A Wellington company that has developed a plastic device to prevent shower mixers and pipe fittings leaking into internal walls, now hopes to break into the Australian market.
Aquatite has developed a seal for the shower mix so moisture is trapped and diverted to the front.
Sales director Chris Withers says leaky rotten showers are a huge problem - with insurance data suggesting there are about 9000 leaks each year in New Zealand, which cost about $30 million to fix.
Leaky showers also pose health risks. He spent a day and a half in hospital after inhaling a mould while working on a leaky shower.
The product is manufactured from recycled plastic by an injection moulding company in Miramar.
It retails for about $60 and is stocked by major plumbing and hardware chains. Jennian Homes also includes it as standard in all its new houses.
Mr Withers says sales rose 40% last year and the company is planning to introduce the products into Australia in the next few weeks.
He says sealing of holes in showers is a requirement under the Australian building code. Distributors have been arranged in Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Mr Withers says the products have been patented in New Zealand, Australia, China and the United States, and the company is exploring other export markets.