What's up with this shower pan?

Any idea why this shower pan has these “cut outs” on the sides? It looks like the pan was designed for a different type of door.

It’s a weep hole designed as part of the pan drainage system. If water somehow pushes itself up the ledge of the shower and behind the tile this is where it will drain back.


So I guess it leads to a hollow part of the pan that drains into the drain itself?

Not really David there’s not a hollow part of the pan. The pan has a ledge that runs the entire length where it meets the walls. On that ledge is a vertical lip or flange that runs the entire length of the ledge. The sheet rock should be installed above the flange and the tile should be installed over the flange but just above the ledge. If water was to somehow force itself onto that ledge it will drain in the wheep hole before it goes up over the lip or flange. I hope that makes sense.


That door and frame look like they are covered with mold. That’s disturbing. Hope the rest of the house is cleaner.

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As Martin pointed out, the shower base (this one) should be installed tight against the studs/wall structure of the surround. After installation cement board is installed to the studs abutting this shower base ledge. Tile is then installed and lips over this ledge. Grout is pourous-- water will get behind tile, it’ll ideally drain down and into this lip, and then be directed to this output. This is why on these shower bases I prefer not to caulk where the tile meets the base, as it inevitably becomes a nightmare with staining and mold growth. A quick google search and click on installation instructions I found a couple of installation illustrations that’ll help explain.



Thank you!

Excellent illustration thank you.

That’s a good question David. I get asked this question at least once a week when I do my new construction or warranty inspections.

And to amplify that: there should be no caulk in that weep hole. It should be completely clear. And, most of the time, completely dry.

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I’ve observed that when it’s not caulked, water hangs out there due to surface tension,
and also creates musty /moldy. Perhaps a mix: caulk the edge, leave open a weep hole.

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Honestly still I’d skip it. Cleaning caulk basically involves removing it, vs. a simple swipe with a scrubby pad. But that’s just my preferences. Manufacturers recommend caulking this intersection while leaving the weep area open.

Especially if the wrong type of caulking is used. Caulk intended for tub/shower applications have microbial growth inhibitors mixed in to help with mold and mildew growth, provided of course that everything can actually dry out properly when not in use.

I knew a tile guy many years ago that insisted on using silicone in showers instead of latex. He said that mildew wouldn’t grow on silicone and it held up to cleaning agents better. I don’t really know if he was blowing smoke or not, but he did damn good work…

Yep, that’s why I always recommend to people to use a grout sealer, especially in showers.

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