ok, here's what happened - whirlpoop was no help at all because of their perceived liability & wouldn't even discuss who supplied the valve; local appliance repair companies, ditto*; local govt, nada; gas transmission & supply people, no habla english,,, finally ran into a local repairman ( who gets our work from now on ) at the deli - ' sure, do it ! - just keep it in the same room. ' - cost me coffee & a bagel.
so 2' is fine - i can drill the cabinet, mount the little darling on the backside, & my bride gains a drawer this was like finding hen's fangs - thanks, guys.
btw, just where IS this mysterious code - everyone refers to it but no one's got a source ! spooky