"Only The Second Time One Has Exploded"

FRAMINGHAM A Framingham couple hasn’t been able to use their bathroom lately – because their new blue glass sink exploded. It reportedly blew up over the weekend and no one seems to know why…The president of the company that sold the sink to Stoll, Renovator’s Supply of Millers Falls, told the paper they’ve sold thousands of glass sinks in the last three years and this is only the second time one has exploded.

Don’t know about you but one exploding glass sink is one too many, and now it’s two too many. The company is said to have offered the Stolls a refund or replacement. That’s nice. Good thing in neither case anyone was WASHING THEIR FACE AT THE TIME. If that happens, will Renovator’s Supply of Millers Falls replace or refund your forehead?

Glass Sink Explodes In Framingham Home [WBZ] (Thanks to Jennifer!)

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  1. trecool95 says:

    Having a glass sink is about as necessary as having a gold toilet.

  2. Jean Naimard says:

    It’s not really surprising. Pre-stressed glass is, well, pre-stressed. There is an awful amount of stress put inside those (this is why pre-stressed – or tampered – glass breaks in thousands of tiny bits when it breaks), the idea being that upon failure, the mechanical energy is released within the material, and the resulting shockwave will pulverize the glass in thousands of (hopefully) harmless pieces.

  3. crnk says:

    It says that they offered a refund or replacement. I won’t suggest that a broken glass sink is at all good, but the company has already offered to make good and replace the product.

    Also, I don’t see why they just can’t use the bathrooom. Waiting for CSI to arrive? Hasmat crews not finished with cleanup? Too busy talking to reporters?
    I mean—seriously, she is standing in the bathroom in one of the pictures. So it is safe to be in there, and if she needs to sweep up more glass, then she could have done that already. Not cleaning up is no excuse to say you can’t use something.

  4. rmz says:

    “Glass Sink Failures” tag. Niiiice.

  5. bonzombiekitty says:

    I doubt it actually “exploded”. As mentioned above, it probably just broke apart into a lot of tiny pieces like they’re supposed to when the glass breaks. Sorta like a car window.

  6. Slytherin says:

    Glass sinks may look nice, but don’t seem practical in the long run. This story confirms it.

  7. B says:

    @crnk: Well, they would have a hard time washing their hands afterwards, which is unsanitary.

  8. Myron says:

    Its probably tempered glass, like Pyrex. Tough stuff but when it does break watch out.

  9. bnet41 says:

    I’ll never understand how some stuff ends up being news stories. Does this person know someone at the station? Are they connected?

  10. Danni22 says:

    I work for a plumbing supply company, and it is the policy of a majority of manufacturers that they handle their own warranty and damage issues for anything that has been installed. The supplier themselves have little to no recourse for anything that has already been installed. It is unfair to blame the supplier. It was good customer service for them to offer the credit.

  11. Marce says:

    My guess is that the glass was not cooled correctly. I’m not an expert on glass, but I read an interesting blog entry about it recently.

  12. @Slytherin: I always wondered how you’re supposed to get your head underneath the faucet with those “sit on top of the cabinet/stand” sinks.

  13. crnk says:

    @B: Use the kitchen sink? The bath? I’d bet they could think something up…

  14. cnc1019 says:

    sounds to me like they changed from full cold water to full hot water and the change had the same effect as when you throw hot water on an ice covered windshield (note: do not do this unless you do not care about your windshield or you have a windshield you wish to destroy)

  15. why in the world would someone want a glass sink in the first place?

  16. Buran says:

    @cnc1019: Considering we have things like Pyrex glass that can withstand that kind of thing. I don’t think there’s any reason why that should destroy a bathroom sink, which should be designed to handle that kind of thing. If that’s what happened.

  17. Buran says:

    @silverundertone: Looks nice with some room designs.

  18. kaitlind says:

    I highly doubt that it “exploded.” I’m going to art school for my BFA with a focus on ceramics, and in the last few years I’ve seen something like this happen once (glass and clay aren’t the same, but glaze and firing works similar). We took a pot out of a very hot firing and it was gorgeous. It sat on the ware cart, without being touched for an hour or two. We came back to get something off of the cart, and the pot had broken into many little pieces. It has to do with stress fractures you can’t see that can come from how something was fired or handled be fore being fired. It’s really kind of cool- we were very surprised.
    I don’t think that cold water and hot water from the faucet could have done this…. there just isn’t enough of a temperature difference.

  19. homerjay says:

    @bonzombiekitty: @Buran:

    If you’ve ever seen a pyrex dish explode on its own, you’d understand that if this thing is ANYTHING like that, it TOTALLY exploded.

    Several years ago I had a pyrex dish explode right after taking it out of the oven. There was glass EVERYWHERE.

  20. B says:

    @crnk: It’d be simpler to use the other bathroom, I would think.

  21. TVarmy says:

    @bonzombiekitty: Car windows are different. They have a layer of plastic so they break into small pieces with dull edges rather than large, razor like shards. In this case, it’s tempered glass, which is strong but breaks dramatically.

  22. ptkdude says:

    I can see the Ford Pinto designer saying “that’s only the second time one has exploded.”

  23. bohemian says:

    I had a pyrex dish explode too. Glass everywhere in the kitchen including a small gash in my forehead. I still have two other pyrex pans but they only go in the microwave for thing that don’t get very hot.

    I can’t believe how many people have had them explode besides me. I thought it was a freak thing.

    This just validates me saying no to the glass sink my hubby wanted. My guess was someone would drop something on it and break it.

  24. GitEmSteveDave says:

    @TVarmy: Actually TVARMY, only your windshield has the plastic barrier. The side and rear window are tempered glass so that they break easily in case of escape, and into tons of teeny pieces.

    If anything, I would think the glass sink would have “imploded” as opposed to exploded.

  25. Faerie says:

    @trecool95: Yes, because that’s incredibly relevant to this matter.

  26. overbysara says:

    I feel like the term “explode” is misleading, as I suspect it was less of an “explosion” and more of a “shatter.” not that it makes it okay… but it’s not like it was a bomb…

  27. FLConsumer says:

    I’m not a fan of these sinks. Very impractical. I’m wondering how tightly the drain was connected to the sink AND if they had bothered to make sure the countertop was level (as well as bottom of the sink). I’m willing to bet that one of these was a contributing factor.

  28. Chicago7 says:

    It could have been the installation of the sink.

  29. infinitysnake says:

    Well, one or two sinks isn’t nearly as bad as hundreds of exploding kmart patio tables..

  30. Trai_Dep says:

    Any word on whether the homeowner was a soprano?

    I’m sort of gratified and relieved. Finally something where the Chinese aren’t trying to kill us!

  31. ElizabethD says:

    Those sinks are so pretentious and trendy. What is the big deal with having a bowl sitting on top of your bathroom counter, anyway? My great-grandma had a china washbowl on her washstand, but she traded it in for a real porcelain sink without looking back. In a few years those nouveau sinks will look as dated as mullets.

  32. Aladdyn says:

    @FLConsumer:

    that was my first thought. When you connect the drain you are sandwiching the sink between two pieces of something, metal or plastic, probably metal in this case since its fancier, and a lot of ppl like to tighten things like that as much as they are strong enough to. The sink probably comes witha big warning sticker saying not to overtighten the fastenings and drains. The might even have a maximum tourque to use. So whoever installed it probably overtightened something, then the sink expanded or contracted due to temperature change and boom!

    All glass in the car is tempered, the front windshield has the plastic coating in addition to being tempered.

    Tempered glass does explode.

    [museumofglass.org]

  33. joebloe says:

    My friend is opening a store selling similar made-in-China Italian-designed bootlegged sinks. I’m sure the country of origin has something to do with it.

  34. Imaginary_Friend says:

    I don’t know about that, Trai_Dep, just because the supplier is in the US, that doesn’t mean the sink was actually manufactured here.

    As soon as I saw this headline, it reminded me of the exploding Pyrex stories I’d read on Amazon. Coincidentally, the blue Pyrex products seemed to be the only ones afflicted:

    [www.amazon.com]

  35. Lordy says:

    My thoughts follow that of aladdyn the glass is thick to heat that to the point of “explosion” would take alot more heat than a standard water heater could produce in all likely hood who ever installed it over tightened the drainage pipe to prevent leaks but when you do that it stresses the glass. This is a case of semantics they say explode i say cracked…

  36. erica.blog says:

    They are probably not using the bathroom because they want to make sure all the little glass bits are cleaned up. Wouldn’t want to step out of the shower right onto a piece you had overlooked… actually, it’s more likely that the reporter writing the article decided to use a little hyperbole. “OMG, BATHROOM UNUSABLE, GLASS EVERYWHERE, DISAZTER!!!11″

    Also, the issue can’t be due to rapid heating/cooling, the owner states there was nobody in the bathroom at the time. It’s either stresses from manufacturing or installation which eventually led to catastrophic failure.

    @joebloe: so, they have now bootlegged everything including the kitchen (ok, bathroom) sink?

  37. Gloria says:

    Wow, there’s so much hate out there for sinks. Sinks!

    I think some people need a hug.

  38. tullystoll says:

    Hi, I’m Cheryl. This was my sink. It was indeed made in China. If anyone were sitting here when it happened and saw the spray of debris they would say, “EXPLODED VIOLENTLY.”

    I could have expected a crack–it’s glass–that could easily be expected.

    This exploded so fiercely that the glass pieces that were in small pieces instead of shards continued to pop for 2.5 hours. It sounded like a movie theater in here.

    Incidentally, there was no heat. Just tepid water for hand washing–it is a half bath and the house has central air conditioning. In the three weeks the sink was installed the temperature gradient of the air in the house never varied more than seven degrees.

    We are using an other bathroom because we do like to wash our hands after going to the bathroom–just some silly sanitary habit we’ve picked up over the years.

    I have much cooler pictures than the paper published–I’d have even more, but my hands were shaking for four hours after it happened. My husband was just three feet away from the spraying glass when it happened. I was on the other side of the wall.

    Any more questions?

    By the way, this is a cool site–I just found it on accident.

  39. AxeSwinger says:

    Sounds like the sink was not annealed correctly. A blip on a temperature curve when manufacturing but I don’t doubt it could have sent shards of class a few feet away.

  40. WillACarpenter says:

    I think there is a clear reason here: this sink committed suicide after seeing its reflection in the standing water and realizing how tacky and atrocious it was.

    A moment of silence to a true hero: the suicide sink.

    //

  41. topgun says:

    @ALADDYN:
    I think the Consumerist readers have sniffed this one out. Tempered glass + maybe a little too tight of an installation + temperature changes + maybe something was dropped = no more glass sink. Yeah they’re really stylish but look like a bitch to keep clean. I didn’t see any collateral damage so “explosion” is probably a stretch unless of course they’re talking about Framingham Iraq. My whole assessment of the story is “big deal, your sink broke”. Now a story about a defective bidet; that would be interesting.

  42. Canadian Impostor says:

    I work at an optics firm, the sink exploded because it had internal flaws and over time as the temperature in the house fluctuated those flaws propagated until the glass failed.

    Pre-stressed glass should shatter into dust pretty much. Also, having your head inside the sink while it “exploded” probably would have been scary but not terribly dangerous assuming you didn’t get glass in your eyes or anything. This wouldn’t have propelled shards of glass through skin or anything like that.

  43. HearsMusic says:

    Wow…lotta hate out there for vessel bowl sinks. They’ve actually been around for a while and can have a very classic look. Doubt they will look dated anytime soon, at least not any more than a normal sink will after any length of time.

    We personally chose a vessel bowl because they look great and it went with the furniture-style vanity we chose for our bathroom remodeling project. The glass bowl sink has a woodgrain look to it that is very, very cool. Now we just have to hope it doesn’t explode after it’s installed.

  44. This exploded so fiercely that the glass pieces that were in small pieces instead of shards continued to pop for 2.5 hours. It sounded like a movie theater in here.

    @tullystoll: Damn!! That’s just insane!

    @HearsMusic: Can you wash your hair in it? They don’t look like you can get your head in there.

  45. shepd says:

    I’ve seen this type of “exploding glass” happen a few times myself. Both times rear windshields of cars. One case was “spectacular” in that the heater wouldn’t turn off, causing the glass to explode instantaneously, showering the backseat with glass. The second time was on a truck cap. I managed to get a dart dead center in it (don’t ask). The glass spidered very slowly, and after a few seconds, crumbled to small bits, which had “popcorn” noises for about the next 15 minutes.

    No surprise the sink is equally tempered. The glass shards, if they were anything like what I’ve seen, would be safe to handle. That’s the idea. You should be glad the sink was built to do this, rather than leave dangerous shards all over!

    BTW: Generally only the front windshields are plastic encased, so as they provide more protection to the occupants when the inevitable rock is spat out by the dirt truck in front of you. You don’t want it going through the window while you’re on the highway.

    Tempered glass

  46. Zagroseckt says:

    ok folks safety glass (tempered) will crumble if even the slightest crack or nick to the hardened surface.

    it did NOT “Explode” and yes the remaining bit’s probly did continue to split and seporate.


    these bowls are made of the same type of glass your “Back” windshield and side windows are made of in your car.

    go ahead file off an edge then put it in the sun or just wait a while. eventuality the fracture will spired (seemingly instantly) and the glass will fall apart.

    it sounds to me like this product worked AS designed and the manufacture is taking responsibility for damage in shipping.

    This should be in above and beyond not a complaint.

    Here Comes the Science :)
    [www.britannica.com]
    Britannica

    [uk.youtube.com]
    a guy hitting a sheet of tempered glass with a malot on one end. see how the whole unit shatters.

    [uk.youtube.com]
    Another guy hitting tempered glass with a hammer.
    you can see how tough this glass is to shatter but once the hardened outer shell if cracked the whole thing shatters and you can here the “popcorn” sound afterwards of the smaller fragments dividing.

    Ok I tried to find the video of a glass maker making a temperd glass glob called a teardrop. then nicking the smallest bit off one end and the whole thing shattering but couldn’t find it sorry.

  47. Zagroseckt says:

    Well spell check failed me this time :p few weird words in that.

  48. BobbyMike says:

    Jason and Axeswinger have it right. My wife and I ran our own Glassblowing shop for over a decade.
    It’s all about the annealing (basically cooling the hot glass down to room temp at the right rate). If not done properly all that stress remains in the glass and just waits until the right catalyst.
    We used to make drops where we would drip molten glass into a bucket of water. you could then take the cooled droplet and break the thinnest part of the drop and watch the whole thing explode (fun if you stuck it into another glassblowers back pocket).

    I feel sorry for the couple. Glass seems like such a nice thing to make a sink of (so pretty), but I’d never get one.

  49. Mauve1228 says:

    Yesterday the large glass sink in the bathroom did explode! It did sound like a bomb. Large pieces of glass landed in the bath, and caused damage. The toilet seat will have to be replaced, as will the bath. Glass was all over the floor, and pieces could be found on the hall carpet.
    Luckily, no one was using the bathroom, at the time (7.30am). I shudder to think what could have happened.
    The sink was installed 18 months ago.

  50. snowferret says:

    Glass will explode when heated in certain ways, I’ve seen it happen its fucking scary. But that was when my brother left a glass serving dish on an active stove element for like an hour. Why would your sink get hot enough to boil water?

  51. sjosue says:

    Yesterday, 8-28-07, my Glass sink exploded in my bathroom. No one was in there, but it scared the hell out of us. The sink was 1 of 2 sinks in the bathroom and it was 1 and 1/4 inch thick glass with a waterfall-type glass Faucet. Its so thick it looked a little “emerad green”. It had been in there about 18 months, the house was air conditioned and nothing was left on it. It damaged the floor tiles and shot out into the hallway carpet. We bought it from The Contractors Warehouse in Sacramento, CA. We are trying to find the vendor paperwork. Does anyone have a similar description of an issue like this??
    Steve Josue – Fair Oaks, CA

  52. Anonymous says:

    We too have two Pegasus glass vessel sinks from Home Depot. Two days after (correct) installation, and before the water was connected, one of these sinks exploded—yes exploded. The noise was very loud and glass was all over, even shot out of the bathroom 10 feet away into the hallway. It happened at 7 am but luckily this is new construction and we were not using the bathroom at this time. This is not an installation issue or a temperature issue. There seems to be an problem with these sinks that more people ought to be aware of before someone gets injured.

  53. Surprised says:

    Yes, glass sinks EXPLODE. I had just washed my hands, with lukewarm water, sat a small mirror on the counter top (I didn’t touch the sink) to put my contacts in and it exploded. Unfortunately, I was about 3″ away from the sink. The sound was incredible – my ears were ringing afterwards. I was covered head to toe in glass including some glass dust in my eye and cuts on my hand. There wasn’t one inch on my bathroom floor that wasn’t covered with glass – all sizes and sharp. My daughter was in the other room and said it sounded like a bomb went off. The force of the explosion blew off my mirror, contacts and container of solution. It could have been a much more serious accident – what if a young child had been directly in front of the bowl washing their hands? (I was a little more to the side of the sink) This wasn’t a sink that just cracked!