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Old 11-04-2010, 10:00 AM   #1
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Plumbing access door question


Ran all new plumbing in my house. Ran water lines in Pex. All of my valves are in my basement. The pex converts to copper right before protruding through the wall to the bathroom sink. Since no valves are present behind the sink, do I need to be able to access the pipes behind the sink per code?

The room behind the sink is a bedroom and I'd rather not put an access area in the wall.

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Old 11-04-2010, 11:14 AM   #2
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I don't know the answer to your question, but what do you plan to do if you ever need to replace the faucet? How will you get access to disconnect its supply lines?

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Old 11-04-2010, 11:26 AM   #3
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There are 90 degree compression fitting valves located under the sink in the bathroom on the copper that I am able to access if I were to replace the faucet or sink. Sorry for saying 'all valves' are in basement. Just none in the wall behind the sink.
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Branden View Post
Ran all new plumbing in my house. Ran water lines in Pex. All of my valves are in my basement. The pex converts to copper right before protruding through the wall to the bathroom sink. Since no valves are present behind the sink, do I need to be able to access the pipes behind the sink per code?

The room behind the sink is a bedroom and I'd rather not put an access area in the wall.
I also don't know the answer to your question but in case it helps, I will be installing access panels to every PEX joint when I install my system (parts on order). I will inspect the joints periodically as a maintenance procedure to insure that none are leaking. Any repairs necessary will be very quick rather than having to break the walls open again.

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Old 11-04-2010, 11:47 AM   #5
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Homerepairguy,

Just a question. Have you heard of a lot of problems with Pex joints? If so, why are you using it and not copper, or are you just paranoid since it is somewhat new still? I have a lot of joints behind walls (knocking on wood)...
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:59 AM   #6
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Homerepairguy,

Just a question. Have you heard of a lot of problems with Pex joints? If so, why are you using it and not copper, or are you just paranoid since it is somewhat new still? I have a lot of joints behind walls (knocking on wood)...
Actually PEX is not new. It has been used in Europe for about 25-30 years. It is somewhat new in the USA though. But yes, I am a bit paranoid about using PEX since it is new to me. I want to be able to visually inspect the joints periodically. My biggest fear is a PEX tubing blowing off the fitting and flooding the place. I hope that finding any leaks which indicate that the joint is getting loose will allow repairs before a blowout occurs.

Even with our existing copper system which I'll be replacing with PEX, I wished so many times that I had access panels to make inspections. For example, when repairing bathtub/shower water valves that drip, the joints are all hidden behind the shower tile. The hole in the tile is "just" large enough for the pipes to fit and I cannot verify whether my repair is leak free or not. So the access panels that I install with my PEX system will also serve to verify that.

Your milage will vary,
HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 11-04-2010 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:35 PM   #7
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I've installed thousands of pex joints thru the years, and other than 1 job I can count the number of leaks on one hand. The one job that I had 8 leaks on were with fittings bought late at night at Lowes (the last time I'll ever use their pex stuff) Other than that it was a miscalibrated tool that caused the problems. Access panels look like crap IMO, but if you're ok with them and are that paranoid I'd say go for it
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:07 AM   #8
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I would install an access under the sink to look at the fittings if need be.

I always install an access on the other side of the tub wall no matter what room it faces.

You can install many access panels in a non conspicuous way, plastic already made, Sheetrock cutout and framed, ventilation grills are good and many sizes.

You have to think about the service long down the road, never box yourself in.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:24 AM   #9
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I'll guarantee you there's fewer home run systems out there than one's with tees. Out of all the hundreds of thousands of houses with Pex systems (and the few dozen I've done) I've never heard of an access door for a fitting. Clean outs, valves, p-traps, yes.
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Old 11-05-2010, 12:34 PM   #10
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Branden,

One other thing regarding access panels. If you design them cleverly enough to not look like access panels, you could store valuables in the double wall. When my father build his house (he was a residential contractor), he built an access panel in the double wall for the bathroom serving the master bedroom that no one outside of our family would ever know was there. My parents stored jewelry and cash in that location.

Sometimes it's possible to turn a negative into a positive. Just another idea.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:18 PM   #11
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Plumbing access door question


Thanks for all of the responses. My only concern was basically am I going against code if I don't include an access panel. I didn't include one. Just wouldn't look right on the wall that I was working with. If I run into any problems, I'll just have to cut through drywall and patch it up after. Not a huge deal.

Thanks again

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