Bath tub caulking won't dry... HELP!

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Old 11-02-08, 07:40 PM
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Unhappy Bath tub caulking won't dry... HELP!

We have caulked our tub 4 times with silicone caulk and it won't dry... it always stays soft. This last time we even stopped using our shower for over 3 months trying to let it dry out as much as possible in case it was a moisture problem. We caulked it again... and it still didn't work! Any ideas?!? If it is still wet behind and under the tub, how do we get it to dry? Or will we have to rip our whole bathroom apart? Please help as we don't want to reno our bathroom!
 
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Old 11-03-08, 03:38 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

Most silicone caulks don't dry to a hard film - they stay flexable so they can do their job.

Are you letting the tile/tub gap dry completely before applying the caulking?
 
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Old 11-03-08, 06:31 AM
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If it is wet after three months behind or around your tub then you have a serious leakage problem.I am assuming what you meant was you let the shower area dry out three months before applying the silicone?Try to figure out if wetness is the issue because if that area has held wetness for a long period then the sheetrock around the tub is saturated and would need replacement.

Otherwise I'd have to suspect a contamination of the surface and would suggest serious cleaning efforts and being very careful not to leave residue from that process.
 
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Old 11-03-08, 02:51 PM
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Thanks so much for your responses

Yes I did mean that we didn't use the shower and used our other shower for 3 months hoping that if it had excess moisture that it would dry in that amount of time.

He has been taking off the old caulk and washing the area. I just asked him and apparently he has not been applying alcohol like I thought he had been. That is a crutical step is it not? That would kill any contamination and residue, correct?

The last few times he has been filling the tub half full with waater as we read to do that on the internet somewhere. After 24 hours he drains the water out.

This time he caulked it over a week ago and it's still not cured.

Since our shower is tile we can't see if there is excess moisture, how can I figure out if it's a moisture problem or contamination?

Thanks so much for the responses!!! We are lost at this point! I really want my bathroom back!
 
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Old 11-03-08, 04:47 PM
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Can you further explain "This time he caulked it over a week ago and it's still not cured" ?

After the joint to be caulked has been cleaned - it needs to be allowed to dry [alchol helps] If you leave the joint uncaulked and it stays dry - it should be fine to caulk.
 
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Old 11-04-08, 08:17 PM
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Sorry marksr, he actually did the tub last week and caulked it. We haven't used it since as we have been waiting for it to dry to the rubbery substance it's supposed to be. It's still wet feeling and easily moves around when touched. My Dad had used the term "cured".

This time I am going to do it on my own... see if I can do a better job than him.
Please confirm I am taking on this project correctly:
1. Remove all old caulk
2. Clean area with bathroom mildew cleaner
3. Rub Rubbing alcohol over the area
4. 24 hours later fill the tub half full of water
5. Apply caulk and let set for 48 hours before use
Thanks! Maybe it just takes a woman's touch this time
 
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Old 11-04-08, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Monique525 View Post
Sorry marksr, he actually did the tub last week and caulked it. We haven't used it since as we have been waiting for it to dry to the rubbery substance it's supposed to be. It's still wet feeling and easily moves around when touched. My Dad had used the term "cured".

Maybe you could share the Brand and name of the caulk you are using. Also look on the back side of the tube for an expiration date. If its old caulk it may never set up. (Don't ask me how I know that)
 
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Old 11-05-08, 12:54 AM
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OMG! My boyfriend just bought 2, one being expired last November (which of course is the one he used) and this one is not until 2010.

He bought GE Silicone II 100% Silicone Kitchen and Bath.

As this last time was the fourth time he has done it, I can't imagine they were all expired... but they could have been

We will re-do it next weekend with the one that isn't expired and let you know if that was the problem!

Thanks so much for everyones help!!!
 
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Old 11-05-08, 04:37 AM
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I don't recall ever using any silicone that didn't set up - I take it that it is almost as plyable as when it came out of the tube.

It is possible you got a bad batch of caulking
You might call their toll free number and complain - maybe they will replace the caulking for free
 
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Old 11-05-08, 12:43 PM
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Yes it is... my Dad said it was impossible, that it always set. So of course I told him he was more than welcome to do it himself

I believe we have used a different kind of caulk everytime. Apparently the bf threw out the receipt for the caulk he just bought so we can't return the one... oh well, I just want my bathroom back at this point!
 
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Old 11-05-08, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Monique525 View Post
Yes it is... my Dad said it was impossible, that it always set. So of course I told him he was more than welcome to do it himself

I believe we have used a different kind of caulk everytime. Apparently the bf threw out the receipt for the caulk he just bought so we can't return the one... oh well, I just want my bathroom back at this point!
ASk your Dad why then does the Mfr put a "Use By" date on the tube. I recently dug out an old unopened tube of Silicone II from my shop cause I didn't want to go to the store. I used it and it never set up, 2 days later I had to wipe the goo off and use some new caulk.

Best to stick with one type of caulk. I like Geocel Proflex, but its hard to find and sticks to EVERYTHING, but it lasts a long time and you can't beat it for keeping water where it belongs.

Lack of a receipt should not deter you from taking some defective product back to any reputable store.
 
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Old 11-05-08, 06:52 PM
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Sorry, I should have been more specific, my Dad wasn't talking about exp dates as it never came up in the conversation.

Thanks for the caulk suggestion, that will def be our next buy, hopefully we can find it being in Canada, seems we only have half the products the States does

Thanks so much for everyones help, I will let you know if it FINALLY works!!Beer 4U2
 
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Old 11-06-08, 01:23 AM
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OK Monique, it is time for my two cents worth.

I would remove all the silicone caulking and replace it with a water based kitchen and bath caulking like polyseamseal brand or equivalent.
 
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Old 11-06-08, 06:08 PM
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Hi plumingods, What is the difference between the silicone and the water based kitchen and bath caulking?!?
Thanks! Monique
 
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Old 11-06-08, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by plumbingods View Post
I would remove all the silicone caulking and replace it with a water based kitchen and bath caulking like polyseamseal brand or equivalent.
Not to argue with you PG. But my experience with latex or water based caulks in wet areas is if ANY moisture remains it will not set up for a long time and remain gooey or even run. As a result I have gravitated to the marine or industrial caulks any time I want it to last, seal and not mildew. Caulks like Geocel. So with all due respect I gotta ask why do you prefer the water based caulks in a shower?
DH
 
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Old 11-07-08, 12:06 AM
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OK, here is my opinion on this matter and is based on personal experiences.

First off DW, in my past experience, I have found that anything with the name marine, as in boating, costs about 4 times the normal. I used to own a wooden hull boat.

I am not saying the caulking you are talking about are not better than the water based or silicone caulking, but I have never used your brand for a proper comparison.

Monique, I have found that the water based caulks are much easier to work with and dry quite easily when left alone to dry. Make sure the area to be caulked is clean and free of all old caulking.
After applying the caulking, use a moist finger or rag to clean up your caulked area as clean as you like without leaving all that extra caulking usually left behind by silicone caulking. That left over is what usually is what attracts the mold and mildew along the seams of the walls.
Try not to over wet the caulking, but if you do you can add a little to it after it has dried to dress it up a little.

In most instances I have encountered, the water based caulk will start to skin over in about 1/2 hour and will be thoroughly dried within 24 hours. I have used it for many years without failure. I also use it as a adhesive and sealant, to hold down my drop-in style lavs.
 
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Old 11-07-08, 03:55 AM
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I would add that there a lot of good latex caulking out there [not the cheap ones] and a quality latex caulk can do a decent job. The ease of use and clean up is nice. That said, a silicone caulk like G.E. silicone will adhere better to slick surfaces. A damp thinner rag can be used to help keep unwanted surfaces clean - fingers too
 
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Old 11-07-08, 04:00 AM
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Thanks everyone! If it doesn't work this time, I'm calling a professional!
 
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Old 11-28-08, 05:38 PM
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How have you made out with this situation? The same thing has happened to me recently. I was just wonder what you have done about this problem because I NEED HELP TOO!
 
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Old 11-28-08, 09:01 PM
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Sorry I haven't yet... my boyfriend has been on graveyards, but he's finally done! My Dad also looked at it while he was here and suggested plain silicone, not specific to tubs and sinks. I am hoping he will try again in the next week so I will DEFINATELY let you know!!! Maybe the 5th time will work
 
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Old 12-04-08, 07:05 PM
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Dhamblet beat me to the punch

I was just going to leave a general comment, but Dhamblet beat me to it. The reason I found this message board is because I spent a while today cleaning off GE Silicone Caulk II (window and door) that wouldn't cure. Even now, it's still a complete mess. I noticed a few minutes ago that the 'use by' date is 11/08. So I did some quick research and found that this is why it didn't cure (I think it has to do with the shelf life of the curing agent they use in the caulk.) Now I just have to figure out how to clean all the goo off my walls .
 
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Old 12-05-08, 03:52 AM
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Welcome to the forums Jimboalogo!

"Now I just have to figure out how to clean all the goo off my walls"

Paint thinner and elbow grease...... lots of elbow grease
 
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Old 02-26-09, 10:51 AM
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Me, too......

I found this thread when I Googled "bath silicon caulk won't cure". I'm having the same problem as Monique. I have used two leading brands of "premium" bathroom silicon caulk, one of them being the GE Premium Silicone II Waterproof Caulk. The first brand comes out of the tube white, but dries clear. We dried out the tub for a couple of days before applying the caulk. I left it to dry for two days and it completely turned clear. The first time we used the tub (it's a jetted bathroom tub), the caulk turned back to white and began to release the bond. So, I cleaned off some of that and tried the GE silicone. It took over 24 hours to cure, and seems now to be firming up, but the bond is very poor. The expiry is 1/09 so I now have a new tube where the expiry is 3/10 and I'll try again. This is weird! Any comments? Many thanks, all. Eric B.
 
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Old 02-26-09, 01:50 PM
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Welcome to the forums Eric!

The 1st caulk you used was latex. Clear latex comes out of the tube milky looking but turns to clear when it dries. It will go back to cloudy if it gets wet but will return to clear if it dries. Not the best choice for caulking areas that get wet.

G.E. silicone is some good caulk. The surface should be clean and dry before it's applied!
 
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Old 02-26-09, 03:48 PM
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Still Not Quitting My Day Job

Thanks Marksr. Already I'm learning. I'll give the GE silicone a try and see how it works. I noted somewhere that I probably should clean the surfaces with a scrubber and mineral spirits after I remove the latex to prepare for the silicone. I'm gonna try to do this right, but I'm sure not gonna quit my day job!
 
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Old 02-27-09, 03:31 AM
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Alcohol would be better - mineral spirits might leave a little bit of residue.

I quit my day job, the pay isn't as good but the hours are better..... I'm retired
 
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Old 02-27-09, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
Welcome to the forums Eric!

The 1st caulk you used was latex. Clear latex comes out of the tube milky looking but turns to clear when it dries. It will go back to cloudy if it gets wet but will return to clear if it dries. Not the best choice for caulking areas that get wet.

G.E. silicone is some good caulk. The surface should be clean and dry before it's applied!
personally i dont like GE caulk. it doesnt go on as well or adhere very good in my experience. i prefer the DAP brand of tub n tile caulking. only time i have had a problem with it curing is when the area kept getting or stayed wet.

if it doesnt feel tacky then 100% silicone is pretty much cured. it seems to always feel like its wet
 
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Old 03-02-09, 06:43 AM
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Success .... so far

I took everyone's advice and got a tube of GE Silicone II with an expiration date as far off as I could find; cleaned off the old grout, scrubbed as hard as I could with alcohol and then applied the new caulk. It dried within 2 hours. Looking OK so far. I guess the only possibile problem left is that it may not adhere well over the long term. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but also remembering that several of you guys recommended DAP. Many thanks! Eric B.
 
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Old 03-02-10, 10:03 AM
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GE made a bad batch

The same thing happened to me. I sealed my new shower with the stuff, and it didn't cure after 3 days. I thought maybe I had not let the grout dry enough, so I wiped up all the goo, aired it out another day, did it over again. This time I used a different brand of silicone because, luckily, I had used up all the GE stuff. Problem solved.

But now I find out it was the GE caulk all along... because I needed a few drops of silicone for a small auto-electrical project and I still had a half tube of the GE stuff, so I used that. Guess what? It didn't cure. Not even a few drops of it.

That's how I found this page...
And then I found THIS PAGE:
Popular plumbing problem solving and remodeling DIY discussion advice forum site.

It seems GE admits they made a bad batch of Silicone II, and they issued a recall.

I'm gonna get Home Depot to give me a replacement tube for what I have left of the GE II. Now if only they could replace the 6 hours of my time they cost me!
 
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Old 05-22-10, 08:03 AM
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Question Caulking Mystery

The caulking in my bathroom between the fiberglass tub and tile wall will not cure. In the past month I have caulked it twice and the plumber has caulked it twice both with different types of caulking. He has tested for leaks and there is no water behind the wall or any fixtures. He is a very good plumber. This has been an on going problem (3 years) that I just recently decided to take care of. There is no mold just damage to the wall next to the tub. I took out the shower doors. Has anyone heard of this type of mystery. The plumber said the only thing he could think of is maybe movement it the tub or wall allows water in behind the caulking. If we don't use the shower/tub it is just fine..It's making me crazy
 
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Old 05-22-10, 08:55 AM
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Welcome to the forums paulidog!

What type of caulking was used? With the exception of the cheap caulks, caulking doesn't dry to a hard substance, it needs to stay somewhat flexible for it to do it's job.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 11:06 AM
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It isn't so much that it doesn't dry it just gets wetter and swells out of the space, like ozing?.The last caulk that plumber used was a silicone type because he said maybe it needed the flexiblity..I did fill the tub with water because I read that might help if there was movment between the tub and wall..Can we post pictures here?
 
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Old 05-23-10, 04:43 AM
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Are you sure that there is no moisture behind the caulk? Not necessarily from plumbing but maybe previous showers?? Alcohol is good for cleaning the surface but that doesn't really sound like an issue. A hair dryer might help to make sure there is no moisture left in the void.

http://forum.doityourself.com/electr...your-post.html
 
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Old 05-23-10, 07:46 AM
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The bathroom wasn't used for 4 days prior to caulking each time Then we waited at least 3 days after to use it. It was cleaned properly prior to. When I first caulked it I had also redone the other bathroom at the same time and it is fine. I also thought about the cleaning, but then it wouldn't be in just one area as this is. At least there is no mold, just water damage to the dry wall which I removed and now have a gaping hole in the wall.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 10:42 AM
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Silicone caulk shouldn't be affected much by water, water might make it peel but shouldn't make it swell How wide is the gap? are both the tub and wall secure?
 
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Old 05-24-10, 07:46 PM
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The gap is about 1/8 maybe a little more. I think it is the fiberglass tub. It was a new tub and is 5 1/2 feet long. I don't think it is sitting correctly. I have never had one before, but it creaks when you stand it in.I think when my son takes a shower it moves enough to allow water to seep in someway. This is my son's bathroom so I don't use it. Really a horrible contractor...
 
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Old 06-05-11, 06:20 AM
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We had the same problem with our caulk not drying. Finally we had success, here is how it worked.

We removed all the caulk, let it dry overnight, cleaned it with alcohol and then bleached out any mildew, put the blow dryer on it for 1/2 hour to remove any moisture, turned the water off to prevent any drips running into it, bought a 3 hour dry silicone premium shower caulk by GE and made sure it did not have an expired date, applied the caulk and let dry for 6 hours. Success! We were showering that night and no further problems.
 
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Old 06-23-11, 04:35 PM
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Since it seems that tub caulking has given lotsa folks lotsa fits, in order to dry the joint and the area behind it a bit faster try this:

Clean all the old caulk out and then scrub up with the alcohol. Let dry for a few hours and then get out your wet/dry shop vac and put the crevice tool on the hose. Run the crevice tool down the caulking gap to suck out any water and crud that might have got back there. Clean again with the alcohol and let dry as long as possible. Make sure good and dry before you re-caulk.
 
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Old 09-29-11, 07:28 AM
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HELP! Caulking turns to mush!

I have recaulked our bathtub twice now. This is a new house. We are aware there were leakage issues with the tub previously. We found this after removing the drop ceiling in the kitchen. The tub was directly above the water damaged ceiling.

I removed all the old caulk, cleaned area and recaulked. We waited 24 hours before showering. And before showering, I touch the caulk to make sure it was dry and it WAS.

The next morning after the first showers I noticed white globs in the corners of the tub, sure enough it was the caulk and it was MUSH.
We removed all the mush. We then put fans in the tub for a full 24 hours to ensure it was dry. We recaulked again and put fans on for 36 hours and did not use the shower. Again, after 2 and a 1/2 days I touched the caulk and it was as dry as could be. So we showered. Seemed fine for 2 days. Low and behold this morning, I noticed the mush in the corners of the tub again! All of it complete mush. This is AFTER it was already dried. And the second time I used a brand new tub of tub caulking. So it's not expired.

What would cause this? We are at a total loss. We only have 1 bathroom in a home with two adults and a teenager. We can't get away with not using it for more than 2 days.Could the wall behind the tub be so damaged and wet that it's seeping through from behind? I just don't understand this. I'm at a total loss. Any advise?
 
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Old 09-29-11, 09:22 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

What type of caulking are you using? it would be best to use a silicone caulk.

You might not be getting the area dry enough. Using a hair dryer along the crack will help to 'sweat' out the moisture behind the tile. Have you examined all the tile joints to make sure there aren't any voids? Wiping the crack down with alcohol will help to clean the surface to insure a good bond.
 
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