Vinyl Sliding Door - Mystery Weep Holes

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Old 08-06-15, 09:33 PM
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Vinyl Sliding Door - Mystery Weep Holes

I have read every post on weep holes, here, and every other place on the internet. I have water accumulation in my sliding track. I have exterior weep hole slots and covers. I have been unsuccessful clearing the blockage from the exterior. I remove the sliding door and then the track. I then see two rectangular slots on both sides, an inch from the corners. There is no weep hole visible within these rectangular slots, which appear to lead to another level the length of the track. I have used compressed air and vacuum out the water after each rain fall.

I don't know how to proceed. A few months ago, I was tempted to just drill a hole in the rectangular slot - I did not. Now, I think I could dremel out these slots to make the area more visible and possibly see the weep holes. I think this is doable as long as I don't remove so much that the track isn't sturdy. This should be so simple but I have been at this for two years.

I will attach an actual image tomorrow when I go mess with it some more.
 
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Old 08-06-15, 09:38 PM
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Welcome to the forums here!

The slots won't drain the track completely dry as if you were pulling the plug in a bathtub. For one thing, your door is level, so the water only runs to the weep holes when it gets deep enough to do so. And for another, you may have heard of capillary action, whereby water has adhesive properties... so quite a bit of water will naturally want to stay within the channels. I think the door is probably doing exactly what it designed to do and you are probably expecting too much and are fixating on it. Is it causing some problem? Does it leak inside the house?

(25 years experience with vinyl windows and patio doors)
 
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Old 08-06-15, 09:43 PM
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No visible problems. I have not pulled back the carpet to inspect the subfloor. The carpet has never been damp in that area. This track has never spilled into the interior, as far as I know. The track will fill to the very top.

Maybe I am expecting too much. Sunday it rained and filled the track. I just used a towel to soak up some. Today, water is still in the track. Not as much but it is still there. If I were to go an vacuum it out, I would have a half gallon of water.
 
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Old 08-06-15, 09:55 PM
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I'll look for your photos tomorrow.
 
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Old 08-06-15, 11:49 PM
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Alright X, what do you think?

The filthy water in the vacuum is from the dust in the filter. I have designated this old vacuum to the task of removing the water. So, I have cleaned up this track multiple times. The depth of that space is the size of my fingernail. That under space appears to be open the entire length of the track area. I have blown compressed air with some water between the space and it has come bubbling out the other side. I cannot visibly see a weep whole within that slotted area. I have really no way of coming at them, if they are really in the corners. I think I can dremel out the space where they should be and potentially resolve this that way.

I had diagrams from the manufacturer (Christensen Lumber) at the beginning of this ordeal but I do not have it any longer. They are based in Nebraska but would only provide a diagram no support. The diagram showed these slots and weep holes in the far corners. The manufacturer name was found on a window in my house not the door. Then when I search the series number on the internet I find Ply Gem as a manufacturer. That is from the yellow stick on the door. They sell their products in Nebraska.
 
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Last edited by mutagenic; 08-07-15 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 08-07-15, 05:35 AM
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Well, I would advise you to not drill any holes in the frame of the door. It is indeed a Plygem patio door, based on the CPD number on the yellow NFRC sticker. Don't expect anything from Christensen, they simply supplied the door to the builder, they have no responsibility for it. You could contact Plygem directly with any questions but I doubt they would tell you what I will below.

What you need to find are the exterior weep holes on the outside of the door, which is where all this water "should be" exiting the frame. What I generally will see is that these exterior slots often have an open cell filter, kind of like a Brillo pad, and they can get caked with mud. Or they can be blocked by something... like someone who installed the deck boards in front of them and then the gap got filled with leaves or something. So if you can, take a picture of the outside of the door showing a closeup of the outer weeps.

I haven't worked on a door exactly like that, but what I have had to do on similar doors and windows in the past is blow out the outer weeps with an air compressor, blowing from the outside in. I suppose the opposite would work, but you would need to have a 2nd person help you and plug one hole with their hand in order to force the air out the front filter. You would also probably need to plug the rectangular weep in your picture as much as you can by placing your fingers around the base of the nozzle (or maybe use a bit of plumbers putty if you are sure you won't get it inside the weep hole) to plug any gaps around the air nozzle- the idea being you need to build up enough air pressure inside the hollow sill chambers in order to force air out the outer weeps (which are likely currently caked with mud).

Like I said, going at this from the outside, blowing air UP the weeps is usually more effective because that's where the clog likely is. You may have to do both, multiple times. But I would really advise you NOT to drill any holes... that would definitely void your warranty, so if you ever needed any sort of warranty work (directly from Plygem) they could claim you altered the product, voiding the warranty.

Hopefully when I see your exterior picture of the slots, I can tell you if the weep hole covers can be removed, which might help you clear out the clog. Unless those covers are removed, you will have a hard time getting the air nozzle to do much good. Most of those covers just have a little wing on the top left and right, and by bending the flap you can get them out. But they also get brittle with age. Others are a different style and have a louver-style flapper. The picture should help clear that up.
 
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Old 08-07-15, 10:48 AM
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I removed the cover and this is what is visible. I have this air compressor: 3 gal. 1/3 HP 100 PSI Oilless Pancake Air Compressor. Is that enough in your opinion to clear this potential block? I will tape down the other holes and have someone apply pressure to them.

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Old 08-07-15, 10:59 AM
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Yeah, that's not at what I expected to see... I can't see any weep hole in ur picture. Is it in that slot? Too tiny to see on my phone.
 
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Old 08-07-15, 11:09 AM
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There is no visible weep hole in there. It has two sections in there that appear to run the length of the track. This door is mind boggling.

I should add that the exterior slots align with the interior ones, which makes access to the corners nearly impossible. Now, you understand my dremel desire. Is that my option or do you have anything else? I just replaced my siding and don't want to spend more on this door but if I need to, I will pony up and do so.
 

Last edited by mutagenic; 08-07-15 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 08-07-15, 11:53 AM
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Oh, I see what im look at now (im on my computer now)... im surprised there is no open cell filter. Yes, your compressor should be fine, you will just have to let it pump back up between giving it a full shot of air.

I just can't believe there isn't a way for water to get out of that track on its own. I'm very leery of drilling holes.

Are you in the Fremont area?
 
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Old 08-07-15, 02:27 PM
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I will go at it with the compressor this Sunday. I will be so happy if it works.

I am in Omaha right off 680/Irvington exit.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 08:36 PM
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Anything to report??????????????????????????????
 
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Old 08-14-15, 05:23 PM
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No success; I have spent time on a daily basis using compressed air and plumber's putty to cover openings. I am still getting water accumulation. Maybe an improper install is the case.
 
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Old 08-14-15, 05:45 PM
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Are there any weep holes below the surface of the deck? (picture in post #7)
 
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Old 08-14-15, 05:56 PM
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Water blew out in that area when I was using compressed air. I didn't inspect to see if there were. I assumed there just wasn't an air tight seal. I will have to check that area tomorrow.
 
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Old 08-14-15, 09:51 PM
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Yeah I don't know if it's possible to pop off that first deck board, but if you can, that would be a good idea... just to look and see.
 
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Old 01-08-16, 01:22 PM
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Did you find a solution?

Hey Mutagenic,

I have exactly the same problem as you.
Do you have a solution? I'm tempted to drill a hole myself.
 
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Old 08-18-16, 09:31 PM
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I have officially given up hope and just use a wet vac to get the water out. On out of town trips, I use a Wemo switch, which allows me to turn on an outlet from my phone. I keep my wet vac turned on and duct tape the hose to the track. I then turn on the outlet and let it do it's thing.
 
 

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