Q. How Do I test the shower pan for leaks after it's installed?

A. As the saying goes: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Sacramento Shower Pans will not be held liable if a water test is not performed. You should always water test a newly installed hot tar shower pan whether it is a remodel or new construction. If a leak is discovered before tile is installed, it can be easily fixed at no cost to you. However, if you don't perform a water test and a leak is discovered after tile is installed...well, you get the picture. The repair is much more costly.

A water test helps determine if pan is leak proof before the tile is installed and is required to pass framing inspection on new construction. If your home project is a remodel and the plumbing isn't plugged when we arrive, we will cover the drain hole with felt paper which can be cut out after the water test. To test the pan, fill it with water about a half inch above the drain. Let the water sit for at least a day. Watch for any wet areas around the pan and if possible check underneath around the drain. If you spot a leak, call us immediately.

After the water test you will need to remove the weep-hole nails and cut the paper inside the cast iron drain covering the drain hole (and on new construction there may be an additional plastic plug covering the ABS pipe that you will need to remove as well). Be aware that you will get wet doing this, so be prepared.

First, remove any duct tape and then remove the chrome grating on top of the cast iron drain. Using a large screw driver poke a good size hole through the paper INSIDE the drain.

Second, remove the three weep-hole nails around the perimeter of the the drain. Bend them back away from the drain about 45 degrees, then take a hammer and gently hit the nail heads in order to loosen them. Use the claw end of the hammer to wiggle the nails from there setting. This may take some effort because the nails are bent at a 90 degree angle in the weep-holes and can sometimes be difficult to remove. Use some muscle, but be careful. You don't want to jerk them too hard and cause a crack in the pan or damage the drain. Try wiggling the nails back and forth while pulling on them until they let go.

Third, cut the tar paper in a circular pattern inside the cast iron drain using a sharp utility knife--use a brand new blade. Remove cut tar paper and remove any plastic plugs that may be under the paper. Let the water drain from pan. If the water doesn't seem to be draining after awhile, make sure the weep holes are clear. Sometimes debri such as wood chips, sheet roch chunks, dirt, or tar will block the weep holes as it is draining.