Bathtub Plumbing Access Panel Adding One To Your Bathtubs Plumbing For Easy Access To Tubs Plumbing… Here’s How With Photos.
We offer this service as well in our local market, or if you’re handy you can easily install an access panel to your tubs plumbing. Without having to re-frame your wall. As long as you have drywall this can be a fairly easy project. Old style mud plaster walls would be a bit more challenging (see the tips bottom of page).
For Drywall installation you’ll need:
- Tape measure to find the proper location.
- Small level.
- 5 feet of contractors grade 3/4 inch 2-sided tape.
- Pencil to mark the position.
- Dry wall saw.
- Stud finder is helpful.
- Latex caulk and caulk gun.
*NOTE The 2-sided tape found at home centers tend to be a little weak. A stronger version can be found at automotive supply houses, where they sell supplies to the automotive car painters. It’s used to install emblems on cars. To find a supply house search for ‘automotive paint suppliers’ or ask a local car paint shop where to go.
Of course this assumes you have a wall available with access to the tubs plumbing. Sometimes the contractor who built the home, places two tubs back to back and that puts the tubs plumbing in what is called a wet wall with no access (I hate when they do that).
Or access to tubs plumbing maybe behind your kitchen cabinets or too an outside wall or some other obstacle and not always practical to install a bathtub plumbing access panel.
Thinking outside the box, you can also install an access panel to tubs plumbing into a ceiling under the tub as well, exposing the needed pieces.
For this project you should have a decent knowledge of framing construction, to avoid hitting a framing member. Good with a tape measure and be comfortable with doing a drywall repair should you make a mistake.
You’ll have to use a tape measure to map out the location of the area to be cut. Once found you can make a small exploratory hole say 4″ x 4″ to see if you hit the mark, before going for gold. Once you make a small hole you can explore the framing behind the wall to assist in where to place the access panel.
The stud finder maybe of help here for drywall, mud walls are usually too thick to use a stud finder successfully.
I cannot help you with mapping out the location, sometimes it gets complicated with going around the bathroom then a hallway then a turn back to the back of the bathroom tubs plumbing.
There are plastic ones which I don’t recommend (cheesy). You can find the metal one’s, usually available at most home centers in the home door section.
They come in many size but the 12″ one’s easily fit 16 inch on center framing found on many homes.
Be aware that there is usually water pipes running thru this section of the wall, so be careful when cutting not too damage the water pipes.
Once happy with the fit and the bathtub access door is leveled again, have a helper place a 2×4 a foot long, under the access door and hold the 2×4 firmly in place and remove the access door.
MAKE SURE THE LOCKING MECHANISM IS HORIZONTAL AND NOT UP OR DOWN!
Once the caulking has dried, use a screw driver, turn the locking slot to open your new bathtub plumbing access panel. And be sure to pat your self on the back.
These doors come primed so all you need now is too paint the door, the wall color for a seamless installation
For mud cement, or plaster wall bathtub plumbing access panel installation, you have several methods you can use.
Remember there are usually water pipes behind this part of the wall for the tubs plumbing, be sure not to cut too deep as to cut the pipes.
Using a 1/8 inch masonry drill bit and make hole after hole right next to each other and then using a small chisel between each hole to knock out the square section for the tubs access door.
You can try using a Sawzall with a carbide blade. First using a masonry 1/8 inch drill bit make three or four holes next to each other on all 4 sides of the square cut area. Using a small chisel gently open the holes to allow the Sawzall blade to enter the hole you just made and cut out the hole for the access panel.
Another method requires a grinder or portable saw with a diamond blade or a masonry abrasive cutoff disc attached. You’ll being cutting approximately 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch deep for mud plaster walls.
Using the grinder method a couple of tips to reduce the dusting is to use plastic sheeting to make a tent around the project big enough for 2 people to climb inside. This is going to make a HUGE amount of dust.
To reduce and or contain the dust you can; One use heavy plastic on the floor, secure it up the wall below the cut marks with masking tape. Outline the work area with 2×4’s making a bowl and have a helper slowly pour water to the blade that’s cutting using a squirt bottle.
Be careful not to get water in the electric motor of the grinder to avoid being shocked. The bowl shaped plastic will catch the wet slurry. This is extremely messy.
Or use can use a shop vac inside the tented area, have a helper catch the stream of dust. You should be wearing a dust mask and eye protection for you and your helper.
If available a ventilator with ducting going to an outside window is helpful as well, be aware of having the wind blow the dust back into the home. Be sure the tent you made is pretty tight to avoid polluting the home.
Serving: Maryland, Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia
Service Type: Bathtub Plumbing Access Panel Installation : Self framing bathtub access panel installation services
Bathtub Plumbing Access Door
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8 user reviews.
4.8 out of 5
based on 8 ratings.
8 user reviews.
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