding shower seat requires wood blocking in a typical stud wall. We suggest installing continuous 2 x 12 wood blocking between the studs, starting from the floor plate up to at least 24 inches above the shower floor.

    With the top of the seat 18" above the floor, make sure that the top of the seat is level and mount the wall flanges. Keep the seat level, mount the wall plate and bracket with the diagonal leg supporting the seat in the folded down position..

    Purchase shower seats from our web site: http://www.adaptiveaccess.com/shower_seat.php


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Folding Shower Seat



    These handicap shower benches come in various sizes, colors and materials. These shower seats have been tested to withstand a weight capacity of 400 lbs. when properly installed.

    ADA Fold Down Shower Seat - L-Shape - Elcoma


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