How to Clean Shower Drain Weep Holes

At DK SHower Pans, we’re often asked what weep holes are, where they are at, and what they do. However, we’re not going to talk about that in this article. For answers to those questions, you can always check out this article : What Are Weep Holes?

In this article, you will learn how to find and how to properly clean weep holes before tile installation.

Before we do, it’s important to know who is responsible for cleaning the weep holes and why it’s important to make sure they are cleaned correctly. And, that answer is pretty straight-forward – the tile contractor or owner builder needs to make sure they are functioning correctly before they proceed with installing the necessary mud work foundation that will accept whatever pan material has been chosen.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get into the step-by-step procedure for cleaning shower drain weep holes correctly.

Square design tile-in shower drain with removable shaped grid plate with weep holes

Instructions On How To Clean Weep Holes

Making sure that the weep holes are clean is paramount in letting your shower function as it should “water in water out” yes the vast majority of water goes down the main drain hole, but depending on the type of tile or stone used on the floor, up to 5% and as high as 15% of the water needs to find its way to and through the weep holes.

  1. Remove the drain screen – Standard drains have two small phillips head machine screws which hold the screen and collar trim to the drain, some have pressure fit which pop out when pulled up(some come with a tool that looks like a small gaff that can slide between the gaps in the screen and then hook on the screen to pull it up and off) also there are screw types that just need to be removed by spinning them off. Once you have the screen removed, find the location of your weep holes on the outside perimeter of your drain, again depending on the manufacturer the location, number, and size will vary. Normally there will be 3 or 4 weeps, either at the base of the drain or set back a bit from it, and they will be anywhere from ⅛” to ⅜” in diameter. 
  2. Ream the weep holes – Find an appropriate size item that will fit in the weep hole snugly, this can be just about anything ranging from a screwdriver, nails, awls, screws, coat hanger, drill bit etc. Now you need to push your tool into the weep hole until you can see it while looking down the drain.
  3. Scrape the inside of the drain –  Clean off any mastic that gets pushed through and take a small flat head screwdriver or equivalent and scrape the inside of the drain clean of any debris and especially at the weep holes areas.
  4. Test and retest the weep holes – Pour a gallon or two of water around the drain and see how well the weep holes are working by looking down the drain. You should have an even flow of water from each weep. Ream them all out again as the water weeps to make sure they all flow at a steady rate.
  5. Replace the screen assembly – Once the screen assembly has been re-attached you can move on to the mud work. However, please note, the weep holes now need to be protected before the mud work and floor covering can be installed.

Voila! That’s it. Now you know the five simple steps to clean the weep holes in your shower drain. Next stop, mud work. For more information about, weep holes or to have your plumber work with us, contact us at (866) 305-4980.

How to Clean Shower Drain Weep Holes
Article Name
How to Clean Shower Drain Weep Holes
In this article, you will learn how to find and properly clean weep holes in a shower drain before tile installation.
Publisher Name
DK Shower Pans
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