What to Consider When Installing Plumbing Access Panels

What to Consider When Installing Plumbing Access Panels

Posted by Best Access Doors on 26th Oct 2017

What to Consider When Installing Plumbing Access Panels

If you want to ensure that your plumbing system is working correctly, You must prioritize regular inspections and maintenance. You can only detect some problems during inspections, which is why it should be a regular activity. While some significant issues need professionals' attention, proper DIY sessions can still work on many minor plumbing issues. If you want to save more time, money, effort, it is ideal to have a convenient access panel size for plumbing jobs.

Instead of breaking the walls to serve as an entrance for your drains, valves, and more, it will be much easier to have access doors for you or your contractors. Moreover, it can extend the life of your plumbing system without major wall renovations. However, you should note that various access panel sizes, designs, and configurations in the market. To figure out which access panel is the right one, here is a quick and easy installation guide for you.

Types of Plumbing Access Panels

Before installing your access panels, it is essential to know which type is ideal for the purpose and application that you need. Depending on the places where you may need access, there are specific access door sizes and styles that you should consider. Let's take a look at these common panel types.

1. 12 x 12 Access Panel

If you are looking for universal access, the 12 x 12 access panel can offer that function. It is ideal for installing in various applications such as ceilings, walls, security, systems, and plumbing. It features a simple design and construction, making it convenient to install, even for those with no experience.

2. Plastic Access Panel

A lot of access panels are usually steel or plywood. However, the plastic access panel is efficient and convenient due to its lightweight materials. Moreover, it features various access panels sizes as it is easy to cut and utilize. The only downside is it can be quite expensive because it uses high-quality material that does not fade and rust.

3. Plumbing Access Doors

When installing access in your bathrooms, it is ideal to have plumbing access doors for quick and easy maintenance and repair processes. You can fix it below your sink or bathtub where the plumbing system is. However, make sure to choose the proper access door sizes to ensure convenience for your contractors.

4. Drywall Access Panel

Ensuring proper drywall access panel sizes for your plumbing system in attics and basements is essential. When the walls and ceilings consist of drywall compound, make sure to choose those with plastic or metal materials. This type is quick to install, and most contractors can work on it in just 20 minutes. It is also perfect for hiding other components such as wires, cables, and water valves.

5. Plumbing Access Hatch

For ceiling applications, installing a plumbing access hatch is the right choice. It resembles a trap door and protects from outdoor elements. There are also some variants with a lock and latch for security. When deciding on the product, consider the proper ceiling access panel sizes to avoid any issues.

How to Install Plumbing Access Panels

There are various designs and styles of panels available in the market, and some can even blend seamlessly on any surface. However, it is not easy to consider the right sealant and insulation to avoid any issues. If you want to ensure your plumbing access panel's ideal outcome, it is essential to know the proper ways to install them.

1. Choose the right type of access door.

The first thing you should note is the correct type of access doors and their availability in your area. You can use the guidelines we mentioned above to know which one is perfect for you. Make sure that it will match your budget and the application you need. It should also work with your wall color and design to avoid awkwardness.

2. Take proper measurements.

Taking an accurate measurement is essential when installing an access panel, as it can affect the insulation and protection of your plumbing component. When buying, choose those with ideal wall access panel sizes for the area. Measure the door's length and width, excluding the frame. After that, make sure to add a one-quarter inch to the measurements. Use a straight edge to mark the wall to install the access door to ensure the proper size and straight lines.

3. Don't forget to wear safety equipment.

Make sure to use safety equipment such as goggles and dust masks before you start the installation. Take note that drywall dust is harmful to inhale. Put a drop cloth that will catch the debris below the area when cutting into the wall. If there are nearby air ducts, cover them with any materials to prevent the dust from spreading on your house.

4. Cut out the drywall.

With a drywall saw, start cutting out the section with your marks. Make sure to follow the straight lines precisely. If you cut out the wrong size, the door will not fit, and it can be a severe problem.

5. Prepare the door and clean up.

Take the access door out of the frame and use a screwdriver to pry out the hinges' pins. Double-check if the door frame perfectly fits the hole you cut while using a level for a perfect angle. You can use sandpaper if the gap is slightly smaller than the door. After that, make sure that you remove any dust and debris around the drywall hole with a dry cloth. If not, the adhesive will not stick.

7. Attach the frame.

Use a silicone adhesive to attach the door frame to the hole. Depending on the manufacturer, the adhesive's curing time may differ. While it cures, you can secure the door frame by using clamps.

8. Attach the door

Keep a 90-degree angle while holding the door against the frame if there are no hinges. If there are, make sure to have the door in a closed position. After that, insert the pins you removed at the fifth step.

Install a plumbing access panel now!

Installing a plumbing access panel can help you provide convenient access for inspections, repairs, and maintenance practices. However, it requires scrutiny when choosing the right access panel size and type before installation. Moreover, you should be able to follow the correct installation process to achieve a perfect finish.

Best Access Doors can offer you the BA-AHD-SS General Purpose Access Panel if you are looking for a high-quality access panel with specific styles, materials, and sizes. We also provide custom panels for unique configurations. If you require a custom panel, simply fill out a form or contact our product specialists, and we will be happy to assist you.